US pledges $5mn ‘donation’ to Syria’s ‘heroic’ White Helmets [US FUND AL-QAEDA]
The US says it will provide an additional $5 million for the “heroic” White Helmets, despite an earlier pledge to stop funding the group notorious for staging false flag chemical attacks in Syria.
The “donation” was announced by James Jeffrey, the US special envoy to the US-led coalition, at the third Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region, held in Brussels Thursday.
Following the announcement, US State Department Deputy Spokesman Robert Palladino released a statement in a bid to justify the “donation” to the White Helmets
The group has repeatedly been accused of cooperating with Takfiri terrorists and staging false flag gas attacks in Syria.
Palladino said the US “intends to provide USD five million for the continuation of the vital, life-saving operations of the White Helmets in Syria.”
“The funds are subject to congressional approval,” the statement said.
Palladino claimed that the “heroic first responders” of the White Helmets have saved “more than 114,000” lives since the Syrian conflict began, including victims of “vicious chemical weapons attacks.”
Over the past years, mounting evidence has emerged about members of the so-called civil defense group filming scenes of staged chemical attacks in a bid to implicate Syrian government and make a case for ensuing US-led airstrikes.
The group is also notorious for engaging in organ trafficking, terrorist logistics support and looting in Syria, according to a report presented to the UN.
Last July, the White Helmets, fleeing advancing Syrian government troops, slipped over the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights frontier and into Jordan with the help of Israeli soldiers and Western powers.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the time he had helped the evacuation at the request of US President Donald Trump and other Western leaders.
As a result, hundreds of White Helmets were evacuated to be resettled later in the UK, Canada, and Germany but Russia said later their Western sponsors were reluctant to resettle the so-called aid workers.
“Clearly, the West is not ready to welcome those who were involved in serious crimes,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in January, adding they were apparently being held for new plots.
The so-called aid group is a “branch of the Takfiri Jabhat Fateh al-Sham militant group, also known as the al-Nusra Front,” according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.
“It is no secret that this agency was active only in areas not controlled by the [Syrian] government and did not avoid contacts with terrorists and extremists,” read a November statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry.
“Moreover, there are numerous witness reports saying that the White Helmets actually are a branch of the Jabhat al-Nusra organization blacklisted by the United Nations Security Council.”
Palladino acknowledged in his Thursday statement that the group operates solely “in areas outside of the control of the regime.”
The Trump administration had earlier vowed to stop funding the White Helmets back in May 2018. However, it reversed course just a month later, sending $6.8 million to the group.