In reality the White Helmets is a project created by the UK and USA. Training of civilians in Turkey has been overseen by former British military officer and current contractor, James Le Mesurier. Promotion of the program is done by “The Syria Campaign” supported by the foundation of billionaire Ayman Asfari. The White Helmets is clearly a public relations project which has received glowing publicity from HuffPo to Nicholas Kristof at the NYT. White Helmets have been heavily promoted by the U.S. Institute of Peace (U.S.IP) whose leader began the press conference by declaring “U.S.IP has been working for the Syrian Revolution from the beginning”.
Apart from the PR work, White Helmets work in areas of Aleppo and Idlib controlled by Nusra (Al Queda).
US and UK tax dollars pay for a program which has an appealing rescue component and is then used to market and promote the USA and UK policy of regime change in Syria in de facto alliance with Nusra.
The fake “independence and neutrality” of White Helmets is shown by their active promotion of a No Fly Zone.
- — Rick Sterling in About Those Chlorine Gas Attacks in Syria - Humanitarians for War, part 2 (Counterpunch, April 3, 2015)
During my time in Hanano East #Aleppo I spoke with many civilians who had been liberated from their four year imprisonment by NATO and Gulf state terrorist brigades. I asked them all if they knew of the #WhiteHelmets. All of them looked puzzled and most of them replied that no they did not know them at all.
Some said they knew of the workers who called themselves "civil defence" and worked with the terrorists. I asked if they also helped civilians, one man only said that yes sometimes they did help him and his family.
I interviewed the Syrian Arab Red Crescent workers who were on the scene in Hanano. They had never come across the White Helmets in all the time they had been working in East Aleppo since the area was invaded and occupied in 2012.
I have been told that no White Helmet operatives have accepted amnesty so this raises the question...where exactly are the White Helmets? If they were truly a neutral, impartial organisation working for all humanity, why were they not out in force helping civilians to escape to safety?
One leader of a special National Guard unit allied with the SAA told me tonight that during the battles for Ramousa, they had found one militant who had three ID cards in his pockets. One from Turkey, one from Nusra Front and one White Helmet ID card.
It seems the farce that is the White Helmets is coming to an end...
- — Vanessa Beeley, reporting from Aleppo, December 13, 2016
On April 27, 2016, State Department spokesman Mark Toner praised the group in a daily press briefing, claiming it has saved 40,000 lives. Asked why, if the group is so wonderful, ten days earlier their leader Ra'ed Al Saleh had his visa revoked and was sent back to Turkey when he tried to enter the US to receive a humanitarian award, Toner refused to make comments on specific visas but pointed out that if individuals have ties to extremist groups, this doesn't destroy the quality of work of other groups they might belong to. He mentioned that the "White Helmets" have received $US 23 million through USAID.
- EXCLUSIVE: The REAL Syria Civil Defence Expose Nato’s ‘White Helmets’ as Terrorist-Linked Imposters, Vanessa Beeley, September 23, 2016 (part 1 in a 2-part series)
- Quoted in commenters response to John Kerry tweet "When bombs explode in Syria, the White Helmets are the brave 1st responders on the scene. Honored to meet their leader & #Aleppo activists."- And Reagan-Taliban photo, too.
- Rusvesna collected some past photos and videos giving an insight part1 part 2, September 29-30, 2016
- Newsmaker: The White Helmets, The National (from UAE(!)), September 29, 2016
- Inside the Shadowy PR Firm That’s Lobbying for Regime Change in Syria, Max Blumenthal, October 3, 2016
- Detailed investigation into "The Syria Campaign" including interesting details about the main donor Ayman Asfari, "the U.K.-based CEO of the British oil and gas supply company Petrofac Limited." Part I of II.
- "CrossTalk" White helmets, really? - CrossTalk, October 7, 2016
- Syria’s “White Helmets”: Fiction and Reality - Ahmad Salah, Global Research, October 14, 2016
- Video: The Syria White Helmets Exposed as US UK Agents Embedded with Al Nusra and ISIS By Syria Solidarity Movement April 29, 2016
- Change.org petition: DO NOT GIVE 2016 NOBEL PEACE PRIZE TO SYRIAN WHITE HELMETS (includes above video and text explanation)
- The Most Dangerous Job in the World: Syria's Elite Rescue Force - Bryan Schatz, Mens Journal, Dec 2014
- How a group of ill-equipped civilian volunteers has saved 3,700 lives since 2013.
- Q&A: Syria's White Helmets - Maria Jan, Al Jazeera, 21 Aug 2015
- Made up of ordinary citizens, Syria's White Helmets are the first to rush in when the bombs hit.
- Syria: The Propaganda Ring - Vanessa Beeley, August 27, 2015 (original)
- As the West drops demand for Assad to go, meet the group the UK funds to support his victims - Richard Spencer, The Telegraph, September 27, 2015
- Homs Airstrike: White Helmets Caught Faking Syria Casualties Report - Sputnik, September 30, 2015
- White Helmets: War by Way of Deception Part I Part II, Vanessa Beeley, October 25, 27, 2015
- Award Winning Humanitarian Denied Entry To United States - Apr 19, 2016
- WASHINGTON -- On the evening of April 18 noted, award-winning humanitarian Raed Saleh -- head of Syria Civil Defence (also known as "The White Helmets") -- was denied entry to the United States. Saleh was scheduled to attend InterAction's Forum -- the largest annual gathering of humanitarian, development and sustainability professionals -- to receive its 2016 Humanitarian Award.
- Saleh was being recognized by InterAction -- the largest U.S. alliance of nongovernmental international organizations -- for his heroic work leading more than 2,800 intrepid search-and-rescue volunteers as head of Syria Civil Defence. These unarmed and neutral civilians have saved more than 40,000 lives in Syria.
- 'Syria White Helmets Humanitarians or 'Executioners', with Vanessa Beeley, 20 May 2016
- Syria's White Helmets - Al Jazeera, 14 Aug 2016 (video)
- Life under the bombs with a team of White Helmet rescue workers in Syria's most dangerous city, Aleppo.
- The White Helmet Controversy - Rick Sterling, TruePublica, October 22, 2016
- About a Syrian girl who was 'saved' after bombing several times a month (PHOTO, VIDEO) - Rusvesna, October 23, 2016
- ...and apparently another anti-Russia/Syria-war photo with the same girl.
- ‘When camera gone they leave people under rubble’ – Aleppo residents on Western-backed White Helmets - RT, December 15, 2016
- RT’s Lizzie Phelan, who is on the ground in Aleppo, spoke to some survivors that accused the anti-government activists of being “camera posers, thieves, and raiders.” One went so far as to accuse the White Helmets of intentionally killing his daughter.
- 50 civilians reported killed in Douma after Syrian army rocket attack - RT, 23 Aug, 2015
- “There are entire families still under the rubble. We couldn't reach them yet, because as you know the process of removing debris must be done with extreme caution," an official, from a civil defense group operating in rebel-held areas, told the Majd agency.
- Monitor: Fresh Syrian air raids kill dozens in Douma - Al Jazeera, 23 Aug 2015
- The death toll is expected to rise, with Syria's Civil Defence, a local NGO, saying they are still rescuing people from under the rubble.
- In a statement released on Saturday night, the Syrian Civil Defence organisation said airs raids on Douma over the past week have killed more than 200 people and wounded more than 400 others - mostly women and children.
- The group called upon international organisations and human rights groups to act immediately as it declared Douma as a "disaster town".
Nobel Peace Prize campaign
- News ‘It is not the Nobel we long for most, but peace itself’: The White Helmets react to missing out on peace prize - Bethan McKernan, The Independent, October 7, 2016
- Syria's White Helmets apologize for Mannequin Challenge video - Eliza Mackintosh, CNN, November 25, 2016
- US State Department bans leader of “White Helmets” after giving group $23 million, Al Masdar, April 28, 2016 (link to press briefing)