White Helmets

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Group.png White Helmets   Twitter WebsiteRdf-icon.png
White Helmets logo.png
AbbreviationSCD
Motto"To save a life is to save all of humanity."
FormationMarch 2013
FounderJames Le Mesurier
TypeNonprofit
Interest ofMuhammad Idrees Ahmad, Vanessa Beeley, Working Group on Syria Propaganda and Media

The White Helmets are a Western-backed rival Civil Defence Organisation in Syria led by Raed Al Saleh. They are not the ICDO-accredited Syrian civil defence organisation, although they have effectively usurped that title in their logo and PR activities. The White Helmets have been accused of sabotaging the efforts of that group, including by murdering their members.[1]

On 30 July 2019, Twitter suspended the official account of the Russian Embassy in Syria (@RusEmbSyria) after they tweeted facts that exposed White Helmets and the terrorist organisation's manufacturing of propaganda.[2][3] On 31 July 2019, following an international outcry, the Embassy tweeted:

"Greetings from sunny #Damascus! We're back, intact and functioning normally! Thank you, friends, for your support! You did a great job to bring us back! Stay with us and encourage your friends to join, as further on in such surcumstances we'll need much stronger backup in #Syria."[4]

Propaganda construct

White Helmets: a propaganda construct

On 6 October 2016, RT's Peter Lavelle hosted an edition of Crosstalk which exposed the White Helmets as an elaborate and cynical Western PR stunt promoting illegal regime change in Syria.[5] Six months later, a video featuring the leader of Tahrir al-Sham (al-Qaeda in Syria), Abu Jaber, was making the rounds on social media, showing Jaber praising the White Helmets as the “hidden soldiers of the revolution”. The video begged the following question: “If the White Helmets are so unbiased, why does Tahrir al-Sham consider them to be heroes of the ‘revolution?’” The answer, of course, is simple: the White Helmets are nothing more than a propaganda wing of al-Qaeda itself, funded by Western governments and NGOs for the purpose of creating false narratives and shock videos designed to manipulate the Western public.[6]

False flag

On 13 April 2018, Russia stated that Britain was behind the Douma chemical attack, intending it to serve as a justification for airstrikes on Syria -- which were later launched. The idea was reportedly first floated by lower-ranking Russian officials, before being promoted by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.[7]

Official narrative

White Helmets funding and support

The White Helmets describe themselves as "2,900 volunteer search and rescue workers from local communities who risk their lives to save others and bring hope" throughout opposition-controlled Syria,[8] and claim to have "saved 60,000 lives" during the conflict.[9]. They are lauded by the Western commercially-controlled media as a group of volunteer first-responders, and are funded by the US, Britain and others to the tune of $100 million.[10]

Their official website says the volunteers have already saved more than 20,000 people on all sides of the conflict, adding that they are following the principles of humanity, solidarity and impartiality outlined by the International Civil Defence Organisation.

They were nominated for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize[11], a nomination which The Guardian supported in October 2016.[12]

The prize was awarded to Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos on 7 October 2016.[13]

Dissenting voices

White Helmets: NATO-backed terrorists?

British journalist Vanessa Beeley, who returned from Aleppo in 2016, accused the White Helmets of stealing ambulances and fire engines, and even killing Syria's real Civil Defence personnel.

In a post to Facebook, she referred to them as "terrorists"[14] and in a Sputnik News article she said White Helmets and other NGOs such as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, are used to justify the West’s policy of arming and supporting the insurgency in Syria:

“If we at least start making people question this propaganda and if we make people appreciate that it is a very one sided story that is being portrayed to them, then we are breaking some strangle holds of these narratives.”[15]
An image from Eva Bartlett's story on White Helmets’ Apologists Deconstructed[16]

Vanessa Beeley published a 25-minute interview to support these claims at Youtube.[17] On 10 December 2017, she was interviewed by Afshin Rattansi on Going Underground:

"Over the past four years, the UK government has poured over £200 million of tax payer funds into a failed proxy military intervention and illegal shadow state-building project in Syria. This week, the penny finally dropped…"[18]

In January 2018, Eva Bartlett of The Indicter Magazine, who styles herself as the victim of a "Channel 4 News smear piece on myself" published a series she termed "the White Helmets whitewashing story".[16]

Origins

Vanessa Beeley writes that the "supposedly Syrian NGO White Helmets were established in Turkey, not in Syria. They are largely trained in Turkey and Jordan, not inside Syria. The group were established in March 2013 by a British ex-military officer with $300,000 in seed funding from Japan, the U.K. and the U.S."[19] James Le Mesurier, the officer concerned, is a private contractor whose company is based in Dubai.[20]

"Save Aleppo"

Staging a "Save Aleppo" protest in Europe

Tony Cartalucci, in a Land Destroyer Report datelined 3 October 2016, wrote:

Protests held across North America and Europe [When?] staged by supporters of armed militants in Syria have staged scenes in Western streets eerily similar to those featured in the photos and videos of the US-European funded “Syrian Civil Defence” also known as the White Helmets. Posing as an impartial rescue force, the White Helmets are transparently auxiliaries serving exclusively side-by-side with armed militants including US State Department, UN, and EU designated foreign terrorist organisations. Their primary function is not “rescuing” anyone, but to manage a public relations campaign aimed at swaying public and political opinion, leveraging “humanitarian” sympathy worldwide. Their primary means of doing this is publishing photos and videos of their members – wearing elaborate, matching uniforms and driving brand new ambulances – pulling dust and blood covered victims from rubble allegedly brought down upon them by Syrian and Russian airstrikes.

The veracity of their photos, videos, and many claims have never been independently verified, and in many cases, evidence suggests that much of what they present to the public across their extensive, well-funded social media presence has been fabricated. The recent coordinated “Save Aleppo” protests held across Europe and North America, perhaps revealed just how transparently fabricated and fictional the White Helmets' work really is. During one protest, photos retweeted by the official White Helmets Twitter account showed actors dressed up as “war victims", covered in fake dust and blood, appearing almost indistinguishable from the alleged “victims” the White Helmets regularly “save” in Syria. The protest, staged in European streets far from the Syrian conflict, even included children – likewise covered in fake dust and blood – cradled in the arms of adults, posing with despondent looks upon their faces. Also part of the staged scene were actors dressed like the "White Helmets" themselves.

Devastation of Syria provides a much more convincing “set” for the actors to perform on

The only difference between admittedly staged scenes in European streets during a recent “Save Aleppo” protest, and the daily output of the Western created and funded White Helmets acting troupe in Syria is that in Syria, the devastation of war provides a much more convincing “set” for the actors to perform on.

While the acting troupe that organised this protest may have thought they were cleverly “bringing the conflict to the streets of Europe” to invoke global sympathy for their cause, what they really proved was just how easy it really is for the White Helmets to create “war victims” anytime, anywhere. In Syria, where years of US-backed violence has left many parts of the country devastated, such staged scenes playing out with the devastation of war as a backdrop become all the much more convincing. With White Helmets videos heavily edited before reaching the public, they are able to create tragic scenes of war, anytime, anywhere – even in the streets of Europe thousands of miles away from where Syrian and Russian warplanes are operating. Their primary goal and that of the special interests funding them tens of millions of dollars, is to manipulate the hearts and minds of the global public in support of Western-backed armed militants – not “save lives” nor bring peace to Syria.[21]

Evacuation from Syria

In July 2018, a number of White Helmets and their families were evacuated from Syria by Israeli Defence Forces, crossing from northern Israel into Jordan at three points. The Israelis had initially put the numbers evacuated at 800, but later the figure was revised downwards by James Le Mesurier, a former MI5 officer who founded the group in Turkey in 2013. He said that 422 people were rescued, including 98 White Helmets. As many as 800 others did not manage to escape or chose not to do so.

Reports from Jordan indicated that Germany, Britain and Canada had given a legally binding undertaking to take the refugees within three months, Germany taking eight White Helmets members and their families, Canada taking up to 50 White Helmets and their families, totalling up to 250 people, and the UK accepting the remaining 40 White Helmets and their families.[22]

On 22 July 2018, the following petition was addressed to prime minister Theresa May: "Don't Grant Asylum to Al Qaeda Terrorists".[23]

 

Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Another Chemical Weapon False Flag on the Eve of Peace Talks in Brusselsarticle4 April 2017Paul AntonopoulosThe Khan Sheikoun gas attack in Idlib province, like that in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta in 2013, can be a very useful means of propaganda
Document:Douma ‘attack’ witnesses speak at Russia-called OPCW briefing at The HagueArticle26 April 2018Halil al-Jaish who tended to people at the Douma hospital that day, told the press conference that some of the patients had indeed experienced respiratory problems. The symptoms, however, were caused by heavy dust, which engulfed the area due to recent airstrikes, and no one showed any signs of chemical warfare poisoning.
Document:Importing Jihadi Terror to the UK – Cui Bonoblog post25 September 2018Craig MurrayImporting the White Helmets into the UK is obviously nuts if your purpose is to minimise jihadi activity in the UK
Document:Journey To Aleppo Part I: Exposing The Truth Buried Under NATO PropagandaArticle20 September 2016Vanessa BeeleyThe Syrian people are suffering under the ‘moderate rebels’ and ‘opposition forces’ backed by the US, NATO member states and their allies in the Gulf states and Israel. Yet their suffering is largely ignored in the mainstream media unless it furthers the agenda dictated by the US State Department.
Document:Monbiot is not only a hypocrite, but a bully tooArticle12 January 2018Jonathan CookIt is time for George Monbiot’s legion of supporters to call him out. Not only is he a hypocrite, but he is becoming an increasingly dangerous one!
Document:Robert Fisk visits the Syria clinic at the centre of a global crisisWikispooks Page17 April 2018Robert Fisk"A Syrian colonel I came across behind one of these buildings asked if I wanted to see how deep the tunnels were. I stopped after well over a mile when he cryptically observed that 'this tunnel might reach as far as Britain'. Ah yes, Ms May, I remembered, whose air strikes had been so intimately connected to this place of tunnels and dust. And gas?"
Document:Russia Claims US Deploys Warships For Imminent Attack On Syria, Trains Militants For False Flag Attackblog post17 March 2018'Tyler Durden'United States-led coalition to "retaliate" for another false flag chemical attack done by the White Helmets in Syria
Document:SITREP: A false flag attack on a USN ship nextblog post21 April 2018'Nick for the Saker'The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, which comprises the cruiser USS Normandy, six destroyers and carries 6,500 sailors, is heading for Syria. Russia’s hypersonic Kinzhal (‘Dagger’) missile system having made these vessels effectively obsolete, means that the ships and their crews are essentially being sailed into a bloody scrapyard.
Document:Swedish Medical Association Says White Helmets Murdered Kids for Fake Gas Attack Videosarticle6 April 2017Gordon DuffPresident Trump is now threatening to take America into a war against Syria, Iran and even Russia, a war he says is justified by “evidence” he received from Al Qaeda's White Helmets, a “Deep State” organisation funded by the CIA and MI6
Document:The Last Bus to Idlib: Terrorist Safe-Haven in Syria About to Face a Cleaning OutArticle3 August 2018Steven SahiounieOne by one, all other areas in Syria under terrorist control have fallen, and now the final battle for Idlib province looms large on the horizon. The liberation of Idlib will begin soon, and the green buses can finally get back to their job of transporting Syrians as they live, shop and work in peace at last.
Document:The World: What is Really Happeningblog post25 May 2019Craig MurrayAlleged nerve gas attack in Syria - Amanda Martin tweets to George Monbiot: "Don't you smell a set up here though? Craig Murray doesn't think Assad did it."
Document:Verdict First, Evidence Later: Khan Sheikhoun Gas Attackarticle11 April 2017James O'NeillThree days before the tragedy at Khan Sheikhoun a convoy of TOW (Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire-guided) missiles, gas masks for up to 2000 persons and chemical warfare suits from Saudi Arabian stockpiles left Hatay in Turkey for Idlib in Syria where al Nusra are in control.


References

  1. "Why Everything You Hear About Aleppo Is Wrong"
  2. "Russian Embassy in Syria Twitter account @RusEmbSyria has been suspended by @Twitter"
  3. "Twitter suspends Russian embassy in Syria after it criticised White Helmets"
  4. "Greetings from sunny #Damascus!"
  5. "CrossTalk: White Helmets, Really?"
  6. "Al-Qaeda Leader Praises White Helmets As 'Hidden Soldiers Of The Revolution'"
  7. "Russia says Syria chemical attack was false flag by Britain and the White Helmets"
  8. "Syria Civil Defence twitter page"
  9. "‘We Saved 60,000’ – Bogus Claim by Syria’s White Helmets Raises Even More Questions"
  10. "UK may increase aid to Syrian White Helmets after Trump pulls funding"
  11. "U.S. Denies Entry To Syrian Aid Worker Who Came To Receive Humanitarian Award"
  12. "The Guardian view on the Nobel peace prize: give it to Syria’s White Helmets"
  13. "Congratulations to LSE alumnus @JuanManSantos on winning the #NobelPeacePrize"
  14. "Syria's 'White Helmets' are terrorists"
  15. "Soros-Sponsored NGO in Syria Aims at Ousting Assad, Not Saving Civilians"
  16. a b http://theindicter.com/the-white-helmets-whitewashing-story-part-ii-white-helmets-apologists-deconstructed/
  17. "Vanessa Beeley on Youtube"
  18. "UK Government’s ‘Free Syrian’ Rabbit Hole: Afshin Rattansi Interviews Vanessa Beeley on Going Underground"
  19. http://www.mintpressnews.com/investigation-white-helmets-committing-acts-terror-across-syria/231597/
  20. "Syria’s White Helmets: War by Way of Deception – Part I"
  21. "WHITE HELMETS: 'Save Aleppo' Protest Proves How Easy it is to Dress Up Actors as 'War Victims'”
  22. "UK agrees to take in some White Helmets evacuated from Syria by Israel"
  23. "Don't Grant Asylum to Al Qaeda Terrorists"