With the recent events surrounding hospital bombings (real and imagined) in Aleppo, growing attention is now being paid to the “human rights NGO” known as the White Helmets, a supposed Syrian organization that focuses on rescuing and providing medical care to injured civilians in Syria. According to the Western media, the White Helmets are knights in shining armor, willing to risk life and limb to save innocent people from the fangs of the evil Assad.
by Brandon Turberville, Global Research:
A more realistic examination of the White Helmets, however, provides us with a much different view of the organization.
Essentially the White Helmets are nothing more than a terrorist rescue organization funded, directed, and promoted by Western governments, intelligence agencies, and Foundations aimed at assisting Western-backed terrorists in the destruction of secular Syria. The organization serves as a clever and opportunistic tool to be used by Western media for the purposes of sourcing false claims as coming from “impartial” “activist” groups on the ground in Syria and giving the source the credibility of a “human rights” organization.
The White Helmets should be considered nothing more than a branch of the Western destabilization apparatus, a wing of Jabhat al-Nusra, and an entirely discredited organization. Clearly, after examining the nature and reality of the organization, whatever claims made by the White Helmets should be immediately dismissed as yet another false statement in a long string of lies easily traced directly back to the United States and the UK.
The History and Formation of White Helmets – The Founders and Directors
White Helmets was founded by James Le Mesurier, an admitted former British army officer and mercenary with the Olive Group, a private contracting organization that is now merged with Blackwater-Academi into Constellis Holdings. Although White Helmets half-heartedly attempts to hide its source of funding, the organization is linked to George Soros through a PR firm named Purpose Inc., a pro-war firm that argues for Western intervention against Assad. The co-founder of Purpose is Jeremy Heimans, who also helped found Avaaz, a “pro-democracy” group connected to Soros’ Open Society Foundation, SEIU, and MoveOn.org.
In her expose of White Helmets, “White Helmets: War By Way Of Deception,” Vanessa Beeley summarizes the history and funding of the organization when she wrote:
The White Helmets were established in March 2013, in Istanbul, Turkey, and is headed by James Le Mesurier, a British “security” specialist and ‘ex’ British military intelligence officer with an impressive track record in some of the most dubious NATO intervention theatres including Bosnia and Kosovo, as well as Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine. Le Mesurier is a product of Britain’s elite Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, and has also been placed in a series of high-profile pasts at the United Nations, European Union, and U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The origins of The White Helmet’s initial $300k seed funding is a little hazy, reports are contradictory but subsequent information leads us to conclude that the UK, US and Syrian opposition [Syrian National Council] are connected. Logistical support has been provided by given by Turkish elite natural disaster response team, AKUT.
A further $13 million was poured into the White Helmet coffers during 2013 and this is where it gets interesting. Early reports suggest that these “donations” came from the US, UK and SNC with the previously explored connections to George Soros in the US.
Soros in Syria: ‘Humanitarian’ NGO Deployed For Regime Change, Not Aid
However, subsequent investigations reveal that USAID has been a major shareholder in the White Helmet organisation.
The website for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) claims that “our work supports long-term and equitable economic growth and advances U.S. foreign policy objectives by supporting: economic growth, agriculture and trade; global health; and, democracy, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance.”
In a USAID report update in July 2015 it is clearly stated that they have supplied over $ 16m in assistance to the White Helmets.
In addition to Soros and the $16 million, White Helmets is known to receive approximately $23 million dollars from the U.S. State Department via USAID, a figure that was confirmed more recently by Deputy State Department Spokesman Mark Toner when questioned by reporters at a State Department briefing on April 27, 2016.
It is thus no surprise that White Helmets have been publicly calling for Western intervention in Syria, particularly a No-Fly Zone since their creation. The organization is, after all, a fully funded arm of U.S./Western imperialism. It is, therefore, reasonable to expect the group to publicly call for the same desires as their bosses in the United States and Europe.
Raed Saleh, head of White Helmets (aka Syrian Civil Defense) has publicly called for the implementation of a “No-Fly Zone” over Syria by the United Nations Security Council, an act that is tantamount to direct military warfare, an example of which can be seen in the rubble of Libya. Indeed, such a decision would simply be a repeat of the Libyan tragedy.
Barrel bombs – sometimes filled with chlorine – are the biggest killer of civilians in Syria today. Our unarmed and neutral rescue workers have saved more than 40,823 people from the attacks in Syria, but there are many we cannot reach. There are children trapped in rubble we cannot hear. For them, the UN Security Council must follow through on its demand made last year to stop the barrel bombs, by introducing a ‘no-fly zone’ if necessary.”
Saleh himself is an interesting case. Content to shower Saleh and his organization with millions of dollars and flattering public relations material, the United States apparently does not trust Saleh enough to allow free access to American soil. In April, 2016 Saleh was set to receive another typical back-slapping award in Washington, D.C. However, Saleh’s visa was canceled and he was forced to go back to Istanbul. The New York Times reported,
The leader of a Western-backed rescue organization that searches for survivors of bombings in Syriawas denied entry into the United States this week, where he was to receive an award recognizing his contributions to humanitarian relief.
Raed Saleh, the head of the Syria Civil Defense, was to accept the award from InterAction, an alliance of aid agencies, at its gala dinner Tuesday night in Washington. The dinner’s keynote speaker was Gayle Smith, the administrator of the United States Agency for International Development.
But when Mr. Saleh, who works in Syria and Turkey, arrived Monday at Washington’s Dulles International Airport on a flight from Istanbul, the authorities said he could not enter the United States. He was told his visa had been canceled.
It was unclear whether Mr. Saleh’s name might have shown up on a database, fed by a variety of intelligence and security agencies and intended to guard against the prospect of terrorism suspects slipping into the country.
The State Department declined to give specifics, but a spokesman, John Kirby, said that “the U.S. government’s system of continual vetting means that traveler records are screened against available information in real time.”
“While we can’t confirm any possible specific actions in this case, we do have the ability to immediately coordinate with our interagency partners when new information becomes available,” he added.
State Department Spokesman Mark Toner was also questioned about the details surrounding Saleh’s visa but Toner found it difficult to answer any questions regarding this incident in a coherent fashion. According to the State Department’s own published transcripts the reporter/spokesman interaction went as follows:
QUESTION: On the last one —
MR TONER: Yes, sir.
QUESTION: — you commend this group, you’re going to continue to support them, and yet you revoked the visa of their leader. I don’t – that makes zero sense to me.
MR TONER: Well —
QUESTION: What – what’s exactly going on?
MR TONER: Well, I mean, this group, and I would precisely make that —
QUESTION: Yeah, but this is the guy who is the leader of this group who the head of USAID lionized in a – and her – that she lauded him —
MR TONER: Sure. Sure.
QUESTION: — in a speech at the event that he was supposed to be accepting —
MR TONER: Sure.
QUESTION: — an award that he couldn’t get here for because the State Department canceled his visa while he was in the middle – while he was in midair, presumably, over the Atlantic so that when he arrived at Dulles, he was promptly thrown on the next plane back to Turkey. And now here you are talking about how wonderful his group is. I just don’t understand how it works.
MR TONER: So a couple responses. One is, unfortunately, we can’t speak to individual visa cases. I think broadly speaking, though, on any visa case we are constantly looking at new information, so-called continually vetting travel or records. And if we do have new information that we believe this – an individual —
QUESTION: But —
MR TONER: — let me finish – would pose a security risk, we’ll certainly act on that. I can’t speak again specifically to this case, but what I can talk about is this group. And this group, as I said, has saved some 40,000 lives, that are first responders, they operate in a combat zone, and the fact that they’re being singled out and hit by the Syrian regime is, frankly, cause for a concern. And we do support this group. We do support their efforts to save lives in what is admittedly a very complex and convoluted battlefield scene.
And to speak to your broader – to say that this group’s – which I think is the implication of your question, that they somehow have ties to —
QUESTION: No, I’m not suggesting that at all.
MR TONER: Then – okay.
QUESTION: I’m saying that it just strikes me as a bit odd that you’re saying that this group is wonderful and does such a great job and you’re commending them for their heroism, and yet, this – you’re doing this just 10 days after the leader of this group, who was supposed to be – who got his visa revoked and wasn’t allowed to travel here. I understand there was an attack that killed some of its members, and I know that that’s the immediate cause of it —
MR TONER: Right.
QUESTION: — but it just strikes me as being a bit inconsistent if you say that this group is wonderful, and yet, you also ban its leader from coming to the States to collect an award for which – and you say you’re going to continue to support the group. I mean, if you have reason to revoke his visa, that he could be a security threat or something like that, why would you continue to support —
MR TONER: But again – but again, I’m trying to separate this individual from the group, which we believe is —
QUESTION: All right. So the guy is – you’re saying that basically he is suspect but his group is not?
MR TONER: Well, again, I can’t speak to the specific allegations against him, Matt.
QUESTION: Well, not if I —
MR TONER: No, I’m sorry, I – my hands are tied too but —
QUESTION: All right. The other thing —
MR TONER: — but yes, we’re not condemning the group in any way whatsoever.
QUESTION: Off —
MR TONER: We believe it’s doing good work.
QUESTION: Could I —
QUESTION: If he is the leader of the group, how do you support this group and he is not allowed to get into the States? This is the question.
MR TONER: I understand that and all I can say is that —
QUESTION: How can you separate the leader of the group from the group?
MR TONER: Well, he’s one individual in the group.
QUESTION: But the leader of the group.
MR TONER: And any individual – again, I’m broadening my language here for specific reasons, but any individual in any group suspected of ties or relations with extremist groups or that we had believed to be a security threat to the United States, we would act accordingly. But that does not, by extension, mean we condemn or would cut off ties to the group for which that individual works for.
QUESTION: Okay. It just seems a little odd.
QUESTION: Could I just follow up on the group? Which group is —
MR TONER: Sophisticated. (Laughter.)
QUESTION: I mean, they are a civil defense group, right? They are —
QUESTION: The White Helmets?
QUESTION: Who are —
MR TONER: The White Helmets. So this is a group —
QUESTION: White Helmets. Okay, I understand.
MR TONER: So, yeah, this is the Syrian Civil Defense Group. Yeah.
QUESTION: Do you know – I understand about the White Helmets. Do you know who finances them, how they operate, who are they supported by, what kind of organization they have? How do you get your information from them and so on?
MR TONER: Well – well, I can say we provide them with —
QUESTION: We – you do know a little bit.
MR TONER: Well, I can tell you that we provide, through USAID, about $23 million in assistance to them.
Vanessa Beeley also exposes Mosab Obeidat, White Helmets Project Officer and Farouq al-Habib. She writes,
Mosab Obeidat, previous Assistant Chief of Mission with the Qatar Red Crescent, one of whose officials, Khaled Diab was accused of supplying $ 2.2 m to secure arms for the terrorist groups in Syria. Details of this transaction and its exposure can be found in this Al Akhbar article from June 2013. http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/16160
At least three other members of the team were a part of the Syrian “revolution” including Farouq al Habib, one of the 3 most prominent White Helmet leaders who was also a leader of the Homs uprising against the Syrian government and according to his testimony, was tortured by the Syrian “regime” security forces in 2012 for smuggling a journalist into Syria to “cover” the “peaceful protests”. Habib was a founder member of the ‘Homs Revolutionary Council’ (the CIA have been linked to nearly all ‘Revolutionary Councils in Syria) before fleeing to Turkey in 2013 (A more in-depth analysis of his anti-Syrian government testimony will be presented in Part II of this article).
Fraudulent Photos: White Helmets and the Propaganda Machine
In addition to calling for the implementation of a “No-Fly Zone,” the White Helmets have also gone so far as to post fraudulent photos so as to blame the Syrian military for civilian casualties and intentional targeting of civilians when such is not the case. In October, 2015 White Helmets released pictures on its Twitter account purporting to show the aftermath of the Russian bombing campaign against ISIS and assorted terrorists launched on September 30. “Russia strike in Homs today. 33 civilians killed including 3 children and 1 @SyriaCivilDef volunteer” the caption read.
The picture showed a bleeding girl being held by a “Civil Defense” volunteer and claimed that the child was injured along with a number of other civilians.
Unfortunately for the White Helmets, Twitter users immediately exposed the photos as a fraud, since the pictures were actually taken five days prior on September 25, 2015.
Interestingly enough, the White Helmets, in an attempt to assist drumming up opposition to Vladmir Putin and Russia’s attack on jihadists, also managed to tweet about the horror of Russia’s air strikes hours before Russia’s parliament even granted Putin the authority to use the Air Force in Syria, according to Sputnik.
White Helmets: Anti-Assad Propaganda, Support and Rescue Team for Al-Nusra
Despite being routinely cited as a “humanitarian” organization, however, the White Helmets appear to be much more than even a wolf in sheep’s clothing in the NGO world. Not only providing the basis for carefully crafted propaganda opportunities, the organization appears to actually work side by side with terrorist outfits like Jobhat al-Nusra both on the propaganda angle and the battlefield.
For one, it is important to note that the area of operation for the White Helmets is never within territory controlled by the Syrian government. It is without deviation solely located within territory held by “moderate terrorists,” Nusra, or other related Western-backed terrorist groups. Obviously, if White Helmets truly represented the Syrian people, they would be operating in both territories. As Rick Sterling wrote in his article “Highly Effective Manipulators,”
The trainees are said to be ‘nonpartisan’ but only work in rebel-controlled areas of Idlib (now controlled by Nusra/Al Queda) and Aleppo. There are widely divergent claims regarding the number of people trained by the White Helmets and the number of people rescued. The numbers are probably highly exaggerated especially since rebel-controlled territories have few civilians. A doctor who recently served in a rebel-controlled area of Aleppo described it as a ghost town. The White Helmets work primarily with the rebel group Jabat al Nusra (Al Queda in Syria).
White Helmets: ‘Unarmed and Unbiased’
While the White Helmets’ tag line is “unarmed and unbiased,” nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed, the organization is incredibly biased and visibly armed. In the second part to her expose of White Helmets, “Part II: Syria’s White Helmets: War By Way Of Deception,” Vanessa Beeley writes,
As part of the myth-building process, White Helmet members are repetitively described as ‘ordinary people’, specifically, “bakers, tailors, engineers, pharmacists, painters, carpenters, students”, and are relentlessly depicted as heroes, miracle workers, saints and super-humans scaling the “Mount Everest” of war zones with impartiality and neutrality. “Unarmed and unbiased” is their strapline, as they sacrifice themselves for the “Syrian People”. Indeed, those same Syrian people who have never heard of them. The myth-making continues…
. . . . .
Can a organisation rightly be called an ‘independent relief organisation’ when it is being funded by a foreign government who is directly involved in the military over-throw of Syria’s government? Most intelligent people should have no problem answering that question.
… . . .
This video below reveals a White Helmet operative describing the “throwing of Shabiha bodies in the trash”. Shabiha is a derogatory term for Syrian Government militia or state-employed security forces but is liberally applied by terrorist aka “rebel alliance” factions to any member of the Syrian military, irrespective of whether they are Alawite, Sunni, or Shia. Let’s remind ourselves of White Helmet claims on their websites of how its ‘aid workers’ “have risked sniper fire to rescue SAA bodies to give them a proper burial.”
Watch this shocking video here:
This same neutral White Helmet operative goes on to pledge allegiance to the terrorist forces in the region stating:
“They are our role models, the best of people and we have the honour to serve them”
“SERVE THEM [armed terrorists, Al Nusra/Al Qaeda]”, curious turn of phrase for a neutral, impartial humanitarian “moderate” organisation? Watch here:
He also congratulates the Mujahadeen for liberating Jisr al Shugour from Assad’s forces.
“Glad tidings have reached us in Jisr al Shugour by the hands of our Mujahadeen brothers. May Allah strengthen them and make them steadfast on the correct way and soon, insh’Allah, the strongholds of the Assad regime in Latakia and Damascus will be liberated.”
It should be clear that these alleged “moderates” you are watching here are actually moderate extremists and jihadists, and the western media has been very careful in hiding this fact. Watch:
Moving on to another video, this time revealing White Helmet operatives standing on the discarded dead bodies of SAA [Syrian Arab Army] soldiers and giving the victory sign. This display of support for the Al Nusra extremist terrorists who have just massacred these soldiers once again demonstrates where their true allegiances lie.
Numerous photos and large amounts of video footage is available showing the alleged “unarmed” White Helmets parading about with rifles, virtually indistinguishable in their appearance and actions from the terrorists they are working with except for their actual white helmets. In at least on instance, White Helmets members were videotaped apparently taking part in the execution of a man condemned to death by Nusra/ISIS fighters. In this video, the execution of the man who is shot in the head by the terrorists is clearly shown. Before his body is even fully still, the White Helmets arrive at the scene, within seconds, to collect the body as if they were on standby.
With all of the above information taken together, White Helmets should be considered nothing more than a terrorist rescue operation and propaganda wing for al-Nusra Front. This organization is wholly funded, directed, and promoted by Western governments, intelligence agencies and Foundations for the purposes of assisting Western-backed terrorists in destroying secular Syria and replacing it with a collection of impotent religious/ethnicity-based petty squabbling microstates and mini-states. The organization serves as a clever and opportunistic tool to be used by Western media for the purposes of sourcing false claims from “impartial” “activist” groups on the ground in Syria and giving the claims the source and credibility of a “human rights” organization. Clearly, whatever claims are made by the White Helmets should be immediately dismissed as yet another false statement in a long string of lies easily traced directly back to the United States and the UK.
Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 650 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.
 Anderson, Tim. The Dirty War On Syria. Pg. 75.
 Brzezinski, Zbigniew. The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives. Basic Books, 1st Edition. 1998.