16:02 GMT12 August 2020
Listen Live
    Get short URL

    Commenting on reports of the US decision to suspend funding for the White Helmets accused by Russia of spreading fake data about the use of chemical weapons in Syria, Moscow said that Western media should look into ways the NGO obtains its funding. Francesca Totolo, an independent Italian journalist, spoke with Sputnik about the issue.

    Sputnik: In your view, why has the US stopped funding the organization?

    Francesca Totolo: In the context of the sources used by the Western mainstream media to tell the war in Syria, the White Helmets organization has always been the most used source for spreading propaganda against President Bashar al-Assad and supporting the "moderate rebels". The White Helmets are a British non-governmental organization founded by James Le Mesurier, former officer of the British army and intelligence service, and former (perhaps) mercenary of the contractor company ACADEMI (Blackwater).

    We can not realistically talk about non-governmental organization because the White Helmets have received massive funding from various Western governments: the United States through USAID (the agency of the American government, created for the “export of democracy”, has officially donated 23 million dollars), Great Britain, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands.

    This photo provided by the Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows members of the Syrian Civil Defense group helping a wounded man after airstrikes hit Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, Syria, Thursday, March. 1, 2018
    © AP Photo / Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets
    At the beginning of last April, Donald Trump declared that he would immediately withdraw the troops deployed in Syria. The Pentagon's reaction soon came, leading to a series of pressures on the US president, such as those of the newly appointed Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joseph Dunford, which led to a rethinking of Trump.

    Coincidentally, after a few days, the White Helmets staged the chemical weapons attack on Douma, calling international attention against President Assad and expressly demanding an intervention by the "allied forces".

    I'm not so sure that the US government will actually stop funding the White Helmets organization. Maybe it's just another comedy from the American deep state to divert attention from such a useful tool to destabilize Syria.

    READ MORE: US Could Halt Funding White Helmets, Due to Facts of Douma Provocations — MoD

    Sputnik: How can this development impact the organization and the general situation in Syria?

    Francesca Totolo: I think it will not change anything at all. After the many and varied evidences of the organization's staging on the chemical weapons attack in Douma, probably the White Helmets will be replaced, to increase the credibility of the propaganda "pro regime change", by other NGOs already financed "for humanitarian purposes" since 2012 by the US government through USAID. Just to name a few: CARE International, Concern Worldwide, Global Communities, Humanity and Inclusion, International Medical Corps, International Rescue Committee, Islamic Relief USA, Relief International, and so on.

    The American deep state will hardly abandon Syria and its imperialist project.

    Sputnik: Some experts have pointed out that the funding may have been stopped due to Trump’s desire to roll back US involvement in Syria, what is your take on that?

    Francesca Totolo: As already explained, Donald Trump immediately corrected himself after the Pentagon pressures, declaring that he had renounced the immediate withdrawal of the military contingent from Syria, speaking of the defeat of ISIS [Daesh*] as a necessary condition.

    At the moment, the US President does not seem to have the internal political force to impose himself on the deep state that are infiltrating everywhere in the American administration.

    It will now be essential to see the developments on the Israeli offensive against Iran and the position the US will take on the issue.

    Sputnik: Apart from the US the White Helmets receive funding from other countries as well is it likely that if the US decides to stop financing the group other countries will follow?

    READ MORE: Western Media Would Believe Anything White Helmets Report – Italian Journalist

    Francesca Totolo:  In addition to the US, the main supporters of the White Helmets are Great Britain, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands, as reported on the organization's website.

    There may be a disengagement from other funding countries, but it will only be apparent. The White Helmets have become the fundamental allies of the so-called "moderate rebels", and therefore a very powerful weapon in the hands of the "allied forces" that it can easily be used as an intermediary with the contractor agencies and terrorist groups that, as we know, they were born with the approval of the Obama administration and its Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

    The views and opinions expressed in this article by Francesca Totolo are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Bashar al-Assad, United States, Syria
    Community standardsDiscussion