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
- The White Helmets provide military aid | Opinion - Brad Blankenship, AMN, April 22, 2017
- Inside the Conspiracy Theory That Turned Syria’s First Responders Into Terrorists - Wired, April 30, 2017
- While the White Helmets might seem like the poster children for feel-bad humanitarianism, they’ve in fact become the target of a internet smear campaign, one designed to bolster the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and undermine its opponents, including the United States. Various White Helmet “truthers”—who range from Assad and his supporters to Russian embassies, and even to Alex Jones—accuse the group of staging rescue photos, belonging to al Qaeda, and being pawns of liberal bogeyman George Soros. The story of how that conspiracy grew is a perfect distillation of how disinformation can spread unchecked, supplanting fact with frenzy where no support exists.
- MSM Misinformation: Comparing the Wikipedia Page of the White Helmet Terrorists with the Actual Images From Their Own Facebook Accounts , Clarity of Signal, May 17, 2018
- 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.
- The Fraud of the White Helmets - Philip Giraldi, Unz Review, July 4, 2017
- WHITE HELMETS: Channel 4, BBC, The Guardian – Architects of War, Vanessa Beeley, February 1, 2018
- HARPER: UNMASKING THE WHITE HELMETS - Sic Semper Tyrannis, April 25, 2018
British government official agencies are the patrons, managers and funders of the White Helmets, who have been the go-to source for the mainstream Western media reporting on the ongoing Syrian war. For good measure, the U.S. State Department's Agency for International Development (USAID) has kicked in $23 million to finance Mayday Rescue, the cutout between the White Helmets and the British Ministry of Defense, the Home Office, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and 10 Downing Street. This is all a matter of public record, yet no Western major media outlet has bothered to include these "data points" in their lavish coverage of the White Helmets.
Mayday Rescue was founded by James le Mesurier, who founded both Mayday Rescue and the White Helmets after "retiring" from the British Army and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Mayday Rescue has its headquarters in Istanbul, Turkey, where it runs a training program for the White Helmet recruits. Mayday Rescue's annual budget is $35 million, with the funds coming from USAID, the UK Conflict Security and Stability Fund, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. To date, an estimated 3,000 recruits have been through the Mayday Rescue training programs and deployed into 120 different locations in rebel held parts of Syria.
Another element of the British government flowchart backing the White Helmets is the communications and media firm Incostrat, founded by Paul Tilley, another British Army veteran, who ran the Ministry of Defence's Strategic Communications for the Middle East and North Africa. Tilley ran British government communications during the Libya invasion, working directly out of 10 Downing Street. In November 2014, soon after le Mesurier was founding Mayday Rescue and the White Helmets, Tilley "retired" from the British service to found the strategic communications firm. Incostrat provides the social media and other communications services for Mayday and the White Helmets.
All very neat.
In January 2015, the British Ministry of Defence renamed its Security Assistance Group (SAG) the 77th Brigade. The name change was in honor of the legendary World War II era British special warfare operator Orde Wingate, who as a Major General in the British Army founded the 77th Indian Infantry Brigade, which conducted "long-range penetration" operations in the CBI theater. The renamed current 77th Brigade, according to its own website, conducts "non-lethal engagement and legitimate non-military levers as a means to adapt behaviors of opposing forces and adversaries," including information activities and outreach. By its own public description, the 77th Brigade is "an agent of change." They are nowadays referred to as "Twitter Troops" and "Facebook Warriors."
- 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
- Won Oscar...
Answering a FOIA request, the UK government puts the funds committed to "Syria Civil Defense" at 19.7 million pounds between June 2013 and March 2016. Details on who received those funds are withhold due to an exemption to the FOIA protecting commercial interests.
- Syria's White Helmets apologize for Mannequin Challenge video - Eliza Mackintosh, CNN, November 25, 2016
- Civil Defense Syria - Aleppo (الدفاع المدني السوري - حلب)
- Syrian Civil Defense in the province of Idlib (الدفاع المدني السوري في محافظة ادلب) (reserve)
- Syrian Civil Defense in the Eastern Ghouta (الدفاع المدني السوري في الغوطة الشرقية)
- Syrian Civil Defense in Damascus (الدفاع المدني السوري في ريف دمشق)
August 2017 Assassinations
- Seven White Helmets Members Assassinated In Idlib Countryside - SouthFront, August 12, 2017
- No side has claimed responsibility for the attack so far. However, ISIS is believed to be behind the attack. Sarmin is considered an ISIS stronghold in Idlib province. In turn, the White Helmets are key partners of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) that launched a security campaign against ISIS in Idlib, including Sarmin town itself last month.
- 7 White Helmets rescuers shot dead in Syria gun attack - CNN, August 12, 2017
- 7 White Helmets medics killed in Syria's Idlib -ABC News, August 12, 2017
- Sarmin is in Idlib province, which witnessed clashes recently between al-Qaida-linked fighters (HTS) and members of the ultraconservative Ahrar al-Sham group that ended with al-Qaida fighters capturing much of the region.
- The activist, who asked that his name not be used for fear of reprisals, said IS sleeper cells have been discovered in Sarmin. He added that most likely members of IS carried out the attack to show that Idlib is not safe.
- В Сирии зарезали семерых сотрудников организации «Белые каски» (In Syria, seven employees of the organization "White Helmets" were slaughtered)- Zvezda TV, 13 August, 2017
- "Tahrir al-Sham" militants have declared a hunt for the killers of 7 employees of "White Helmets" (quoting restricted twitter account NovostiDamask , in Rus.)
- The official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia Maria Zakharova, earlier stated that Moscow considers "White Helmets" as an element of an information campaign against the government of Syria. In addition, the organization is funded through the human rights organization Syria Campaign coordinated by US citizen A. Nolan.
- John Delacour @JohnDelacour on Twitter, August 15, 2017
- Last word on the ❝Seven #WhiteHelmets murdered in Sarmin❞ spoof produced by #NuNusra in collaboration with @Aljazeera.
- Claims that the executions were a hoax.
- Syria Today @todayinsyria on Twitter, September 17, 2017
- #Idlib | Today, Tahrir al-Sham executed 3 suspected of killing 7 'White Helmets' members in Sarmin town.
- US State Department bans leader of “White Helmets” after giving group $23 million, Al Masdar, April 28, 2016 (link to press briefing)
- Document published by walid970721 on twitter, October 17, 2017