300 White Helmet rescuers granted resettlement in West

300 White Helmet rescuers granted resettlement in West
2 min read
17 October, 2018
Jordan took in 300 White Helmet rescuers whose lives were in danger ahead of a regime offensive, on condition they would be resettled elsewhere.
White Helmets in Damascus in 2017 [Getty]
Around 300 Syrian White Helmet rescue workers have now left for resettlement in Western countries, according to Reuters.

The rescue workers first left Syria in July, fleeing advancing Russian-backed regime troops, and then entered Jordan through the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said US President Donald Trump asked him to assist with their evacuation from Syria. 

Jordan agreed to take in the 300 rescue workers after obtaining guarantees they would be resettled in Canada, Germany and Britain. 

The White Helmets have saved thousands of people in rebel-held parts of Syria, arriving at the scene of air strikes and barrel bombs to rescue people from the rubble and provide first aid. 

The White House, officially called Syria Civil Defence, says it remains politically neutral. But the regime has sought to cast the search-and-rescue group as tools of Western propaganda. 

The White Helmets number some 3,700, mostly men but some female rescuers. 

Since their founding, more than 200 of their volunteers have died and another 500 have been injured. 

The group's motto - "To save one life is to save all of humanity" - comes from a verse in the Qu'ran, although the White Helmets insist they treat all victims, regardless of religion.

Some members have received training abroad, returning to instruct colleagues on search-and-rescue techniques.

The group receives funding from a number of governments, including Britain, Germany and the US, but also solicits individual donations to purchase equipment, including their signature hard hats which cost $145 each.

The group announced an international funding shortfall in February. 

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