White Helmets (Syrian civil war)

Page semi-protected
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

White Helmets
الدفاع المدني السوري
Formation2014; 9 years ago (2014)
FounderJames Le Mesurier[1][2][3]
PurposeCivil defense
Region served
Syrian opposition-controlled areas
Raed Saleh, Abdulrahman Almawwas
3,000 (with monthly stipend)

The White Helmets (Arabic: الخوذ البيضاء ,القبعات البيضاء al-Ḫawdh al-bayḍāʾ / al-Qubaʿāt al-Bayḍāʾ), officially known as Syria Civil Defence[4] (SCD; Arabic: الدفاع المدني السوري ad-Difāʿ al-Madanī as-Sūrī), is a volunteer organisation that operates in parts of opposition-controlled Syria and in Turkey. Formed in 2014 during the Syrian Civil War, the majority of the volunteers' activity in Syria consists of medical evacuation, urban search and rescue in response to bombing, evacuation of civilians from danger areas, and essential service delivery. As of April 2018, the organisation said it had saved about 114,000 lives, and that 204 of its members had lost their lives while performing their duties. They assert their impartiality in the Syrian conflict.[5]

The organisation has been the target of a sustained disinformation campaign by supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russian state-sponsored media organisations such as RT and Sputnik; the campaign has promoted false accusations connecting it with terrorist activities and other conspiracy theories.[a]


The rescue teams that later became Syria Civil Defence emerged during the late 2012 escalation of the Syrian Civil War, as areas no longer under the control of the Assad government came under sustained attack from its military forces. In response, in the absence of formal governmental structures, small groups of civilian volunteers from affected communities, particularly in Aleppo and Idlib, assembled to assist civilians injured in bombardment or trapped under the rubble of destroyed buildings.[16][17] Training, funding and support was provided from international partners, including donations from governments in Western Europe, the US and Japan; the Turkish AKUT Search and Rescue Association; and a combination of NGOs, private individuals, public fundraising campaigns, and charities.[18][19] Primary support and training was provided by Mayday Rescue Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation established by former British Army officer James Le Mesurier,[20] and became a key factor in the development of the organisation.[21][1]

Local and provincial councils joined with Mayday Rescue Foundation and AKUT Search and Rescue Association to create the first training programmes in early 2013. ARK, an international contracting firm based in the United Arab Emirates,[15] would facilitate entry of volunteers to Turkey, where they would be trained by AKUT.[22][23][24][25][1][26][27] Early training courses included trauma care, command and control and crisis management.[28] Over the next two years, the number of independent civil defence teams grew to several dozen as graduates of the early trainings such as Raed Saleh established new centers; the national organisation of SCD was founded on 25 October 2014 at a conference of independent teams.[29]

SCD grew to be an organisation of over 3,000 volunteers operating from 111 local civil defence centres across 8 provincial directorates (Aleppo, Idlib, Latakia, Hama, Homs, Damascus, Damascus Countryside, and Daraa) in 2016. In October 2014, these self-organised teams came together and voted to form one national organisation: Syria Civil Defence. As of January 2017, the SCD claims to have rescued over 80,000 people since they began to keep count in 2014.[18] The White Helmets themselves have become targets of Syrian and Russian airstrikes.[30][31] According to The Economist, approximately one in six SCD have been killed or badly wounded, "many by 'double tap' (one after another) Russian and Syrian airstrikes on the same site as they search for bodies."[18] Seven members were killed in August 2017 in an apparent assassination at their operations centre in the Syrian city of Sarmin in Idlib Province.[32]

Although SCD has existed since 2013, their worldwide acknowledgement in media started in late 2014 with the help of The Syria Campaign NGO,[33] which introduced the nickname "White Helmets."[34]

On 14 December 2016, as the Syrian Armed Forces were recapturing eastern Aleppo, SCD head Raed Saleh requested safe passage of SCD operatives to rebel controlled countryside around Aleppo.[35] Syria Civil Defence joined the Independent Doctors Association, the Syrian Network for Human Rights, and the Violations Documentation Center to accuse Russian forces of war crimes in eastern Aleppo, jointly submitting a report to the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic.[36]

In May 2018, the US State Department announced that funding has been frozen for the White Helmets.[37][38][39] A State Department official indicated that they were reviewing assistance programs in Syria overall, which included funding for the White Helmets, and at the same time indicated that the United States would continue to support the White Helmets through multilateral donations. The chairman of the White Helmets stated that the government of the United States, and other supportive institutions, promised to continue to provide critical funding to the organization.[38]

On the night of 21 July 2018, Israel opened the Golan Heights boundary to allow a UN rescue mission to evacuate 422 people – 98 White Helmet volunteers and their family members – to Jordan. An international group led by Chrystia Freeland lobbied for the exit of the White Helmets, as their lives were in danger due to the Syrian government′s advancing offensive in southwestern Syria. The White Helmets reported 3,700 of their volunteers remained in Syria.[40][41][42][43] A Syrian government official condemned the evacuation of White Helmets as a "criminal operation" that had revealed "the terrorist nature" of the group.[44][45] President Bashar al-Assad said: "They have two choices: to lay down their arms and use the amnesty we have offered over the last four or five years, or be killed like other terrorists."[46] In September 2018, the United Kingdom granted asylum to about 100 White Helmet staff and relatives that had been evacuated to Jordan.[47]

The co-founder of the White Helmets, James Le Mesurier, was found dead in Istanbul on 9 November 2019.[48]


SCD clearing rubble following an attack in Maarat al-Nu'man in November 2014, using a USAID-supplied bucket loader

SCD's stated mission is "to save the greatest number of lives in the shortest possible time and to minimize further injury to people and damage to property."[17] Their work covers the 15 civil defence tasks as laid out in international humanitarian law (IHL);[49] the bulk of their activity in Syria consists of urban search and rescue in response to bombing, medical evacuation, evacuation of civilians from danger areas, and essential service delivery.[50]

The most prominent role of SCD was rescuing civilians from airstrikes with barrel bombs, improvised explosive devices dropped by SAAF helicopters. Following a request from Bashar al-Assad for support, Russia intervened in the Syrian Civil War on 30 September 2015.[51] Much of the work of SCD has been in response to aerial bombardments by the Russian Air Force attack aircraft.

As well as providing rescue services, SCD undertakes repair works such as securing damaged buildings and reconnecting electrical and water services, clearing roads, teaching children about hazards from unexploded ordnance, as well as firefighting and winter storm relief.[52][53][54] Sometimes described as the most dangerous job in the world,[55][19] SCD operations involve risk from being active in a war-zone. By late 2016, 159 White Helmets had been killed since the organisation's inception.[53]

SCD is not affiliated with the International Civil Defence Organisation (ICDO), nor is it connected to the Damascus's Syrian Civil Defence Forces (SCDF), an ICDO-member since 1972.[56] But, since the SCDF operate in government-held areas[57] and since civilian casualties in Syria overwhelmingly result from government forces' bombardments against targets in opposition-held areas, the unaffiliated SCD engages in civil defence tasks in said rebel-held areas.[58]

In 2015, the SCD unsuccessfully lobbied the European Union (EU) and governments to impose a no fly zone over certain parts of Syria to protect civilians from airstrikes.[59] The White Helmets have unsuccessfully called upon governments such as France to act to effect a ceasefire and protect lives in subsequent years.[60]

As of 2015, SCD had an annual budget of $30 million provided by a mix of state donors and public fundraising. Volunteers who worked full-time received a $150 monthly stipend, a figure set by donors.[61][62]: 24, 42–43[63] In July 2019, this was raised to $250.[63]

It has a co-ordination office on the Turkish-Syrian border in Gaziantep[31] and a training centre in Turkey.[18]

At the height of its operations, it had 4,000 volunteers in 200 teams.[63] As of April 2017, there were about 3,000 White Helmet members, about 100 of which were women.[64][65] As of March 2018, a British government programme review recorded that stipends were being paid for 4,011 volunteers in 179 centres to provide search and rescue and other services, and that 114,507 civilians had been reported rescued or aided.[66] In June 2018 the British government decided, due to the changing military situation, to responsibly withdraw from funding other projects in the area that the White Helmets operated in, such as policing, education and livelihood support, while maintaining support for the White Helmets.[67]

In October 2018, the Jordanian Foreign Ministry announced that at least 300 White Helmets members who had fled Syria into Jordan are now resettled in several Western countries, including Canada and the United Kingdom.[68][69]

Partnerships and funding

SCD is officially an impartial humanitarian NGO, with no affiliation to any political or military actor and a commitment to render services to anyone in need.[17] Like all NGOs operating in opposition-controlled areas, SCD negotiates humanitarian access with organisations such as local councils, provincial councils, and armed groups, with relationships varying widely from governorate to governorate.[16]

Prior to 2020, SCD worked in close partnership with the Netherlands-based NGO Mayday Rescue Foundation. Mayday Rescue's Program Manager for Syria was Farouq Habib,[70][71] who has also been described as the White Helmets' Head of International Relations.[72]

The White Helmets has received charitable funding from the United States, the United Kingdom, and other western governments.[73] Initially the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office was the largest single source of funding through Mayday Rescue Foundation.[74] U.S. government funds were directed to SCD through Chemonics, a U.S. based private international development company.[73][62] Funders have included the Canadian government Peace and Stabilization Operations Program,[71] the Danish government,[75][76] the German government,[77] the Japan International Cooperation Agency,[23][78] the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.[79][80] the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs,[81] the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)[52] and the United Kingdom Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF).[82] USAID contributed at least $23 million from 2013 to March 2016.[83][84] The British government provided £15 million of funding between 2012 and November 2015,[85] increased to £32 million by October 2016.[86] As of 31 March 2018, the British government had provided £38.4m in aid to the White Helmets.[87] The SCD has also received individual donations online to their Hero Fund, which provides treatment for wounded volunteers and supports their families.[88]

In March 2017, the organization was reported to be operating on an annual budget of about $26 million.[89] Mayday Rescue reports that between 2014 and 2018 the White Helmets received funding of $127 million, $19 million of which came from non-government sources; it is not clear if this included U.S. government funding which went through Chemonics rather than Mayday Rescue.[62] In 2018, the White Helmets' vice president reported that the group’s financing for 2018 from foreign governments had fallen to $12 million from $18 million the previous year.[60]

In April 2018, the Trump administration suspended the funding of the White Helmets as part of a wider suspension of the funding of stabilization projects in Syria while the U.S. reassesses its role in Syria. The U.S. had provided more than $33 million to support the group since 2013.[90][37] On 14 June 2018, the Trump administration authorised USAID and the United States Department of State to release approximately $6.6 million in aid to be shared between the group and the UN's International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism in Syria.[91]

The Netherlands announced that it would end its funding of several aid projects in opposition strongholds in Syria, including the White Helmets, by December 2018. This announcement followed a Ministry of Foreign Affairs report according to which the supervision over the activity of White Helmets is inadequate and there is a risk that funds meant for the rescue workers would end up in the hands of armed groups instead.[62][92][63]

A number of accusations against White Helmets and Le Mesurier, especially regarding alleged fraud and lavish lifestyle, were dismissed in May 2020 by forensic audit experts from Grant Thornton, which came to a conclusion that "the key finding of our investigation of the flagged transactions leads us to believe that there is no evidence of misappropriation of funds. For the most part we have been able to refute the alleged irregularities." The audit highlighted that "book keeping was sloppy" in Mayday, but admitted that in the complex war-time environment where the organization was operating these that understandable, and the leadership was able to ensure transparency and "high integrity" of its operations.[63][93]

Mayday went into administration in July 2020 and the White Helmets' finances were subsequently managed by a Chemonics, a for-profit organisation that charges considerably more for their services than Mayday Rescue did.[94]

Publicity and recognition

Raed al-Saleh (left), SCD Director, meets with UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt in 2018

SCD is widely cited, quoted, or depicted in regional and international media coverage of the conflict in Syria.[95] Raed Al Saleh, the Director of SCD, has been an outspoken advocate against bombardment of civilians, addressing the United Nations Security Council and other international bodies on a number of occasions.[96][97]

SCD has been the subject of two films. The streaming service Netflix released a documentary film entitled The White Helmets on 16 September 2016 by British director Orlando von Einsiedel and producer Joanna Natasegara.[98] The film won the Best Documentary (Short Subject) at the 89th Academy Awards.[99] SCD head Raed Saleh was unable to attend the Oscars ceremony due to escalation of the conflict, despite having a valid visa. Khaled Khateeb, cinematographer of the film, was unable to attend due to a visa problem.[100] The Associated Press reported that the United States Department of Homeland Security under President Trump decided to block Khaled Khateeb at the 11th hour.[101] Released in 2017, Last Men in Aleppo was directed by Syrian director Feras Fayyad in collaboration with Danish film-maker Steven Johannessen and the Aleppo Media Centre; it was the Winner of the Grand Jury Documentary prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 2017.[102]

SCD was nominated for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize[103] and was a recipient of the 2016 Right Livelihood Award, the "Alternative Nobel Prize".[104]

In 2017, it was awarded the McCall-Pierpaoli Humanitarian Award by Refugees International[65][105] and its women volunteers were awarded the Theirworld Hope award by Sarah Brown's children's charity Theirworld.[106] Female SCD volunteer Manal Abazeed, who accepted these awards, was listed by Fortune magazine as being among the "World's Most Powerful Women" of 2017.[65]

In 2017, Politico listed Khaled Omar Harrah, a leading member in Aleppo, known as the 'child rescuer', as one of the 28 people "shaping, shaking and stirring Europe".[107][108] He was killed in Aleppo in an airstrike in August 2016.[109] Harrah is the main character in Last Men in Aleppo, which was dedicated to him after his death.[110]

Another prominent member is Mohammed Abu Kifah, a civil defence team member who rescued another child from beneath the rubble in Idlib.[111][32] Following his death in an apparent assassination on 12 August 2017, aged 25 years old, Kifah's life was commemorated on BBC Radio 4's Last Word.[112]


Information warfare campaign

According to investigative journalists and analysts, SCD became a target of a systematic information warfare campaign by the Russian government, the Syrian government, alt-right personalities, and their supporters, who have accused the organisation of taking sides in the Syrian Civil War, carrying arms, and supporting terrorist groups.[113][114][15][115][116][117][110][9] The Russian-funded RT television network and Sputnik news agency have made controversial claims about SCD, and multiple sources have found issues with the veracity and credibility of the claims.[9][10][7][118][6][119] In an interview with Reuters, Facebook claimed that a hacking group based out of Syria targeted the White Helmets.[120]

Olivia Solon from The Guardian speculated that SCD was targeted because they document their activities with handheld and helmet cameras. This footage often shows the aftermath of airstrikes, and has been used by human rights groups such as Amnesty International and the Syria Justice and Accountability Centre.[10]

According to The New York Times, Assad's claim that the White Helmets are "Al-Qaeda members" was "without evidence".[121] Assertions made by RT contributor Eva Bartlett that the White Helmets stage rescues and "recycle" children in its videos were reported by Snopes and Channel 4 News as being false "beyond a reasonable doubt".[6][8] In December 2017, The Guardian newspaper commented that it had "uncovered how this counter-narrative is propagated online by a network of anti-imperialist activists, conspiracy theorists and trolls with the support of the Russian government ... [which] ... attract an enormous online audience, amplified by high-profile alt-right personalities, appearances on Russian state TV and an army of Twitter bots."[10] A study by Tom Wilson and Kate Starbird, published in The Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review in January 2020, found that anti–White Helmet discourse dominated postings on Twitter.[122]

Relationship with SDF

The White Helmets have a hostile relationship with the majority-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The group operated in Afrin until the local Kurdish administration banned it in December 2015. It returned following the capture of the city by the Turkish Army and Syrian rebels in the Turkish-led Operation Olive Branch in 2018. In June 2019, after fires set to crop fields by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant threatened the food supply of Syrians living in SDF-controlled areas, the White Helmets offered to enter SDF territory and help fight the fires, but permission was denied. Nicholas A. Heras, a Fellow at the Center for a New American Security, stated that the White Helmets, as an organization, referred to Turkey’s operation in Afrin as the "liberation" of Afrin, and maintained that there was "credible evidence" that the White Helmets assisted Turkish soldiers and rebels by providing de-mining assistance. The White Helmets denied that they supported the campaign.[123]


In November 2016, the Revolutionaries of Syria Media Office, an opposition media organisation, published a video showing two SCD volunteers performing a staged rescue operation for the Mannequin Challenge meme. The White Helmets apologised for their volunteers' error of judgement and said it had not shared the recording on their official channels.[124][125]

In June 2017, a member of the White Helmets was suspended indefinitely after he was discovered to have assisted armed militants in the burial of mutilated corpses of soldiers belonging to pro-government forces.[126]

Footage showing White Helmets members removing a man's body following his execution by rebel militants has caused critics to accuse the group of "assisting" in executions. The leader of the White Helmets has remarked that these are "isolated incidents" and are not representative of the leadership of the organisation.[10]

In 2018, Anglican vicar Andrew Ashdown, along with Church of England and House of Lords figures such as Lord Carey of Clifton and Michael Nazir-Ali, visited Syria and met with Assad; Ashdown accused the White Helmets of being militants, and accused the group of "keeping an injured Syrian child untreated and covered in dust and blood" for propaganda purposes.[127][128][9][129][130] A UK Foreign Office memorandum criticized the trip, warning that it would be exploited by Assad.[128]

The White Helmets operated in the Afrin District while it was under control of Turkish forces during Olive Branch Operation. Many Kurds distrust the White Helmets due to disputed claims that the White Helmets supported Turkey in that conflict.[123]


  1. ^ Sample of sources reporting disinformation campaign against the White Helmets:[6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15]
  1. ^ a b c Jan, Maria (21 August 2015). "Q&A: Syria's White Helmets". Al Jazeera Media Network. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Die obskuren White Helmets Archived 12 November 2019 at the Wayback Machine". Heise.de. 30 September 2016.
  3. ^ "Ordinary people turn superheroes Archived 14 April 2018 at the Wayback Machine". The Straits Times. 9 April 2017.
  4. ^ "Jihadist assault 'kills dozens of Syrian soldiers'". BBC News. 23 January 2020. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  5. ^ Saleh, Raed. "The Most Dangerous Place in the World". The White Helmets. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  6. ^ a b c Worrall, Patrick. "FactCheck: Eva Bartlett's claims about Syrian children". Channel 4 News. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  7. ^ a b Merlan, Anna (2019). Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power. London: Random House Books. pp. 91–92. ISBN 9781473553613. Globally, false flag theories can have extremely sinister political uses. One particularly chilling international conspiracy theory claimed that chemical attacks by the Syrian government against civilians were either staged or perpetrated by the White Helmets, a civilian aid group.
  8. ^ a b "Syrian War Victims Are Being 'Recycled' and Al Quds Hospital Was Never Bombed?". Snopes. 14 December 2016.
  9. ^ a b c d Giovanni, Janine di (16 October 2018). "Why Assad and Russia Target the White Helmets". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved 28 March 2019. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs began a propaganda campaign, largely relying on its agents and followers on Twitter to distribute falsehoods about the event. These included the claim that the chemical attacks were staged by the White Helmets using actors, as part of a Western conspiracy that was meant to provide cover both for the US airstrike on April 7 on the Shayrat air base and for a plot to bring down Assad by creating a pretext for military intervention.
  10. ^ a b c d e Solon, Olivia (18 December 2017). "How Syria's White Helmets became victims of an online propaganda machine". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 December 2017. The Syrian volunteer rescue workers known as the White Helmets have become the target of an extraordinary disinformation campaign that positions them as an al-Qaida-linked terrorist organisation.
  11. ^ Palma, Bethania (15 December 2016). "FACT CHECK: Syrian Rescue Organization 'The White Helmets' Are Terrorists". Snopes. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  12. ^ Erickson, Amanda (1 March 2017). "After Oscar win, Russian Embassy calls Syria's White Helmets 'actors,' not life-savers". The Washington Post.
  13. ^ Ellis, Emma Grey (30 April 2017). "Inside the conspiracy theory that turned Syria's first responders into terrorists". Wired.com. While the White Helmets might seem like the poster children for feel-bad humanitarianism, they've in fact become the target of a [sic] internet smear campaign, one designed to bolster the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and undermine its opponents, including the United States. Various White Helmet 'truthers'—who range from Assad and his supporters to Russian embassies, and even to Alex Jones—accuse the group of staging rescue photos, belonging to al Qaeda, and being pawns of liberal bogeyman George Soros. The story of how that conspiracy grew is a perfect distillation of how disinformation can spread unchecked, supplanting fact with frenzy where no support exists.
  14. ^ "White Helmets 'staging fake attacks' in Syria? We sort fact from fiction". France 24. 14 May 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2018. For the past few months, however, the White Helmets have been the target of a smear campaign on social media, mainly led by supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
  15. ^ a b c Lucas, Scott (7 October 2016). "Who are Syria's White Helmets, and why are they so controversial?". The Conversation. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  16. ^ a b Aikins, Matthieu. "Whoever Saves a Life — Matter". Medium. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  17. ^ a b c "Volunteers to Save Lives | SCD". www.syriacivildefense.org. Archived from the original on 16 March 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  18. ^ a b c d "The rise of Syria's White Helmets". The Economist. 10 October 2016. Archived from the original on 27 July 2018. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  19. ^ a b Bryan Schatz (10 December 2014). "The Most Dangerous Job in the World: Syria's Elite Rescue Force". Men's Journal. Archived from the original on 24 March 2016. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  20. ^ "Order of the British Empire Archived 19 June 2020 at the Wayback Machine" The London Gazette – Official Public Record. 11 June 2016. — "The Queen has been graciously pleased, on the occasion of the Celebration of Her Majesty's Birthday, to give orders for the following promotions in, and appointments to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire: O.B.E. To be Ordinary Officers of the Civil Division of the said Most Excellent Order: James Gustaf Edward LE MESURIER, Director, Mayday Rescue, For services to Syria Civil Defence and the protection of civilians in Syria."
  21. ^ Le Mesurier, James. "Our Work". Mayday Rescue. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  22. ^ Emily Hough (December 2014). "Meeting Syria's volunteer rescuers". Crisis Response Journal. 10 (2). Archived from the original on 23 September 2016. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  23. ^ a b "Train Urban Search and Rescue Teams". Analysis, Research and Knowledge. Archived from the original on 18 January 2016. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  24. ^ "James Le Mesurier". Mayday Rescue. 26 August 2015. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  25. ^ "Our Team – Mayday Rescue".
  26. ^ "This is why the White Helmets should win the Nobel Peace Prize". 5 October 2016.
  27. ^ "UK training for Syrian activists to save lives". Foreign and Commonwealth Office. gov.uk. 6 September 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  28. ^ Sloane Speakman (13 May 2015). "Syria Civil Defence: A Framework for Demobilization and Reconstruction in Post-Conflict Syria". Georgetown Security Studies Review. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  29. ^ Jonathan Gornall (29 September 2016). "Newsmaker: The White Helmets". The National. Abu Dhabi. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  30. ^ Malsin, Jared (25 September 2016). "How the White Helmets of Syria Are Being Hunted in a Devastated Aleppo". Time.
  31. ^ a b Jared Maslin. "The White Helmets Of Syria". TIME. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  32. ^ a b Raf Sanchez Seven members of Syria's White Helmets shot dead by unknown gunmen Archived 26 April 2018 at the Wayback Machine, 'Telegraph, 12 August 2017
  33. ^ "Les Casques blancs syriens, des héros trop discrets". 3 October 2014. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  34. ^ "Meet Syria's Peacemakers: Fighting on the Side of Life" Archived 8 March 2021 at the Wayback Machine, The Syria Campaign, Youtube, 13 January 2015
  35. ^ Raed Al Saleh (14 December 2016). "As a White Helmet I ask for one thing: safe passage for those in Aleppo". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  36. ^ Michelle Nichols (15 December 2016). "Syria's White Helmets accuse Russia of Aleppo war crimes: letter". Reuters. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  37. ^ a b Atwood, Kylie (3 May 2018). "U.S. freezes funding for Syria's "White Helmets"". CBS News. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  38. ^ a b Koran, Laura. "US funding for Syrian rescue group in question amid funding freeze". CNN.
  39. ^ Staff, Our Foreign (4 May 2018). "White Helmets rescue group have US funding frozen" – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  40. ^ "Syrian 'White Helmets' flee to Jordan with Israeli, Western help". Reuters. 22 July 2018.
  41. ^ Mackinnon, Mark (24 July 2018). "How Canada's woman in Istanbul began the daring rescue of Syria's White Helmets". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  42. ^ "Syria's White Helmets call on UN to save trapped volunteers". The Guardian. 26 July 2018. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  43. ^ Shaheen, Kareem (24 July 2018). "'Heartbroken' White Helmets say they fled Syria fearing Assad reprisals". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  44. ^ Khadder, Kareem (23 July 2018). "300 White Helmet rescue workers still trapped in Syria". CNN. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  45. ^ "Syria condemns Israeli evacuation of White Helmets as 'criminal operation'". ABC News Australia. 23 July 2018. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  46. ^ Kalvapalle, Rahul (26 July 2018). "Syria's Assad says White Helmets are terrorists, will be killed if they don't surrender". Global News. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  47. ^ Ensor, Josie (24 September 2018). "Britain grants asylum to 100 White Helmet rescuers and relatives after Syria evacuation". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  48. ^ Chulov, Martin (27 October 2020). "How Syria's disinformation wars destroyed the co-founder of the White Helmets". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  49. ^ "Civil defence – ICRC". www.icrc.org. 29 October 2010. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  50. ^ Dagher, Sam (1 May 2016). "White Helmets Are White Knights for Desperate Syrians". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  51. ^ Chappell, Bill (30 September 2015). "Russia Begins Airstrikes In Syria After Assad's Request". National Public Radio Inc. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  52. ^ a b "Syria". USAID. 27 May 2016. Retrieved 7 October 2016.
  53. ^ a b Mehrnoush Pourziaiee (26 August 2016). "White Helmets, Omran and fading hope in Syria". BBC Persian. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
  54. ^ Pearson, Emma; Welsford, Katie (20 November 2014). "In conversation with Syria's 'White Helmets'". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  55. ^ James, Lydia (10 October 2014). "The most dangerous job in the world". New Internationalist. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  56. ^ "Member states". International Civil Defence Organisation. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  57. ^ قوات الدفاع المدني [Civil Defense Force]. Defense Ministry in the Syrian Arab Republic.
  58. ^ Arab, The New. "Syrian regime responsible for 75% of 2016 civilian casualties". alaraby. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  59. ^ "Syria's First Responders Say They Need a No-Fly Zone, But No One Listens | VICE News". VICE News. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  60. ^ a b Irish, John. "Enough red lines, time to act, Syria's White Helmets tell Macron". U.S. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  61. ^ Janine di Giovanni (21 January 2016). "Syria's White Helmets Save Civilians, Soldiers and Rebels Alike". Newsweek. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  62. ^ a b c d Review of the monitoring systems of three projects in Syria: AJACS, White Helmets and NLA (PDF). Policy and Operations Evaluation Department (IOB) (Report). Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. August 2018. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  63. ^ a b c d e "'We were their only hope'". De Groene Amsterdammer. 12 September 2021. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
  64. ^ Ibrahim, Arwa (9 March 2017). "'We will play our part' says White Helmet female volunteer". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  65. ^ a b c Zillman, Claire (28 April 2017). "The World's Most Powerful Women". Fortune. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  66. ^ Programme Completion Review - Summary Sheet: Syria Resilience (OpenDocument) (Report). Foreign and Commonwealth Office. 2018. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  67. ^ "Programme Completion Review - Syria CSSF: Community Support in North Western Syria Programme" (OpenDocument). Foreign and Commonwealth Office. 2020. CSSF-06-000024. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  68. ^ "Jordan Says Nearly 300 Syrian 'White Helmets' Leave for West". Voice of America. 17 October 2018.
  69. ^ "White Helmets resettlement". gov.uk. 24 September 2018. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  70. ^ "Farouq Habib". Mayday Rescue. 23 September 2015. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  71. ^ a b "Modification – Nobel Peace Prize nominees White Helmets to visit five Canadian cities". Government of Canada. 6 December 2016. Retrieved 17 December 2016. Today, Canada is also announcing a $4.5-million contribution to Mayday Rescue to support the White Helmets' life-saving work in Syria. This contribution, funded through the Peace and Stabilization Operations Program
  72. ^ "Nobel Peace Prize nominated 'White Helmets' to visit five Canadian cities". British High Commission Ottawa. gov.uk. 28 November 2016. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  73. ^ a b "Our Partners". Syria Civil Defence. Archived from the original on 16 October 2016. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  74. ^ Richard Spencer (27 September 2015). "As the West drops demand for Assad to go, meet the group the UK funds to support his victims". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  75. ^ "The Government launches a new stabilisation support package to Iraq and Syria". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. 18 October 2016. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  76. ^ "Denmark donates DKK 20 million to Syria's 'White Helmets'". reliefweb. 5 December 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  77. ^ "RFQ-160816 Search and Rescue Equipment" (zip/Word). Mayday Rescue. 22 August 2016. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  78. ^ "Donors". Mayday Rescue. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  79. ^ Zaken, Ministerie van Buitenlandse. "Dutch support for Syrian rescue workers". www.government.nl. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  80. ^ Janene Pieters (22 November 2016). "Netherlands to give €4 million to Syria rescue workers". NL Times. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  81. ^ Sam Sachdeva (26 October 2016). "NZ Fire Service to train Syria's 'White Helmets' civil defence volunteers". stuff. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  82. ^ "2010 to 2015 government policy: peace and stability in the Middle East and North Africa". www.gov.uk. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  83. ^ Mark C. Toner (27 April 2016). "Daily Press Briefing". United States Department of State. Retrieved 22 September 2016. we provide, through USAID, about $23 million in assistance to them
  84. ^ Salhani, Justin (20 April 2016). "U.S. Denies Entry To Syrian Aid Worker Who Came To Receive Humanitarian Award". ThinkProgress.
  85. ^ "Providing non-humanitarian assistance in Syria". Foreign & Commonwealth Office. 1 December 2015. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
  86. ^ "Conflict, Stability and Security Fund". House of Lords Hansard. UK Parliament. 2 November 2016. Column 720. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  87. ^ McVeigh, Karen (10 May 2018). "UK may increase aid to Syrian White Helmets after Trump pulls funding". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  88. ^ "They've saved over 60,000 lives. Now they need you and me". Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  89. ^ Erickson, Amanda (1 March 2017). "After Oscar win, Russian Embassy calls Syria's White Helmets 'actors,' not life-savers". The Washington Post.
  90. ^ Hall, Richard (4 May 2018). "Trump freezes funding for 'White Helmet' volunteers as part of larger cut to Syrian aid". Public Radio International. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  91. ^ "Funding for the Syrian Civil Defense and UN International Impartial and Independent Mechanism". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  92. ^ Nederland stopt steun aan Syrische oppositie wegens gebrekkig toezicht op hulpprojecten; Britse organisatie ontkent kritiek Archived 16 September 2018 at the Wayback Machine, Volkskrant, 10 September 2018
  93. ^ Reuter, Christoph (9 December 2021). "Deadly Intrigue: The Story of the Destruction of an Aid Organization". Der Spiegel. ISSN 2195-1349. Retrieved 15 December 2021.
  94. ^ Hadjimatheou, Chloe (27 February 2021). "Mayday: How the White Helmets and James Le Mesurier got pulled into a deadly battle for truth". BBC News. Retrieved 15 June 2023.
  95. ^ "Google". www.google.com.tr. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  96. ^ "Syrian rescue organization appeals to UN Security Council over barrel bombs". The Guardian. Associated Press. 26 June 2015. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  97. ^ Wintour, Patrick; Black, Ian (4 February 2016). "David Cameron calls for billions more in international aid for Syrian refugees". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  98. ^ "Netflix to Unveil Four Original Documentaries at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival". Netflix Media Center. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  99. ^ "2017 Winners and Nominees". Oscars. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  100. ^ Messer, Lesley. "'White Helmets' filmmakers discuss Raed Saleh and Khaled Khateeb's absences". ABCNews. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  101. ^ Klapper, Bradley. "Syrian who worked on nominated film can't attend Oscar". Associated Press News. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  102. ^ Charlie Phillips Unflinching film-making … Last Men in Aleppo Archived 28 November 2017 at the Wayback Machine, Guardian Tuesday 24 January 2017
  103. ^ "The Nobel Peace Prize: Who will win this year?". BBC News. 6 October 2016. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  104. ^ "Here's The Story Of 'White Helmets' Who Are Saving Innocent Civilians In War-Torn Syria". indiatimes.com. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  105. ^ Shapiro, Ari (26 April 2017). "Female Syrian White Helmets Honoree Had No Hesitation To Join". NPR.
  106. ^ Female White Helmets from Syria and Afghan footballer receive Theirworld awards Archived 2 December 2017 at the Wayback Machine, Theirworld, 7 March 2017
  107. ^ "Khaled Omar Harrah: The First Responder". Politico.
  108. ^ "Magazin wählt Petry und Erdogan zu den 'Denkern und Machern 2017'". Rheinische Post (in German). 7 December 2016.
  109. ^ Tahhan, Zena (19 August 2016). "White Helmet: We called Khaled the 'child rescuer'". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  110. ^ a b Carey, Matthew (13 November 2017). "'Last Men in Aleppo' Director Firas Fayyad: Russian Disinformation Campaign Distorts Image Of Syrian White Helmets". Deadline.
  111. ^ "Civil defense volunteer bursts into tears after rescuing a baby girl in Idlib". Orient News. 30 September 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  112. ^ Presenter: Kate Silverton; Interviewed Guest: Moaz Al Shami (25 August 2017). "Abu Kifah, Sir Bruce Forsyth, Brian Aldiss, Blanche Blackwell, Jerry Lewis". Last Word. 1:10 minutes in. BBC. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  113. ^ "High praise for Syria's 'White Helmets' – but who are they?". France 24. 16 September 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  114. ^ Ellis, Emma Grey (30 April 2017). "Inside the conspiracy theory that turned Syria's first responders into terrorists". Wired.com.
  115. ^ Hilsman, Patrick (19 December 2016). "Russia and the Syrian Regime are Documenting Their Own Crimes". Pulsemedia. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  116. ^ "Assad's allies in the West" (in Arabic). alaraby.co.uk. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  117. ^ Czuperski, Maksymilian (February 2017). Breaking Aleppo (PDF). pp. 56–60. ISBN 978-1-61977-449-0. Retrieved 24 July 2018. {{cite book}}: |website= ignored (help)
  118. ^ Coleman, Alistair (4 February 2020). "Analysis: Russia returns to White Helmets 'chemical attack' narrative". BBC Monitoring. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  119. ^ "There's No Such Thing as a Good Fake – When Publicity Stunts Go Wrong – bellingcat". bellingcat. 30 November 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  120. ^ Culliford, Elizabeth (16 November 2021). "Facebook says hackers in Pakistan targeted Afghan users amid government collapse". Reuters. Retrieved 3 May 2022.
  121. ^ Qiu, Linda (10 April 2017). "Syria Conspiracy Theories Flourish, at Both Ends of the Spectrum". The New York Times.
  122. ^ Wilson, Tom; Starbird, Kate (January 2020). "Cross-Platform Disinformation Campaigns: Lessons Learned and Next Steps" (PDF). The Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review. 1 (1). Retrieved 2 December 2020.
  123. ^ a b van Wilgenburg, Wladimir (14 June 2019). "Kurds say White Helmets not welcome to help fight fires in northeast Syria". Kurdistan 24. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  124. ^ "White Helmets backlash after Mannequin Challenge video". BBC News. 24 November 2016.
  125. ^ Mackintosh, Eliza (24 November 2016). "Syria's White Helmets apologize for Mannequin Challenge video". CNN.
  126. ^ O'Connor, Tom (22 June 2017). "Renown White Helmets fire member for dumping dead soldiers in Syria". Newsweek.
  127. ^ Kennedy, Dominic (5 June 2018). "White Helmets left Omran Daqneesh in pain to harm Assad, claims Rev Andrew Ashdown". The Times. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  128. ^ a b Kennedy, Dominic (27 October 2018). "Syria trips by clergy and peers 'undermine UK'". The Times. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  129. ^ "The 'crazy club': Inside the British propaganda trips that seek to legitimise Assad's barbarism". The National. 24 April 2018. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  130. ^ Hayden, Sally (5 April 2018). "Fake News Tourism in Syria: Westerners Search for 'Truth,' But Are They Assad's Pawns?". Newsweek. Retrieved 28 March 2019.

Further reading

External links