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The White Helmets exfiltrated from Syria have arrived in Jordan

(B2) A group of more than 400 White Helmets and their families were able to leave Syria on Sunday (July 22). An exfiltration carried out by the Westerners in order to save these rescuers

In all, 422 people, including 98 rescuers and their families (more than half are children), were welcomed in Jordan. They will be resettled in several countries of the Atlantic Alliance.

Supported by the Israeli army

The White Helmets were picked up in the Golan Heights, overnight from Saturday to Sunday, on the border with Syria, and escorted by bus to Jordan by the Israeli army. An operation carried out at the request of several countries, notably Canada and the United States, as indicated by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “ A few days ago, President Trump contacted me, as did Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau and others, and asked me to help evacuate hundreds of "White Helmets" from Syria. These are people who saved lives. Therefore, I approved their passage through Israel to other countries, as an important humanitarian gesture. » (1)

A central role played by the UN

The UN played “ a central role » in this evacuation, says the American side. The White Helmets were thus immediately taken care of by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on a transit basis, until the resettlement procedures in third countries were completed.

Resettled in several countries

Canada has already indicated that it will welcome nearly 50 of these white helmets as well as their families (or approximately 250 people) as confirmed by several sources to CBC, according to Radio Canada. Germany affirmed, through its Minister of the Interior, Horst Seehofer, be ready to welcome eight of them. The United Kingdom must also welcome them.

An operation prepared on the sidelines of NATO

This evacuation would have been discussed and completed on the sidelines of the last NATO meeting. “ I recommended that leaders show global leadership to support and help these heroes “, confirmed Chrystia Freeland, the Canadian minister.

And France

France, said a communicated the Quai d'Orsay, was " actively involved in the steps taken with several partners” for the success of this operation. She " is ready to contribute to the support and protection of these people and their families », adds Paris. But without specifying for the moment the number of people welcomed.


White helmets threatened by the advance of the regime

« This commitment of the White Helmets deserves admiration and respect 'To highlighted German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. " Since the start of the Syrian conflict, [they] have saved more than 100 people. More than 000 of them paid with their lives” this commitment. Corn “with the advance of the regime, many white helmets were threatened ". Same tone in London: We pay tribute to the courageous and selfless work that White Helmets volunteers have done to save Syrians on all sides of the conflict. 'To declared British Minister Jeremy Hunt. Or in Washington. " We are happy that these brave volunteers, who saved thousands of lives, are now out of harm's way. 'To indicated the spokesperson for the US Secretary of State, Heather Nauert.

(1) “Several days ago President Trump contacted me, as did Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau and others, and requested that we assist in evacuating hundreds of 'white helmets' from Syria. These are people who have saved lives and whose lives were in danger. Therefore, I approved their passage through Israel to additional countries, as an important humanitarian gesture. " Source : Israeli Prime Minister.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).