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    White Helmets uniform found during the search of terrorists’ headquarters in Eastern Ghouta.

    US Rushes to Withdraw White Helmets as Syrian Army Advances in South - Reports

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    The self-described volunteer rescue group has been repeatedly accused by Damascus of being the "media arm" for Syrian jihadist groups, and been charged with staging false flag chemical attacks in a bid to prompt a Western military intervention in Syria.

    The US and its allies have ramped up plans to evacuate hundreds of members of the White Helmets and their families from southern Syria's Quneitra governorate as Syrian forces continue to clear the area from anti-government forces, US officials have told the AP.

    Two anonymous US officials said to be familiar with the evacuation plans noted that the US and its British and Canadian allies were leading the operation to evacuate members of the NGO out of Syria to neighboring countries, and then on to Western European countries including the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and possibly Canada.

    The officials and a member of the group AP reached for comment said the operation was likely to happen soon due to the Syrian military's continued push to expel militants from southern Syria. "These are hard hours and minutes. This is the worst day of my life. I hope they rescue us before it is too late," the White Helmets member said.

    This photo provided on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018 by the Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows Civil Defense workers inspecting a damages building after a bombing that targeted the office of Ajnad al-Koukaz, a militant group consisting of foreign fighters mostly from the Caucuses and Russia, in Idlib, Syria
    © AP Photo / Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets
    Planning for the operation was said to have been accelerated after last week's NATO summit. The evacuation is expected to take place from the small area of militant-controlled land left between Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, near a disengagement line which Tel Aviv set up in 1974 after the Yom Kippur War of 1973.

    The US temporarily froze $200 million in funding for so-called 'stabilization programs' involving Syria earlier this year amid President Trump's talk of withdrawing from Syria once Daesh (ISIS/ISIL)* was defeated, but went ahead with the release of $6.6 million for the White Helmets last month. Damascus issued a scathing criticism of the US decision, accusing Washington and its allies of supporting a group which serves as a "blatant embodiment of US, French, British and other states' support for various kinds of terrorism witnessed in Syria since 2011."

    Earlier, military sources speaking to Sputnik Arabic warned that their monitoring of the group led them to conclude that they may be preparing a new false flag chemical attack amid the Syrian army's advance. 

    The White Helmets are a self-described rescue organization founded by former British Army officer James Le Mesurier in 2014, and officially tasked with saving civilian lives in militant-controlled areas of Syria. Damascus and Moscow accuse the group of being a propaganda arm for the Nusra Front terror group**, and have provided extensive evidence and witness testimony of the group's propensity for staging fake attacks. In April, the US, France and Britain launched missile strikes against multiple targets around Syria, justifying them using 'video evidence' of an alleged chemical attack in Douma provided by the White Helmets. Subsequent investigations have shown that the video was a fake.

    *A terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.

    **A terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries. Also known as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham. Also described as al-Qaeda's Syrian branch.

    Related:

    West Scrambling to Find Options to Pull White Helmets Out of Syria – Reports
    Syria’s Idlib Residents Warn of Potential Provocation by White Helmets
    Syria Accuses US, UK, France of Backing Terror Through Support for White Helmets
    White Helmets Plotting False Flag Chemical Attack in Southern Syria – Sources
    Syrian Rights Group Reveals Why US Resuming Funding for Notorious White Helmets
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    reports, evacuation, withdrawal, White Helmets, Europe, Syria, United States
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