A volunteer with the Syrian Civil Defense, more commonly known as the White Helmets, has been dismissed after he was depicted in a video dumping the bodies of mutilated Syrian soldiers alongside rebel fighters.
“On 20 June 2017, a volunteer of SCD in Daraa Governorate was witnessed participating in an activity that violated the organisational principles and vision of SCD,” the Syria Civil Defense said in an official statement.
“Having conducted its investigation of the incident, SCD management has concluded that the volunteer concerned was acting independently, and not in his capacity as a member of SCD. Nonetheless, the volunteer’s behaviour constitutes a gross breach of SCD’s Code of Conduct and as a result the volunteer has been dismissed.”
Based on the footage, it isn’t clear if the White Helmets volunteer participated in the mutilation of any corpses, but the haphazard handling of the bodies, as well as the fact that they’re being tossed into an open trash heap, suggests some level of complicity in what was happening.
The video footage was posted on June 20 to the Twitter account of Ali Kourani, a Lebanese soldier, who added the caption “Impartial and humanitarian White Helmets participating in the beheading and throwing of Syrian soldiers bodies at a dumpster in Daraa today.”
[WARNING: EXTREMELY GRAPHIC CONTENT]:
Impartial and humanitarian White Helmets participating in the beheading and throwing of Syrian soldiers bodies at a dumpster in Daraa today: pic.twitter.com/2UvEbhUu9g
— Ali (@Ali_Kourani) June 20, 2017
Members of the White Helmets have been implicated in similar incidents before, such as a video from May which appears to depict several members celebrating an execution shortly before they carry away the executed man’s corpse on a stretcher, or the footage which captured White Helmet volunteer Haj Abu Ahmad, who said part of his job was to “collect the bodies of the Shabiha [pro-Assad militia fighters] and throw them in the trash.”
Another video from 2016 shows White Helmet members standing only yards away from what are believed to be fighters from the al-Nusra Front, the Syrian al-Qaeda affiliate, as they read out a death sentence and execute a prisoner. The aid workers then walk into the frame and carry away the corpse.
Additional evidence abounds that the White Helmets are not quite what they first appear to be:
• A photograph of White Helmets giving the victory symbol as they cart away a pile of dead Syrian soldiers.
• A photo showing White Helmets, who are supposed to be neutral, non-combatant, humanitarian workers, carrying weapons.
• More footage of armed White Helmets.
• The Twitter page (now taken down, but see a screen shot here) of a White Helmet named Muawiya Hassan Agha, who appears to be cavorting with rebel fighters.
While none of the above definitively proves anything about the White Helmet organization itself, the group has long been suspected of being a front group for Western imperial ambitions.
The White Helmet group, which operates almost exclusively in rebel-held areas of Syria, has received Western funding since its inception and reliably pushes Western talking points regarding the Syrian war; not to mention the group was founded by ex-British intelligence officer, James Le Mesurier.
Other Syrian opposition-affiliated media operations, such as the Aleppo Media Centre, are also backed by Western governments, a common strategy used by intervening outside powers to steer conflicts in the “right” direction. A similar strategy of “information warfare” was used during the 2014 EuroMaidan coup in Ukraine.
When journalist Vanessa Beeley traveled to Aleppo to meet with the real, official Syria Civil Defense, one of its aid workers, who used the name “Khaled” to remain anonymous, described the White Helmets in very blatant terms:
They are terrorists, not rescuers. They stole our ambulances and three of our fire engines. They don’t do any rescue work. They drive round with guns in the back of their car like any other terrorist. Some are from East Aleppo, some are from Syria but not from Aleppo and some are even coming in from abroad.
Aside from the group’s murky ties to foreign powers interested in the outcome of the Syrian war, the number of individual incidents involving White Helmet complicity or cooperation with rebel jihadist factions raises serious questions about the group’s status as a neutral NGO.
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Contributed by Will Porter of The Daily Sheeple.