Damascus: White Helmet evacuation as “criminal operation”

BEIRUT – The Syrian government on Monday condemned the evacuation of hundreds of Syrian White Helmet rescue workers who fled the country with help from Israel into Jordan, calling it a "criminal operation" undertaken by "Israel and its tools."

The rescue workers and their families crossed out of Syria into the Golan Heights before arriving in Jordan. Israel said it had helped with the evacuation at the request of U.S. President Donald Trump and other leaders – and there had been fears that the workers‘ lives were at risk.

The Syrian government has accused the White Helmets, also known as the Syrian Civil Defence, of being agents of foreign enemies and working with insurgents fighting President Bashar al-Assad.