White Helmet rescue workers evacuated from Syria by United Nations

Since 2013, the Syria Civil Defense, better known to the world as the White Helmets, have been putting themselves at risk in one of the most dangerous regions in the world. During the Syrian Civil War and throughout the campaign against ISIL in the war-torn country, the White Helmets could always be found working to save whoever they could in the wake of aerial bombardments, artillery barrages and secondary explosions. Their rescues, often made during pitched battles, were completed under great personal risk.

Of late, however, the White Helmets have been facing a new threat: The Syrian government. The Syrian government has taken back control of the majority of the areas that the White Helmets operated in – areas once held by anti-government factions. While the White Helmets recused anyone who needed their help, the government sees them as being associated with the rebels. That's bad news for for the volunteers – bad enough that the United Nations and a number of member states worked together to get them and their families the hell out of the country.

From The BBC:

Some 422 volunteers and family members were taken to Jordan via the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights overnight. The UK, one of the nations requesting Israel's help, hailed the operation and will assist with resettlement. The White Helmets describe themselves as a volunteer workforce that acts to save people in Syria's war zones.

Supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and his Russian allies, say the White Helmets support the rebels and also have links to jihadist groups.

It's expected that the White Helmets and their families will stay at a United Nations camp in Jordan for around three months while they wait to be processed and transported to Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany to be resettled as refugees.

Unfortunately, the original plan was that the Israelis would evacuate upwards of 800 people. That only half were able to make it to the planned extraction point was due to the expansion of hostilities by remnants of the so-called Islamic State in south-west Syria. Cut off from international assistance, and with rumors that the rescue operation was a one-time-only deal, things are looking grim for the remaining White Helmets and their families.

Image: by Qasioun News Agency – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_maQquPeipU, CC BY 3.0, Link