Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

Members of the White Helmets rescue a man after an air strike by government forces on a rebel-held area in the southern Syrian city of Daraa

Israel has evacuated 800 White Helmets rescuers and their family members threatened by advancing Syrian regime forces to Jordan for resettlement in Britain, Canada and Germany, Amman said Sunday.

The statement said Jordan agreed to accept the workers after Britain, Germany and Canada promised to help resettle them in the coming months.

"There are no homes, people were staying in tents, and they were lucky if they found tents", another Humanitarian aid worker interviewed by the Guardian said.

The White Helmets, founded in 2013 amid Syria's bloody civil war, have rescued thousands of civilians trapped under the rubble or caught up in fighting in opposition-held zones along the fronts of Syria's seven-year conflict.

But Mr Assad's opponents see them as heroes for their rescue work in bombed, rebel-held cities.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video that the operation partially came about because people were afraid for the volunteers' safety, Reuters reported.

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The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said they were acting on a request from the U.S., the United Kingdom and other European nations.

The rescue workers have been lauded in the West for their heroism but the Syrian regime accuses the group of being a propaganda tool for the West and aligned with militant groups, an accusation lacking in evidence.

In this Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015 file photo, comrades carry Ilias Mahmoud al-Taweel, a member of Syrian Civil Defence, or White Helmets, during his funeral in in Douma, the suburbs of Damascus.

On June 19, forces of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad launched an Russia-backed offensive to retake Daraa and Quneitra provinces.

The Syrian regime, along with its allies, Russian Federation and Iran, has directly targeted selfless relief workers, including the estimated 3,000 White Helmet volunteers, using people's need for health care as a weapon against them.

The Jerusalem Post reported the original estimate of 800 rescues was not met.

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"Following a request from President Donald Trump and other allied leaders, last night Israel conducted a daring humanitarian rescue from Syria of hundreds of "White Helmets" personnel and their families and transferred them safely to Jordan", US Mideast enjoy Jason Greenblatt tweeted.

After negotiations, the White Helmets and their families were evacuated from Syria by Israeli forces on Saturday into the Israeli-controlled part of the Golan Heights region, and from there into Jordan.

Israel seized 1,200 square kilometres of the Golan from Syria in the 1967 Six Day war, in a move never recognised by the worldwide community. Out of concern that the missiles were launched towards Israel, alarm sirens were sounded in many areas in the Upper Galilee and the Golan Heights, including Tzfat and Katzrin.

In Monday's meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Netanyahu said a Russian offer to keep Iranian forces 100 km (62 miles) from the border was not enough, according to an Israeli official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The United States has contributed some $30 million in assistance to the group, which has also received funds from the U.K. and other countries.

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