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26 July 2018, 01:32 | Tara Lloyd
Israel evacuates hundreds of White Helmets to Jordan in face of Syria advance
Kayed said those evacuated would stay in "a restricted area" of Jordan until they are transferred to the three countries within three months. "The situation is getting worse by the minute, especially after the batch of White Helmets who have managed to leave yesterday morning, the regime is looking for us".
The Syrian Government has condemned the evacuation of hundreds of Syrian White Helmet rescue workers and their families with the help of Israeli soldiers, calling it a "criminal operation" undertaken by "Israel and its tools".
"Our names were on the evacuation list from the beginning".
In the southwestern campaign, however, the White Helmets said the deals agreed "did not include any guarantees of safe passage for displaced humanitarian workers to other areas of Syria", making the worldwide evacuation necessary.
Regime forces backed by Russian Federation have continued their campaign in Daraa, aiming to retake areas still controlled by Islamic State group jihadists, which are not party to the Russia-backed withdrawal deals.
Despite the intervention, the IDF said that "Israel continues to maintain a non-intervention policy regarding the Syrian conflict".
Its main task soon became to rescue civilians in war zones in the immediate aftermath of air strikes, and it says its volunteers have saved the lives of more than 100,000 people during the civil war.
The Syrian Foreign Ministry, citing an unnamed official at the ministry, said on Monday that Damascus had previously warned about the unsafe role the White Helmets were playing in undermining the security and stability in the Arab country and in the region due to their "terrorist nature".
Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi saidon Twitter that 422 people were evacuated, instead of the initial 800 cleared for the operation. "The number requested was 800 but the actual number settled at 422", he added.
There is also video evidence of White Helmets "assisting" with a public execution by taking a man's body away from the scene after he was shot dead. "Saving lives is the biggest crime we are charged with; now we are called terrorists because we save lives".
They apologised saying it was an "error of judgement".
"It's our country and we have a right to live in it in safety", he told AFP, however adding he was among a minority who wished to remain.
The White Helmets came to prominence in 2012 for their work rescuing those trapped in rubble after air raids by Syrian government and Russian fighter jets.
The White Helmets have enjoyed backing and received finances and training from the United States and other Western nations for years. "We saw multiple platoons monitoring what's happening behind us".
Canada will resettle up to 50 White Helmets and their families, a Canadian official with direct knowledge of the resettlement efforts told CNN.
The United States praised Israel and Jordan for facilitating the evacuations and Britain, Canada and Germany for agreeing to give the evacuees new homes.
Canada previously resettled 25,000 Syrian refugees between September 2015 and February 2016.
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