Earlier this year, a 40-minute documentary entitled “The White Helmets” was awarded an Oscar. The group known by this name claims to be an unarmed, independently-funded, neutral humanitarian operation in Syria, a “first responder” whose members dash to the scene of the latest bombardment in order to save lives, regardless of the affiliation of the victims.
Eyebrows should have been raised when two representatives of the “White Helmets” were unable to travel to Hollywood for the awards ceremony — its leader Raed Saleh due to “intense airstrikes across the country,” and cameraman Khaled Khatib because the Syrian government had canceled his passport.
Raed Saleh, however, may not have been allowed in anyway. Although it is claimed that he now had a US visa, he was in fact sent packing when he arrived at Dulles airport almost a year earlier, presenting State Department spokesman Mark Toner with the unenviable task of attempting to explain to a press conference why the USA would deny the leader entry while continuing to fund his organization to the tune of $23 million (the UK Foreign Office was chipping in rather more, at $29 million).
Toner was obliged to mutter something about suspected extremist links, although he was unprepared to countenance the possibility that such links extended to the White Helmets, the organization led by Saleh.
The White Helmets claim that officially they are the “Syrian Civil Defence.” Really? No.
Founded by French Surgeon-General Georges Saint-Paul, six years later it became the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Populations and Historic Buildings in Wartime, transferring its headquarters to Geneva.
In 1958, this became the ICDO, when it was granted new status as a NGO, one of the objectives of which was to establish liaison between national civil defense organizations.
In 1972, it was granted intergovernmental organization status by the United Nations. It now has 58 member-states, including the Syrian Arab Republic, which joined in 1972. The Syrian Civil Defence was founded in 1953, and was therefore a founding member of the ICDO.
So the White Helmets have a respectable pedigree? Ah, no. The Syrian Civil Defence linked to the ICDO is, you see, the genuine organization of that name, and is in no way connected to the White Helmets.
Apparently, its only international links are with its funders — the US State Department, the UK Foreign Office, and various other European patrons.
The White Helmets’ claims of financial “independence” are, therefore, as spurious as those of their “neutrality” and “unarmed” status.
So what is the relationship between the genuine Syrian Civil Defence (SCD) and the White Helmets?
Some of these terrorists later became White Helmets. They stole ambulances, fire engines and eventually — outrageously! — the very name of the Syrian Civil Defence. Since then, of course, their western funders have provided them with new rescue equipment — which, video footage suggests, they seem unable to use without the risk of serious injury or death to whoever might be buried beneath the rubble.
Says Beeley: “When Syrian civilians are at risk, injured, or buried under the rubble of homes, schools and hospitals destroyed by terrorist mortar showers, it’s not Le Mesurier’s White Helmets who rush to their aid — it’s the REAL Syrian Civil Defence, a real civic organization who, up until the publication of this article, have never been mentioned by any western media outlets.”
According to Beeley, the majority of Syrians she spoke to said that they had never heard of the White Helmets, let alone witnessed their heroic rescue work.
Why would that be? Because the White Helmets are only to be found in areas controlled by the al-Nusra Front (a rebranded al-Qaeda affiliate), ISIS and other anti-Assad terrorist groups.
There is adequate photographic and video evidence to demonstrate that the White Helmets are aligned with the anti-Assad terrorists and, indeed, have participated in the execution of captured Syrian government soldiers.
“After examination of the video material, I found that the measures inflicted upon those children, some of them lifeless, are bizarre, non-medical, non-lifesaving, and even counter-productive in terms of lifesaving purposes.” Other doctors concurred in this assessment. (See the article by Prof. Marcello Ferrada de Noli, Ph.D., on 21stcenturywire.com, dated March 7, 2017.)
There is sufficient evidence, then, that the White Helmets organization is simply a component of the western propaganda war against the Assad regime and, as such, not to be taken seriously when it claims to be independent, neutral, unarmed or even humanitarian.