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Inside a Secret Israeli Rescue

White Helmets in Syria (Photo: wikicommons)

The ongoing Syrian civil war has killed hundreds of thousands and displaced millions, and currently threatens Israel's border with Syria. Now, members of the "White Helmets," the Syrian Civil Defense, are also being threatened by the wicked Assad regime. But Israel and her allies are providing aid. The Jerusalem Post's Seth J. Frantzman tells how Israel, the U.S., and other Western powers are helping evacuate these brave people and their families before they fall into the hands of Assad's forces:

An operation of this type had never been done before.

Evacuating hundreds of people from Syria into Israel with the support of Canada, the UK, Germany and the US was an unprecedented level of international cooperation. In addition Syria is an enemy state and the war was closing in on the men and their families in need of evacuation. This was a key part of the emerging crisis over the weekend, it was not just 90 members of the White Helmets, but also their families, an estimated 800 people.

Transporting them to Jordan was not a simple issue. Jordan had refused to take in more refugees as the Syrian regime took Deraa and the border areas in late June and early July. Jordan was already hosting 1.3 million refugees over the last several years. This meant the evacuation was not just a matter of bringing people into Israel, but transferring them somewhere else. And Jordan didn’t want them remaining in the kingdom. “The US and our international partners asked the United Nations to take the central role in this critical humanitarian operation,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Sunday.

Last week Syrian members of the civil defense in the shrinking rebel-held area near the Golan found out they would not be allowed to be transported north to opposition areas in Idlib in northern Syria. Up until that moment the medical volunteers, called White Helmets, were watching with concern as the Syrian regime closed in, first taking the border with Jordan and then pounding rebel-held areas with air strikes. There was no way out...

Tags: Syria , Israel

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