Faux Humanitarian Irwin Cotler, the White Helmets, and the Whitewashing of an Appalling Agenda


By Vanessa Beeley
Source: mintpressnews.com
On July 22, 2018, Israel organized and facilitated an exceptional evacuation of White Helmet operatives from southern Syria, claiming the operatives were at risk from an advancing Syrian Arab Army. A number of NATO member states backed the move, calling on Israel to bring their intelligence assets to safety.

The White Helmets have been discredited and exposed as a British-government-incubated project by a number of independent geopolitical analysts, including Scott Ritter, Philip Giraldi, John Pilger, Seymour Hersh, Eva Bartlett, Graham Porter, Rick Sterling , Cory Morningstar and many more.

This journalist’s extensive work has shown that the U.K. Intelligence-manufactured group of pseudo “humanitarians” — financed by the majority of member states within the U.S.-led interventionist alliance waging war against Syria — is nothing more than an auxiliary of the Al Qaeda generic offshoots in Syria. The White Helmet image has been professionally polished by a vast network of PR agencies, billionaire philanthropists, and media outlets aligned with their respective government objectives to overthrow the Syrian government and reduce Syria to a “failed state,” as they succeeded in doing with Libya.

Israel has a history of supporting terrorism in Syria since the start of the U.S. coalition war against the nation officially began in 2011. Israel has offered medical treatment to the various militant groups previously occupying areas of southern Syria. Stories abound of Israeli troops providing covering fire for groups dominated by Al Qaeda affiliates or rebrands as they came under attack from the Syrian Arab Army legitimately reclaiming territory lost to internationally-backed armed groups.

As journalist Sharmine Narwani pointed out in her article “Are Al Qaeda affiliates fighting alongside U.S. rebels in Syria’s south?”
“If forced to choose, Israel prefers the presence of terrorist groups to Iranian influence […] Israel is so heavily [in]vested in keeping Syria and its allies away from its borders, it has actively bolstered al-Qaeda and other extremists in Syria’s southern theater.”

Israel’s evacuation of the White Helmets was an extension of its terrorist-supporting operations in southern Syria — and a response to a cry for help from a U.S. ally that has also supported proxy terrorism in Syria for the last eight years. Certainly Israel would not lift a finger to help any entity opposed to its existence in the Middle East, regardless of the pressure brought to bear by its allies in the U.S. or the U.K. It must also be noted that Israel and NATO member states did not offer the same humanitarian assistance to ordinary Syrian refugees gathered at the borders with Jordan and in Israeli annexed territory.

The following video footage of the Israel forces enabling the White Helmet evacuation process was published on Twitter by former Israeli security affairs expert Shai Ben-Ari: Israel evacuates White Helmets

During my time in the southern region of Syria, I visited numerous abandoned White Helmet centers located, as they always seemed to be, next to armed group centers or in shared complexes, usually former schools, hospitals or industrial buildings that had been converted into military headquarters and munitions factories.

I followed the route taken before me by the White Helmets as they exited Syria into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights before being transported to Jordan for their onward journey to asylum in the U.K., Canada, France or Germany. Locals in the area told me that a significant number of leaders and fighters from armed groups had been evacuated alongside the White Helmets with no opposition from Israel.

On September 20, 2018, I managed to enter a still-operating White Helmet center in Daraa Al Balad, south of Damascus, and interview White Helmet members as they continued to work in areas still under the control of armed groups during ongoing Russian-brokered reconciliation talks. One of the White Helmets, Abu Mohanad Al Mahamid, told me:

“There are some [armed] factions connected with Israel; those factions were gathered by Israel in Quneitra and were told that you will [they would] leave with the White Helmets. By the way, the number of White Helmets in the southern area is 635, but those who left were 800. This means that there are [armed] factions who work with Mossad and they were extracted alongside the White Helmets… Not all those who left were White Helmets; there were people who left from Quneitra. There were terrorists; some left from the Yarmouk Basin.”

When asked to clarify who the terrorists from Yarmouk Basin were, Al Mahamid confirmed that they were ISIS fighters.

During the dramatic evacuation of the White Helmets, former U.K. Ambassador to Syria Peter Ford responded to a statement issued by U.K. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt. Ford raised a number of questions regarding the extradition of the White Helmets, perhaps one of the most pertinent being this:

“Might the British government have been afraid of this particular group being caught and interrogated, revealing perhaps the truth about alleged chemical weapons incidents?”

In December of 2018, Jordanian Member of Parliament Tareq Khoury demanded that the “dregs of White Helmets” still in Jordan be extradited as traitors to their homeland to face justice inside Syria.

“It is known they are traitors,” he said, adding:

“Treason is a shameful and disgraceful act. Whoever betrays his homeland and his people will not spare the homeland of others. There are many stories throughout history in which traitors are eliminated by their operators when their dirty missions against their homelands are finished… I urge the Jordanian government to hand over those remaining [White Helmets] to the Sryian state to try them for betraying their homeland.”

Who orchestrated this exceptional rescue?
When the pedigree of those behind the White Helmet evacuation is more closely examined, Israel’s outsized role in the promotion and protection of the internationally financed group becomes more even more apparent.

Rewind to the hatching of the White Helmet “rescue” plan. On July 24, 2018, The Globe and Mail ran a story headlined: “How Canada’s woman in Istanbul began the daring rescue of the White Helmets.” The article outlines how White Helmets leader Raed Saleh approached Robin Wettlaufer, Canada’s Istanbul-based special envoy to Syria, for help.

Saleh has a history of being refused entry to the U.S. He was turned back at Dulles Airport in 2016 because of his suspected ties to extremist groups in Syria. This inconvenient fact was wiped from his immigration slate by former Obama administration Secretary of State John Kerry and Saleh was subsequently allowed to enter the United States in September 2016. Kerry met Saleh during a closed-door session at the U.N., where the then-secretary of state had convened a meeting with members of the Syrian opposition, including members of armed groups. Incidentally, it was during these talks that Kerry famously admitted to the Obama administration’s support for ISIS in Syria in leaked audio published by the New York Times.

According to the Globe and Mail, Canada was being “hailed for its leadership” of the White Helmet rescue mission. Chrystia Freeland, Canadian foreign minister and former Globe and Mail editor, used a July NATO summit in Brussels to issue a plea on behalf of the White Helmets, which persuaded both Germany and Britain to accept a number of the high-profile “refugees.”

Former MI6 intelligence operative and creator of the White Helmets, James Le Mesurier, praised Canada’s initiative and singled out Wettlauger for praise. “Robin has been absolutely extraordinary; …the drive, the galvanization came from Canada,” Le Mesurier told the Globe and Mail.

As time passed, another individual was revealed to have been at the forefront of the Canada-led campaign. In October 2018, the Globe and Mail ran another story identifying Irwin Cotler’s role in the operation.

Renowned international human-rights lawyer Irwin Cotler is nominating Syria’s famed White Helmets, a group of volunteer humanitarian workers Canada helped rescue from the war-torn country, for the Nobel Peace Prize 2019.”

Cotler, the former Liberal minister of justice and attorney general for Canada, was a crucial element in the White Helmets rescue bid and was called upon to broker an agreement for the mission with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Why is Irwin Cotler so invested in the White Helmets?

Cotler’s history and connections reveal a high-profile global player who has consistently defended Israel’s appalling human-rights record in Palestine and is a tireless promoter of the responsibility to protect doctrine or R2P.

R2P is one of the most enterprising propaganda initiatives of the global powers aligned with U.S. supremacy and neo-colonialism. It effectively provides the moral justification to invade or attack any country whose government is deemed repressive toward its people.
Of course, those who decide what countries are repressive are the same ones with a history of militarily subjugating sovereign nations, plundering their resources, and in most cases ultimately reducing the quality of life for those same “repressed people.” This, on top of the years or even decades of bloodshed that leave behind depleted uranium and psychological trauma that will affect those “repressed people” for generations once the campaign has succeeded in reducing these nations to failed states.

The R2P doctrine has become one of the most insidious instruments used by global hegemons to manufacture consent for the myriad forever-wars of various intensities that are currently plaguing most regions of the world. It sells the “humanitarian value” of war and obfuscates hidden interests that are the true driver of modern-day colonization projects.

Cotler has hung the R2P Sword of Damocles over the heads of both Syria and Libya. In 2016 he accused Canada of “defaulting” on its responsibility to intervene in Syria, reinforcing the hyperbole used to facilitate another “humanitarian” war:

That doctrine [R2P] says that whenever there is a situation of war crimes and crimes against humanity and, God forbid, genocide, and the country in which it takes place is the author of that criminality, there is a responsibility to intervene and protect the innocent civilians. And I think we have defaulted on that — not just Canada, the international community — with respect to Syria.”

In 2011, Cotler argued that intervention in Libya to effectively bring down President Muammar Qaddafi would be a “test case for the UN Security Council and its implementation of the R2P doctrine.” History has since revealed that many of those “mass atrocities” so vehemently condemned by Cotler were little more than narratives designed to manufacture consent for the wholesale destruction of Libya by NATO member states.

The reality of Cotler’s campaigns for foreign regime change or intervention is that they almost always march in lock-step with neoconservative U.S. foreign policy. His “humanitarian” branding is but a thin veneer of hypocrisy that attempts to conceal his establishment policies — policies that almost always serve the interests of Israel.

Canadian author and journalist Yves Engler has waged a long-time campaign against Cotler’s crypto-neocolonialism. When former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin nominated Cotler for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, alongside Cotler’s own nomination of the White Helmets, Engler wrote an article titled “Canada’s Dershowitz, apologist for Israeli war crimes, nominated for Peace prize.”

In the article Engler lays out a convincing argument that Cotler is a serial apologist for Israel’s genocidal policies towards the Palstinian people. Engler reveals that Cotler was a long-time unofficial advisor to the former Israeli military chief of staff, General Moshe Ya’alon. Ya’alon is on the record saying that Israel “has a right to every part of the land of Israel.” In 2002, Ya’alon told a conference of rabbis in Jerusalem: “The Palestinian threat harbors cancer-like attributes that have to be severed and fought to the bitter end.”

Cotler’s own daughter, attorney Michal Cotler-Wunsh, was included in a joint list of Israel’s Resilience and Telem Party candidates headed by former Chiefs of Staff Benny Gantz and Moshe Ya’alon.

Cotler-Wunsh was “born in Jerusalem, served in the Israeli military and obtained law degrees from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.” The Cotler family connections to extreme right-wing elements of the Israeli ruling elite could not be stronger or better defined.

To launch the Telem Party campaign, Gantz released a video celebrating his role in the massacre of 2,200 Palestinians during the 2014 “mowing the lawn” bombing campaign in Gaza. For Gantz, “parts of Gaza [being] sent back to the Stone Age” was a victory for “peace” in the region. A “peace” that only Israel would benefit from. In his article, Engler points out that Gantz faces a war-crimes case in the Netherlands for his participation in the 2014 campaign that claimed the lives of civilians in Gaza and reduced much of the besieged enclave to rubble, destroying infrastructure and ensuring living conditions were reduced to sub-third-world status.

In his staunch defense of Israel, Cotler has described illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank as “disputed territories” and justified the 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon that left 1,200 mostly civilians dead. He has consistently attempted to derail investigations into Israeli war crimes — savagely attacking Richard Goldstone, who led the UN investigation of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead, which killed 1,400 Palestinians in Gazain 2008 and 2009.

Cotler and Venezuela
It should come as no surprise that Cotler’s support for U.S.-backed foreign interventions extends to the other side of the Atlantic as well. In Venezuela, he has been instrumental in furthering the U.S. agenda and undermining governance in an independent and sovereign state.

Cotler has gone so far as to state that “recognizing Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s leader is not a coup, it’s an embrace of democracy.” Cotler has called for the delegitimization of the Maduro government, and the sanctioning of top officials to hasten the demise of Maduro and to “speed the transition to democratic governance” in Venezuela. He described the Venezuelan government as being responsible for the “worst ever humanitarian crisis in the region,” while ignoring the U.S. role in creating and maintaining that “humanitarian crisis” through crippling sanctions aimed at undermining the Maduro government. This is such a textbook regime-change script and Cotler adheres to it without deviation.

In his exposé on Cotler, Engler claims that Cotler has been working with Guaido’s right-wing Popular Will Party for four years with the aim of ousting the Maduro government. Regional media outlet VenezuelaAnalysis pointed out that Cotler was “one of three international experts” responsible for a 400-page Canadian-backed Organization of American States (OAS) report on rights violations in Venezuela. The panel recommended OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro “submit the report to the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC [International Criminal Court] and that other states refer Venezuela to the ICC.”

Cotler’s dedication to the “mobilization of shame against human-rights violators” is invariably directed against states and leaders who oppose U.S. global supremacy.

Cotler on Iran and Syria
In 2012 the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that the U.S. State Department had reportedly removed Iran’s Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) from the terrorism list. According to the article:

Iranian Americans sympathetic to the plight of MEK enlisted the support of a number of pro-Israel figures, including Nobel Peace laureate and Holocaust memoirist Elie Wiesel; Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz; and Irwin Cotler, the former Canadian justice minister. “ (emphasis added)

As an aside, earlier this year the White Helmets were recipients of the Elie Wiesel Award from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (HMM) for their “work” in Syria. Raed Saleh was available to receive the award on behalf of Al Qaeda’s auxiliaries and simultaneously picked up a check from the U.S. government for $5 million to “help us with acquiring ambulances and to help us with search and rescue operations.”

Former CIA counter-terrorism officer Philip Giraldi wrote a scathing article condemning the hypocrisy of the award, the irony of the taxpayer-funded HMM honoring what he called a “terrorist group … used in support of Israeli propaganda vis-a-vis Syria.” Giraldi concluded:

“Perhaps, while they are at it, the museum’s board just might also want to check out Elie Wiesel, for whom the award is named. Wiesel, who was a chronicler of Jewish victimhood while persistently refusing to acknowledge what Israel was doing to the Palestinians, notoriously mixed fact and fiction in his best-selling Holocaust memoir, Night. Ironically, the award and recipient are well matched in this case, as mixing fact and fiction is what both Elie Wiesel and the White Helmets are all about.”

Cotler, Wiesel’s comrade in defending the MEK and promoting the White Helmets, was responsible for the organization of three “Iran Accountability” weeks. In 2014 Cotler invited Maryam Rajavi, leader of the MEK, to appear in the program alongside UN human-rights officials and “pundits from a hawkish American think tank.” Cotler later argued that Rajavi’s inclusion in the event was “issue specific,” but his prior support for this brutal terrorist cult undermines such an argument.

Cotler employs blatant “human rights” double standards in his condemnation of governments in U.S. and Israeli crosshairs, while systematically ignoring the appalling human-rights records of governments or organizations included within the U.S. circle of power.

As in Syria, it seems that prominent neoconservatives will favor terrorist groups over legitimate governments that are perceived to threaten Israeli security in the region.

Cotler is also a member of the International Council of Jewish Parliamentarians (ICJP). The ICJP has operated under the auspices of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) since 2006. Democratic Congressman Eliot Engel (NY-16), is chairman of the ICJP and vice president of the WJC. Engel is another vociferous supporter of the MEK.

Engel presented a “gift of appreciation” to Cotler during a dinner at the King David Hotel in 2015, on behalf of the WJC. “If one looks to this generation and seeks a role model, that would be Irwin Cotler,” Engel said.

Engel connects again with Cotler in his condemnation of the Syrian government and support for increased “humanitarian” military intervention in Syria. Engel was responsible for the Caesar Civilian Protection Act, which was ostensibly introduced to increase economic sanctions against the Syrian government based upon claims made by an alleged former Syrian military photographer in the questionable Caesar Report. That report was commissioned by the government of Qatar, a Gulf State heavily invested in the financing of terrorist groups and the White Helmets in Syria.

The Caesar Civilian Protection Act will effectively collectively punish the Syrian people for resisting efforts to destabilize their country and topple their elected government in the time honored tradition of U.S. Coalition sanctions that can only be considered siege warfare or economic terrorism. The orchestrators of this vindictive measure clearly have their roots in the neoconservative camp in the U.S.

There are now two more elements of Cotler’s influence on the global stage that I would like to examine in some detail. Cotler has been at the forefront of the new cold war campaigns to criminalize Russia, but that warrants an entire article dedicated to Cotler’s war against the Russian government’s perceived “culture of corruption and criminality.” Cotler was instrumental in introducing the controversial “Magnitsky Law” (Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act) in Canada to “fight Russian thuggery,” and for promoting the adoption of the Magnitsky Act by all aligned governments.

The Cotler-Dershowitz partnership
Alan Dershowitz, a controversial figure in his own right, has described Cotler as “his mirror image in Canada.” The Cotler-Dershowitz double act is a longstanding and powerful partnership with far-reaching influence among the world’s most powerful entities.

Dershowitz, and American lawyer and academic, was heavily implicated in the recent Jeffrey Epstein scandal that has sent shock waves through the establishment ruling classes, exposing decades of depravity among the most powerful sectors of society and a blackmail cartel that profited from the sexual perversion of their billionaire clients from within capitalist, political and intelligence inner circles.

Dershowitz negotiated the “sweetheart plea” for Epstein that allowed him a “work release provision throughout his 13 months in Palm Beach County Jail” in 2008, when Epstein faced charges of sexually abusing under-age girls at his Palm Beach mansion. Dershowitz denied claims that an under-age child and a woman were forced to have sex with him by Epstein and his girlfriend, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell.
Award-winning journalist Whitney Webb is publishing a series of articles for MintPress News detailing the horrifying implications of the Epstein case and the origins of this underworld-sanctioned debauchery. I asked Webb for a comment on the Dershowitz connections to Epstein and his role in furthering the U.S./Neocon “humanitarian” war agenda. She told me:

“Alan Dershowitz is an individual deeply involved in the pro-Israel lobby and has close ties to influential figures in the U.S. and Israel like casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson. In his pro-Israel activism, Dershowitz fits well with Cotler’s efforts to “shame” groups that run counter to their policy goals, and this has recently been seen in how Dershowitz has sought to initimidate and shame the young women who have accused him and his friend Jeffrey Epstein of rape.”

In 2016 Dershowitz nominated Cotler for the Nobel Peace Prize. Like his “heroes” in the White Helmets — who have, themselves, been unsuccessfully nominated several times — Cotler has yet to succeed in his bid for the ultimate “humanitarian” prize.

While Cotler may promote his hawkish policies under the cover of “humanitarian” branding, Dershowitz has openly advocated torture under specific condtions and argued that non-lethal “torturous techniques of interrogation should indeed be legally authorized.”
Dershowitz seems to endorse torture if the government makes the decision to torture an individual under any “reasonable” pretext. This is effectively the legitimization of state torture, which could very possibly be used against anyone classified by the government as high risk.

The Jewish Coalition for Kurdistan
The Brussels-based Jewish Coalition for Kurdistan (JCFK) counts Dershowitz and Cotler among its pro-Israel members. The JCFK website declares its mission to support independence for Iraqi Kurdistan:
The Jewish Coalition for Kurdistan is committed to deepening friendship between the Jewish and Kurdish people worldwide, and supporting the further development and consolidation of relations between Kurdistan and the State of Israel, the only two democratic and pro-Western societies in the Middle East.” (emphasis added)
This project brings Cotler and Dershowitz into alliance with Bernard Henri Levy, a French-Jewish philosopher with a deadly reputation for fomenting and supporting neocolonialist projects around the world, but perhaps most notoriously in Libya. Levy has been a long-time supporter of Kurdish “independence.”

While it would take a separate article to fully explore the neoconservative weaponization of Kurdish independence to weaken, destabilize and partition target states, including Syria, Iraq and Iran, the involvement of these three empire builders in the “cause” and the marketing of Kurdistan as the other “democratic and pro-Western society” in the Middle East must indicate the direction in which this campaign is heading: the balkanization of the Middle East.

Bringing down nations and trafficking children
Cotler must be considered a “humanitarian” fraud when one takes into account the extensive damage caused to nations that have had to resist one interventionist war after another by his neocon-aligned policies. Policies designed to remove non-aligned governments and collectively punish the non-aligned citizens of those countries.
In his 2019 petition against the nomination of Cotler for the Nobel “Peace Prize, Iranian-Canadian activist Mehdi Samadian states:
The petition organizers believe that Irwin Cotler has supported and advocated for political actors and policies instigating conflicts and prolonging instability at the international stage.”

Cotler’s protectionist campaign on behalf of the White Helmets should raise alarm bells among the legions of Palestinian movement supporters and ostensibly pro-Palestine journalists and talking heads who have promoted the concept of a grassroots “Syrian revolution” to their substantial Western audiences.
Whether wittingly or unwittingly, media personalities like C.J Werleman, George Monbiot, Nafeez Ahmed, Jon Snow of U.K. Channel 4, and many others have vehemently leapt to the defense of the White Helmets and joined the chorus of attacks and smears against journalists and academics who have dared to question the credibility of the organization financed by the U.S. Coalition that so clearly collaborates with the terrorist groups committing heinous crimes against the Syrian people.

Israel’s involvement in the evacuation of the White Helmets and the subsequent promotion of the group by personalities and governments heavily invested in expanding Israel’s interests must highlight who the organization serves in the region — and I do not believe it is the Syrian people, as their PR agencies claim.

Cotler’s “human rights credentials are a sham” according to Engler. Much has been made of his role as legal advisor to late South African President Nelson Mandela. Yet South Africa’s ambassador to Venezuela, Pandit Thaninga Shope-Linney, apparently denies this claim, thus stripping Cotler of his most potent “humanitarian” identity. According to Engler, Mandela himself does not name Cotler in his biography, although he does mention other lawyers by name.
Cotler has been merciless in pursuit of China for its alleged record of “gruesome organ trade.” Why then does Cotler not equally condemn Israel for its appalling history of organ trafficking and theft, particularly in Palestine?

In 2009, Nancy Scheper-Hughes was Chancellor’s Professor of Medical Anthropology at the University of California Berkeley, the founder of Organ Watch and author of a number of academic books on organ trafficking. I have taken the following quote from an article by long-time author and journalist Alison Weir:

“While Scheper-Hughes emphasizes that traffickers come from numerous nations and ethnicities, including Americans and Arabs, ‘Israel,’ she states, ‘is at the top. It has tentacles reaching out worldwide.’ … In a lecture last year she explained that Israeli organ traffickers ‘have a pyramid system at work that’s awesome…they have brokers everywhere, bank accounts everywhere; they’ve got recruiters, they’ve got translators, they’ve got travel agents who set up the visas.”

What is perhaps even more disturbing and ominous is the fact that Cotler has not addressed the accusations of organ trafficking levied against the White Helmets themselves by the Syrian civilians who were forced to live under their occupation in areas of Syria formerly under the control of terrorist groups partnered by the very organization that Cotler nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2019.
Cotler has not only defended the White Helmets, but he has also lauded them and invested his reputation in the whitewashing of their image. Cotler is a powerful sympathizer of the Israeli government and influencer with connections that reach into the darkest corners of state affairs in Canada, the U.S. and Israel. He has not chosen to ally himself with this fraudulent and criminal organization by chance.

Cotler’s mirror image in America is Alan Dershowitz, this, according to Dershowitz himself, accused of sexual abuse, defense lawyer for a convicted serial child-abuser and advocate for state-controlled torture. More recently, Dershowitz argued that “puberty is arriving earlier, particularly among some ethnic groups,” in light of which Dershowitz proposes that the age of consent in America should be lowered. Or, as Whitney Webb commented, “Alan Dershowitz is now making a ‘constitutional’ argument to legalize statutory rape.”
Dershowitz is effectively suggesting that if a child reaches puberty at the age of 10, they are to be considered a legitimate target for sexual predators — interesting timing as the Epstein scandal storm gathers.

We can only speculate that there is a connection between the White Helmets, accused of multiple child abductions and organ trafficking, and the nefarious activities connected to one of their staunchest supporters: Irwin Cotler and his double-act partner Alan Dershowitz. It certainly warrants a deeper investigation.

Vanessa Beeley is an independent journalist and photographer who has worked extensively in the Middle East – on the ground in Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Palestine, while also covering the conflict in Yemen since 2015. In 2017 Vanessa was a finalist for the prestigious Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism which was won by the much-acclaimed Robert Parry that year. In 2018 Vanessa was named one of the 238 most respected journalists in the UK by the British National Council for the Training of Journalists. In 2019, Vanessa was among recipients of the Serena Shim Award for uncompromised integrity in journalism. Vanessa contributes regularly to Mint Press News, Russia Today, UK Column, The Last American Vagabond, Sputnik radio, 21st Century Wire and many other independent media outlets. Please support her work at her https://www.patreon.com/vanessabeeley Patreon Page.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.




Israeli media reveals occupation government’s involvement in fabrication of chemical incidents by White Helmets


Source: SANA
By Hazem Sabbagh
Occupied Al-Quds, SANA – After years of denial hiding behind the lie of “humanitarian work,” the Israeli media revealed the Israeli occupation government’s involvement in the fabrication of chemical incidents by terrorist organizations in Syria.

A televised report by the Israeli Channel 12 confirmed that the Israeli occupation government supervised and cooperated with the “White Helmets” terrorists to stage fake chemical incidents to frame the Syrian Arab Army, which were later promoted by Western and Gulf media outlets to serve as pretext for a military attack on Syria.

This is the first open and clear acknowledgement of the Israeli role in supporting the White Helmets, which had previously denied having any relations with the Israeli entity despite the fact that the Israeli government had evacuated 800 of the White Helmets members and their relatives from the south of Syria upon an American request.




Idlib: White Helmets, Tahrir Al-Sham Preparing for New False-Flag Chemical Attacks


Source: Fars News Agency
The pro-militant White Helmets Organization and Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) terrorists with the help of European experts are planning to transfer poisonous materials to new locations in Southern Idlib in preparation for a false-flag chemical attack, an Arab media outlet reported on Sunday.

Idlib
The Arabic-language service of Russian Sputnik News Agency reported that Tahrir al-Sham terrorists have transferred a chlorine cargo to Southern Idlib from the command center of Turkistani Islamic Party in Jisr al-Shoghour region.

The source noted that the chemical consignment comprised of five cargos of chlorine gas sent by two ambulances belonging to the White Helmets and under the supervision of three foreign experts from the UK and Belgium.

It said that the chlorine capsules are now stored in warehouses with cooling facilities in Khan Sheikhoun region in Southwestern Idlib.

The report comes as Russia had warned last Thursday about terrorists’ efforts to stage false-flag chemical attack on civilians to later accuse the Syrian army of the attack.

Also on Sunday, a number of commanders of Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay’at defected the terrorist group after differences among them increased in Idlib province.

The Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper quoted sources close to the terrorists in Northern Syria as saying that Abu Qaizan al-Misri, a notorious commander of Tahrir al-Sham, has defected the group, adding that he had differences with Tahrir al-Sham ringleader Abu Mohammad Jolani on Turkey after the latter’s support for the Turkish army’s operations in Eastern Euphrates.

Other reports also said that Abu Malik al-Tali, another senior commander of Tahrir al-Sham with close ties to Jolani, who was the terrorist group’s main man to supervise commanders has also defected Tahrir al-Sham.

In another development in the past few days, a number of Tahrir al-Sham commanders and members, including one of the Egyptian leaders of the group named Abu Mus’ab Misri, were killed by unknown assailants in Idlib province.

Also in the past 24 hours, the Syrian army heavily pounded the military positions and movements of the terrorists in Northern Hama and Southern Idlib after warding off their offensive.

The Syrian Army attacks came in response to the Turkistani Islamic Party attacks on their positions in Northern Hama and Southern Idlib.

The Syrian Army heavily pounded the terrorists’ movements and military positions in the villages of al-Sarmanieh, Havash, al-Hoveijeh to North and Northwest of Hama, inflicting heavy losses on them.

In Southern Idlib, the Syrian Army also fended off an attack by Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay’at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) on their positions from al-Hobait and al-Kasik.

The terrorists sustained heavy losses in the failed attacks on the Syrian Army military positions.

The Syrian Army units also pounded the terrorists’ military positions in the village of Safouhen in Jabal al-Zawiyeh in Southern Idlib, destroying one of their arms depot and military equipment.

The Syrian Army also destroyed the headquarters of the terrorists in Northern Hama and Southern Idlib as government troops continue to repel attacks by the militants in the same region.

Aleppo

The US Army continued reinforcing its military bases in Syria despite US President Donald Trump’s declared decision for a pullout.

Field sources reported that a massive US military convoy has been sent to a US-controlled military base in Eastern Euphrates in Aleppo province.

The sources noted that the US military convoy crossed into Syria from Iraqi Kurdistan Region via al-Walid passage with the help of the US-backed Kurdish militants.

They said that the US troops have sent a sum of 70 trucks and oil tankers carrying logistical support, ammunition, military equipment and vehicles for a military base near Ain al-Arab in Northeastern Aleppo which is the largest US military base in Northern Syria.

The dispatch of new military convoys by the US comes while President Trump has declared a pullout of the US troops from Syria.

Hasaka

Displaced Syrian people sheltering in al-Hawl camp occupied by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Eastern Hasaka staged massive rallies over the death of tens of children.

Field sources from Hasaka province reported that the rallies were held on Saturday to protest at SDF’s incapability to supply the needs of the displaced community sheltered in the camp.

The camp populatoin are suffering lack of basic needs and commodities, hygiene and cold which have led to the death of at least 36 children so far, the locals said.




White Helmets, Black Hearts


By Jeremy Salt
Source: American Herald Tribune
In 2016 the White Helmets were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Justin Timberlake thought they should get it. So did Bear Grylls, Ben Affleck, Michael Palin, Daniel Craig, Rowan Williams, Ridley Scott, George Clooney, Sacha Baron Cohen, Vanessa Redgrave and various other artists, writers, and politicians who put their signatures to the petition on the White Helmets web site.

‘Give it to Syria’s White Helmets’ theGuardian, a media mainstay of the terrorist war on Syria from the beginning, implored the Nobel committee. ‘They embody a spirit of civic resistance.’

The actor George Clooney also identified their essential goodness. ‘In a world full of hate these people put on helmets and run towards violence while everyone else is running away from it,’ he said in London when attending a showing of the glowing documentary the White Helmets made about themselves.

On their website, the White Helmets describe themselves as ‘former tailors, bakers, teachers and other ordinary Syrians’ who had come together to form the ‘Syria Civil Defence’. In fact, Syria has, and has had since the 1950s, a government civil defense organization of the same name, which operates across the country, unlike the White Helmets, which has operated only in ‘rebel’ held areas.

Furthermore, far from being an organization set up by ‘ordinary Syrians’ who saw a need for ‘civil defense’ and decided to fill it, the White Helmets were not even Syrian in origin but the brainchild of a former British intelligence officer. Furthermore, again, they were never financially independent, as they claimed, but were funded from the beginning by the same governments making war on Syria through armed proxies tied to their intelligence services. They were a carefully constructed arm of this war.

The White Helmets were a sustained lie from the start. They were deliberately packaged to give the corporate media the images it wanted, dominated by the White Helmet hero scurrying across a rubble-strewn foreground with a dusty, crying child in his arms. In the background, out of sight but figuratively represented in the wailing of children and the bodies on the street were the architects of these horrors, the ‘regime’ in Damascus and the dictator sitting in his palace.

It was not long before holes began to appear in the narrative. These rescues were not genuine but were being staged for media consumption. Journalists Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett were the first to pick holes in the narrative and the more they picked the more the holes widened, to the point where it was clear that the White Helmets were a scam of the first order.

But they were a scam the governments making war on Syria wanted their people to believe and a scam that the corporate media perpetuated, when the most cursory research would have revealed the lies.

The White Helmets were not just working in ‘rebel-held’ areas, a media euphemism for civilian districts taken over by the most violent terrorist groups on the face of the earth. They were an extension of these groups. They boasted of their affinities on their Facebook pages. They hated the Syrian government with the same fervor as the takfiris. They also reviled the Alawi, the Shia, Christians and Sunni Muslims who fell short of the takfiris’ exacting standards.

Many White Helmets doubled up as ‘first responders’ and takfiri gunmen. They operated completely under the instructions of the takfiris. They took away the bodies of the newly executed for burial and staged chemical weapons attacks as required. As evidence gathered by Russian researchers indicates, they were also involved in the harvesting of body organs from the bodies of wounded civilians.

These activities were all funded by the ‘liberal democracies,’ including the UK, the US, the EU and individual EU governments, including Denmark and Germany, nominally committed to fighting terrorism around the world.

By 2017 the British Foreign Office alone had paid the White Helmets an acknowledged $80 million. Outside money had even come from the Jo Cox Foundation, set up in memory of the British Labor politician, murdered in 2016, to work for a ‘fairer, kinder and more tolerant world.’

The contradictions in western attitudes were exemplified when Raed Saleh, the head of the White Helmets, and the recipient of millions of dollars in US aid, travelled to the US in 2016 to receive a humanitarian award and was turned back at Dulles International Airport in Washington.

Although the Department of Homeland Security never makes its reasons public, Saleh was clearly on a security/terrorist watch list. He had been allowed into the country before but this time he was turned away.

Waiting to greet him, the well-meaning but naïve members of the InterAction NGO alliance donned white helmets in his absence. Unfortunately, they are not likely to see the White Helmets being outed anywhere in the US media.

The Russian Foundation for the Study of Democracy recently compiled evidence based on extensive interviews in Syria with hundreds of witnesses, including former White Helmets and takfiri fighters, physicians and civilians living in areas that had been taken over by takfiri groups.

The interviews indicated that many of the White Helmets were not volunteers as claimed. In East Aleppo men were imprisoned and given time to decide whether to join Jabhat al Nusra or the White Helmets. It had to be one or the other. There was no third option unless saying ‘no’ to both and facing execution can be considered an option.

For some, joining the White Helmets was the only means of survival for themselves and their families but once inside the organization, everyone knew orders had to be obeyed whatever they were.

These orders came from the takfiri groups. A member of Jaysh al Islam’s internal security services told Russian researchers that instructions were delivered to the White Helmets by phone or personal messenger but either way, they were under the full control of Jaysh al Islam.

After eastern Ghouta was taken over by the takfiris it was divided into four sectors. The White Helmets in the district were integrated with the takfiri group assigned responsibility for each sector.

Along with faked chemical weapons attacks, setting up faked ‘regime’ bombings in line with instructions from the takfiri groups was a specialty of the White Helmets media unit. Witnesses gave evidence of bodies being brought from the morgue and the wounded from the hospital in preparation for faked attacks. Wrecked cars would be dragged to the site. The stage having been set with the apparent consequences of a ‘regime’ bombing, tyres and trash would be set on fire and the cameras would begin to roll.

In Douma, the White Helmets constructed barriers, dug trenches and tunnels, and transported fighters, weapons, and ammunition to the front lines. According to witness evidence, they were permanently engaged in preparing battle positions for the takfiris. White Helmet or ‘rebel’ media rooms or centers kept the global corporate media supplied with a steady flow of lies which were eagerly lapped up, no questions asked. The lies included the faked 2018 chemical weapons attack in Douma.

Theft was a common perquisite of being a White Helmet. Money and gold would be stolen from houses and jewelry stripped from the living – usually women – as well as the dead. Senior White Helmet figures enriched themselves, one in Douma buying cars and summer houses.

In the districts, they occupied the takfiris and the White Helmets shared office space. They took over schools and kindergartens. Under the threat of death, teachers in eastern Ghouta were told to send their students to religious schools. Students at the Gaza school in Aleppo were told to seek their education at the mosque.

The most heinous of White Helmet activities was the harvesting of body organs. Statements made to the Russian researchers indicated that organs were being removed in Turkey for transplantation into the bodies of wounded fighters and that the White Helmets and takfiri groups such as Ahrar al-Sham acted as an integrated team throughout the whole process.

The Russian researchers heard extensive prima facie evidence of the wounded being taken away for treatment by the White Helmets and being returned as corpses stripped of their body parts. A doctor in Aleppo gave evidence relating to a driver in Aleppo who weighed about 70 kgs when taken away and about 30-45 kgs when his corpse was returned. He had been cut from his throat to his stomach.

‘The skin almost touched his back,’ the doctor said. ‘I touched him with my hand and understood that there were clearly no organs left.’

In Aleppo the mother of a boy whose organs had been removed was only allowed to see his head and neck. An injured girl was taken to Turkey for ‘treatment’ and her body returned three days later with her internal organs missing. Even a person with a minor injury would be taken away and returned with the stomach cut open and the organs removed. It was understood, according to witnesses, that people taken away for medical treatment by the White Helmets often did not come back alive.

In July, 2018, 429 members of the White Helmets were smuggled out of Syria across the occupied Golan Heights and moved immediately to Jordan. The transfer was facilitated by the government of Israel which had armed the takfiris and given hospital care to their wounded since the beginning of the war. It had also helped and protected them by attacking Syrian military installations and now it was saving their White Helmet enablers from the retribution of the Syrian state and people.

From Jordan, the White Helmets were dispersed among the countries whose governments had supported them. They were quickly whisked away into a life of anonymity, supported by the British, European or American taxpayer. No one would know where they were or who they were so no critical questions could be asked. The truth was being buried with them.

This is a shocking story, of government criminality and media irresponsibility, of which the lies fed to the world about the White Helmets is only part.

The Russian report is a significant addition to the enormous body of prime facie evidence about the real nature of the White Helmets but as anything coming out of Russia is instantly dismissed as ‘fake news’ the corporate media already has a licensed reason to ignore this report.

The caravan of celebrities who moved quickly to capture some of the limelight created by the White Helmets, without asking any questions about what they were actually supporting, without caring as long as some of the spotlight fell on them, will move on in their narcissistic, feckless fashion.

The truth must have dawned on George Clooney by now. Certainly, it would be surprising to see him going ahead with his feature film on the White Helmets unless he intends to show what they were really like behind the lies he and many others swallowed. That’s the story that certainly needs to be told.

Carla Ortiz video on White Helmets HQ in Aleppo

UN Panel Details Organ Theft, Staged Attacks by the White Helmets
As 2018, a year of staggering corporate media fake news, drew to a close so do the last vestiges of credibility of media lauding the White Helmets.

By Eva Bartlett
Source: Mint Press News
Utter silence. That is the sound of Western corporate media days after a more than one-hour-long panel on the White Helmets at the United Nations on December 20.

Journalists were present, so the silence isn’t due to lack of access. And in any case, it was live streamed on the UNTV channel and remains available on Youtube for keen observers to watch.

More likely, the silence is due to the irrefutable documentation presented on the faux-rescue group’s involvement in criminal activities, which include organ theft, working with terrorists — including as snipers — staging fake rescues, thieving from civilians, and other non-rescuer behavior.

On the panel was one of corporate media’s favourite targets to smear, British journalist Vanessa Beeley, who gave a fact-based lecture on her years of research into the founding, funding and nefarious activities of the White Helmets, research which includes numerous visits to White Helmets centers, countless testimonies from Syrian civilians, and even an interview with a White Helmets leader in Dara’a al-Balad, Syria.

Maxim Grigoriev, the director of the Foundation for the Study of Democracy (a member of the UN’s Global Counter-Terrorism Research Network) spoke at length, detailing some of the over 100 eyewitnesses his foundation has conducted interviews with.

These include over 40 White Helmets members, 15 former terrorists, 50 people from areas where terrorists and WH operated, with another over 500 interviewed by survey in Aleppo and Daraa.

Among testimonies presented by Grigoriev were numerous accounts of the White Helmets’ involvement in organ theft.

A head of nursing in Aleppo is cited as seeing the body of his neighbor who had been taken by the White Helmets to Turkey for “treatment.”

I lifted the sheet and saw a large wound cut from the throat to the stomach… I touched him with my hand and understood there were clearly no organs left.”

Another interviewee said:

A person receives a minor injury, is rescued… and then brought back with their stomach cut open and with their internal organs missing.”

The interviews with civilians, White Helmets and terrorist members themselves put to rest NATO’s and their lapdog media’s explanations that in the White Helmets there are a few bad apples but in general these are humanitarian rescuers.

For example, a Syrian civilian, Omar al-Mustafa, is cited as stating:

Almost all people who worked in nearby White Helmets centers were al-Nusra fighter or were linked to them. I tried to join the White Helmets myself, but I was told that if I was not from al-Nusra, they could not employ me.”

Still, more testimonies detail staged fake rescues and staged chemical attacks. Omar al-Mustafa was cited as stating:

I saw them (White Helmets) bring children who were alive, put them on the floor as if they had died in a chemical attack.”

The testimonies incriminate not only the White Helmets organization but also the doctors who, in 2016, Western corporate media fawned over.

According to one interviewee, Mohamed Bashir Biram, his attempt to take his father to a White Helmets affiliated al-Bayan hospital, failed. He said:

Since my father was not a fighter, the doctors in the hospital refused to help him and he died.”

But in 2016, the Western media was praising the same valiant doctors, in their crescendo of war propaganda around Aleppo.

Many other independent journalists have corroborated aspects of what the panelists — also comprising Syrian journalist Rafiq Lotef, and Russian and Syrian Representatives to the UN, Ambassadors Vassily Nebenzia and Bashar al-Ja’afari — described in detail.

In my own visits to eastern Ghouta towns last April and May, residents likewise spoke of organ theft, staged rescues, the White Helmets working with Jaysh al-Islam, while an Aleppo man likewise described them as thieves who steal from civilians, not rescuers.

Copy-paste corporate media silence
Journalists present at the panel were not interested in asking follow-up questions on organ theft, staged rescues, or any of the content presented, unsurprisingly, instead of asking questions about other Syrian issues.

A CBS journalist didn’t have a single question about what had just been presented, although CBS has previously repeatedly reported on the White Helmets. But their reporting, like most in corporate media, spun the transparent propaganda that is corporate media coverage of the group.

Four days after the UN panel, to my knowledge, not a single corporate media outlet has covered the event and its critical contents.

This is in spite of the fact that the Western corporate media has been happy to propagandize about the White Helmets for years and to attack those of us who dare to present testimonies and evidence from on the ground in Syria which contradicts the official narrative.

Russian, Syrian, and Lebanese media did report on the panel, and of course, if Western corporate journalists ever do bother to mention it, they will ignore the incriminating evidence presented by panelists and instead accuse Russia of bullying the White Helmets.

Prior to the panel, a number of publications came out with articles echoing one another, and in fact echoing claims already repeatedly uttered about a “Russian disinformation campaign” against the White Helmets.

That’s right, that’s the best they’ve got.

‘Big bad Russia’ tarnishing the pristine image of the White Helmets, a theme rerun ad nauseum over the last year or two, and one which I addressed in early January 2018 when I was under attack for questioning the White Helmets.

In my rebuttal to a mid-December 2017 Guardian smear, I pointed out that it was not Russia which began looking into the White Helmets’ affiliations, funding, and role in the propaganda war, but two independent North American researchers.

Canadian journalist Cory Morningstar in September 2014 exposed the role of the New York-based PR firm, Purpose Inc, in marketing campaigns for the White Helmets.

And as I wrote, “In April 2015, American independent journalist revealed that the White Helmets had been founded by Western powers and managed by a British ex-soldier, and noted the “rescuers” role in calling for Western intervention—a No Fly Zone on Syria.”

These, and the subsequent numerous investigations by Vanessa Beeley, including on the ground in Syria, taking countless testimonies of Syrian civilians on the matter of the White Helmets, far precede any Russian media reporting on the group.

That Russian media and bodies have since done their own investigations does not equate to a “disinformation campaign”, but rather doing the job corporate media are clearly incapable of, and unwilling to do.

Why haven’t the media written about the panel, or as per the corporate media norm, issued yet more smears against panelists?

They haven’t because they are cornered, and while they can always try their standard juvenile character smears and libel, they cannot refute the facts, the countless testimonies which corroborate yet still more testimonies taken by independent journalists over the years.

Or as Ambassador Nebenzia said:

We understand why #WhiteHelmets are being defended by #Western capitals. They do not hide that they provided substantial financial support to this organization and instrumentalized it to pursue political goals under humanitarian cover. It’s logical to protect your asset.”

Last week, it came out that German reporter for Der Spiegel, Claas Relotius, winner of the German Reporter Award 2018, had falsified a number of his articles. One article on the fakery noted Relotius had:

Confessed to have fabricated at least 14 of 55 articles,” including a “story about a Syrian boy who believed he triggered the civil war in the country with his graffiti, an article that won the German Reporter Prize just three weeks ago but which was made up.”

Former German journalist, Udo Ulfkotte, in 2014 reached his tipping point and admitted to having for years lied for Western, anti-Russia interests, admitting to making propaganda against Russia after having been bribed by billionaires, and by the Americans, to “not to report exactly the truth.”

As 2018, a year of staggering corporate media fake news draws to a close, so do the last vestiges of credibility of media lauding the White Helmets.

Given the scandalous depth of their lies, it is unlikely corporate journalists will have an Ulfkotte moment and admit to their manifold deceptions.

But it doesn’t really matter, because more and more, Western corporate media, and the propaganda construct known as the White Helmets they support, are becoming irrelevant.

Eva Bartlett is a Canadian independent journalist and activist. She has spent years on the ground covering conflict zones in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Palestine. She is a recipient of the International Journalism Award for International Reporting. Visit her personal blog, In Gaza, and support her work on Patreon.

Source | RT




UN Presentation Reveals US, UK-backed White Helmets as ‘Organ Traders, Terrorists & Looters’


Source: 21st Century Wire
As the conflict in Syria gradually draws down, more revelations are surfacing regarding the US and UK-backed pseudo NGO commonly known as the White Helmets.

The following UN presentation details many of the groups exploits, including staged rescues which were tailor-made for the group’s various propaganda films disseminated across western mainstream media. Testimonies included 21WIRE reporter Vanessa Beeley, along with witness statements taken from former White Helmet members who admit to carrying out various frauds and crimes perpetrated since the group’s inception in 2013, as well as admissions of their direct links to Jabat al-Nusra (al Qaeda in Syria) and other known terrorist groups.

Far from being the “tailors, bakers, teachers and other ordinary Syrians” which they regularly portray themselves, the White Helmets have instead been exposed as frauds, thieves, kidnappers and organ traffickers.

RT International reports…

The ‘White Helmets’ are not a rescue group but an extension of jihadist militants, and should be designated a terrorist organization, Russia’s envoy to the UN argued at the presentation of evidence into the group’s wrongdoing.

Praised in the West as humanitarian rescue volunteers, in reality the ‘White Helmets’ work with Islamist militants in Syria, harvest organs from the victims they pretend to be “rescuing,” stage false chemical weapons and other attacks for cameras, and loot the bodies and homes of Syrians killed and injured in the war, according to Maxim Grigoriev, director of the Russia-based Foundation for the Study of Democracy.

Watch the full presentation with multiple researchers sharing findings into activities of the ‘White Helmets’ in Syria at UN headquarters in New York City: Presentation at UN on WH

Grigoriev presented the results of the Foundation’s research into White Helmets at the UN headquarters in New York on Thursday. Russia’s envoy to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, said the evidence shows the group is dangerous.

“The White Helmets deserve to be on the United Nations’ designated terrorist list,” Nebenzia said.

Rather than volunteers, almost all the members of White Helmets were paid staff, Grigoriev explained. There is also “undeniable evidence” that the group has been taking written orders from Jaysh al‑Islam, an Islamist militant group most notorious for its occupation of Douma.

It was in this suburb of Damascus that the White Helmets staged the “chemical attack” that served as the pretext for French, UK and US missile strikes against the Syrian government in April this year.

“Falsification of chemical attacks was an essential part of the White Helmets’ activities,” Grigoriev testified, adding that the group also regularly engaged in “making fake news and organizing staged rescues.”

He cited a particular example of a place called Jisr al‑Haj in Aleppo, where the militants had set trash on fire, brought bodies from the local morgue, and had the White Helmets film a staged rescue. Grigoriev cited a testimony by a member of the White Helmets, who also said that everyone involved received an extra $50 for the effort.

Many local residents interviewed for the research spoke about people “rescued” by the White Helmets ending up dead, with their internal organs missing. One of the witnesses interviewed was a former member of Ahrar al-Sham, who testified that his commander Shadi Kadik, also known as Abu Adel Al-Halabi (of Aleppo), acknowledged the organ harvesting. The total number of cases involving organ theft is “at least several hundred” in Aleppo alone, Grigoriev testified.

Instead of rescuing civilians and children, the White Helmets looted homes damaged in the fighting and bodies of the dead, while forcing the children out of schools and kindergartens to set up offices there.

“At a rough estimate, out of 26 centers operating in Eastern Ghouta, ten were located in schools and one in a kindergarten,” Grigoriev cited from the testimony of a Syrian journalist in the area.

In Eastern Ghouta alone, between 100 and 150 members of White Helmets were also members of terrorist and militant groups. They engaged in building trenches, tunnels and fortifications for the militants, openly boasting about their membership on social media, but denying it whenever they were interviewed by Western reporters.

“Facebook accounts of members of the White Helmets are full of propagandist materials of terrorist groups, including [Islamic State] and al-Qaeda, praising Osama bin Laden and other individuals listed by the UN as terrorists,” Grigoriev said, adding that the so-called rescuers also posted “hundreds of photos with weapons in their hands.”

The Foundation is a member of the Global Counter-Terrorism Research Network established in 2013 by the UN’s Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate. Its report is based on interviews with over 100 eyewitnesses, including 40 members of the White Helmets, 50 local residents and 15 former terrorist and militant fighters. More than 500 local residents were also surveyed in Aleppo and Deraa.

A number of Western countries, such as the UK and Canada, have proudly announced they would be accepting White Helmets as refugees, after several hundred members of the group were evacuated from a jihadist-held enclave in southern Syria ahead of the advancing government troops.

The government in Damascus considers the White Helmets to be in the same category as illegal militias and terrorists.




Syrian state YouTube channels ‘terminated’ amid fears of looming false-flag chem attack


Source: RT
A number of Syrian state and media-linked YouTube accounts have gone dark, as the battle for Idlib looms amid Russia’s warnings of an imminent false-flag chemical attack and Western preparations for retaliatory strikes.

On Saturday afternoon, the channels belonging to the Syrian presidency, the country’s Ministry of Defense, and SANA news all showed a message saying: “This account has been terminated due to a legal complaint,” or “This account has been terminated for a violation of YouTube’s Terms of Service.”

The Damascus-based Sana TV’s channel on YouTube also appeared to be taken down, with a message reading: “This page isn’t available. Sorry about that. Try searching for something else.”

While YouTube has yet to issue a comment on the matter, it appears that the Syrian channels went offline sometime on Saturday morning, just as Gen. Joseph Dunford warned that the Pentagon is preparing and keeping Donald Trump informed about “military options” for retaliation in case “chemical weapons are used” in Syria.

The US has made it abundantly clear that it is ready to attack Syria, should chemical weapons come into play in the government’s operation to clear the remaining pockets of jihadist resistance in Idlib. Moscow believes that terrorists holed up in Idlib will try to stage a false-flag attack to frame Damascus and justify further air strikes against Syria. It has warned the US against escalating the situation in the war-torn country.

On Saturday, the Russian military said it had obtained “irrefutable” data that terrorist groups, including Jabhat Al-Nusra, and the infamous White Helmets, had already met in Idlib province and plotted the final scenarios for a false-flag chemical attacks in the cities of Jisr ash-Shugur, Serakab, Taftanaz and Sarmin.

The US and its allies have repeatedly stressed their readiness to strike Syria if any attack takes place, ignoring all of Russia’s warnings. In late August, American forces deployed missile destroyer USS ‘Ross’ to the Mediterranean and USS ‘The Sullivans’ to the Persian Gulf. The preparation of US military forces was condemned by Russia, with its Defense Ministry describing the move as “the latest evidence of the US intention” to take advantage of a false-flag attack.