The Syrian White Helmets; more than just a White Lie

In 2013, a group was founded in Syria under the name of the White Helmets by a British ex-military officer. Since then, this now infamous organisation has claimed it’s sole purpose was to provide aid and medical assistance to civilians in different pockets of rebel-seized territory in Syria. White Helmet activities have repeatedly been called into question since their creation making them no strangers to controversy, with even mainstream media now struggling to cover for the groups many crimes committed throughout the civil war ensuing in the nation.

The White Helmets official stance purports to be a neutral group in the conflict, but these so called medical first responders have been found several times to be armed and even standing proudly on the dead bodies of Syrian Arab Army soldiers who are fighting for the government against terrorism across the country. They work solely in areas under rebel/terrorist control and for all purposes appear to be nothing more than a propaganda arm for the likes of Al-Qaeda, FSA, Ahrar al-Sham, Al-Nusra Front and ISIS.

White Helmet members are caught armed despite claiming impartiality and neutrality in the Syrian conflict.

Eastern Aleppo, once held by anti-government forces, was home to the White Helmets who pumped out several videos seemingly demonstrating Assad’s war crimes from chemical attacks to hospital airstrikes to so called “double-tap” bombings on medics. After the SSA retook Eastern Aleppo, the civilians who had lived there all that time for the most part claimed to have never heard of the group, and those that had heard of them spoke about how the White Helmets did not aid civilians and instead only supplied medical assistance to rebel/terrorist fighters, as shown in the following video.

These first hand reports are reinforced by Canadian independent journalist Eva Bartlett who visited Eastern Aleppo several times throughout the conflict including when it was under terrorist control, with locals giving her similar stories.

The following video appears to show White Helmets responding to a fabricated chemical attack in an unidentified location, with many of the inconsistencies being pointed out in the footage. A recurring theme with these propaganda videos is that the White Helmets never use gloves when “treating” so called victims of chemical weapon attacks. In reality the chemicals would still be potent on a victim, with the effects easily being passed onto a first responder if they are inadequately equipped, although this is never the case for the White Helmets. Another glaringly obvious fault is that none of the victims show signs of burns to their skin which would be visually apparent if chemical weapons had been used.

One inconsistency that stands out throughout this video is the same man taking on the role of three separate people/victims. He is firstly seen laying face down on the floor, apparently deceased, only for him to show up seconds later in the video beside the White Helmets hosing down child victims with water, with the man by all accounts seeming to have made a miraculous recovery. This is short lived however, as a couple of minutes later, he is slumped up against a wall and looking close to death yet again.

The same man takes on the part of three separate victims in a White Helmet clip.

The White Helmets, otherwise known as Syria Civil Defence, have been caught out numerous times making guest appearances in execution videos recorded by different extremist groups.

An innocent man is judged by a masked terrorist before being made to kneel, when a different armed extremist comes into the frame and executes the man. Moments later, White Helmet members complete with uniform rush onto the scene to collect the body.

This is not an isolated incident, with the following video further demonstrating the mentality of these group members and their affiliation with extremist organisations.

The footage depicts a man being publicly executed in Daraa, Syria, for an undisclosed reason, with White Helmet members raising their arms and cheering as they immediately arrive on the scene to collect the mans body. Their cheers are echoed by the extremist crowd until the body is removed from the scene. These are the people the media would have you believe are part of the so called “moderate” rebel factions in Syria.

Bashar al-Assad, the president of Syria, has time and again accused the White Helmets of fabricating atrocities and with many of the so called victims shown in the anti-government propaganda videos sometimes even being actors.

White Helmets and victims behind the scenes preparing for a video.

These photographs were released by Syrian media activist Penelope Stafyla purportedly showing a studio in which the Civil Syrian Defence are preparing to stage a video for the Ghouta chemical attack which supposedly took place in 2013 by government forces. The outcome of which drummed up further support for rebel factions in Syria at the time.

Fake limbs covered in blood are shown on the table along with face-paint.

Opposition forces have been caught out more than once using fake limbs and even mannequins to act as dead bodies and the body parts of so called victims. Paint is also shown in the picture together with cotton-buds for facial application. A bottle of almost empty fake blood stands next to the plastic limbs.

A woman clutches her child who has been doused in familiar white powder.

Child victims especially are often seen to be covered in a typical white powder that is suspected to be debris and ash from airstrike explosions, although in this alleged White Helmet studio the child victim mirrors the appearance of other young victims shown in propaganda videos.

A man affiliated with the White Helmets applies detailed make-up to a young girls face to give the impression of a brutal wound.

This iconic group of the Syrian civil war have found themselves inundated with embarrassing and mostly damning pictures and videos throughout the conflict that discredit their overall actions within the region. There are many members of the Civil Syrian Defence who have been caught out supporting and even fighting for terrorist organisations, showing that they not only cohabit with extremists but willingly work amongst them.

Two known White Helmet individuals in fluorescent jackets celebrate with Al-Nusra Front extremists, as indicated by their flag.

Members of the so called peaceful and aid-giving group are pictured with a number of different factions deemed by even the West to be of an extreme nature, including Daesh, Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra Front and more.

The mask slips; three separate White Helmet members pose as part of their extremist factions.

The men look just as proud in their White Helmet uniforms as they do in their fatigues and brandishing weapons used against government forces.

Armed and ready to slaughter, a far cry from a White Helmets official duties.

Undoubtedly this is far from how the White Helmets would like the West to see them, those who they rely on the most for funding. But they are safe in the knowledge that Western media will eat up their anti-government propaganda videos while conveniently leaving out the darker side that the Civil Syrian Defence has shown time and again since their creation back in 2013.

American and European major news outlets even go as far as to cover for the group when they make high profile mistakes. The following video shows the White Helmets posing in an in-action shot with a male victim covered in rubble. It appears the cameraman is filming from different angles for still-shots, with the workers and victim holding their frozen positions until the scene finally unfolds in the latter part of the video.

 

After this footage was mistakenly released, the Revolutionary Forces of Syria (a major Syrian opposition media organisation linked with Al-Qaeda) were quick to claim that this video was intended to be a part of the “mannequin challenge” internet craze at the time. They later apologised for the bizarre scenes and admitted it was in poor taste.

The actor lays half buried in rubble, and once again is coated in the familiar white powder.

It is however worth noting the chilling similarities this footage has with other “real” videos released by the same group. The victim here has his face covered in a white powder, identical to that of real victims that the White Helmets are so often pictured with.

The man under the rubble; pictured in his FSA uniform.

With the Revolutionary Forces of Syria admitting the video being a fake, it comes to no surprise that the actor under the rubble is actually an extremist fighting under the Free Syrian Army flag. The FSA is an extremist group that has not hidden it’s dealings in public beheading’s and are known to mutilate the corpses of Syrian Arab Army soldiers who fight on behalf of Bashar al-Assad. This group is still deemed to be “moderate” by Western governments and their media outlets.

These propaganda arms of extremist groups commonly show the plight of Syrian children, and so it comes to no surprise when they are caught out using children as actors, knowing it will get the strongest response from Western populations.

A young boy appears to be laying dead, only for another photograph to show the blood belongs to that of a chicken. The boy grins happily, indicating he believes it to be some kind of a game, being too young to realise the manipulation.

Such child actors have even entered our front-page news on occasion, with the following photograph quickly becoming an iconic scene of the devastation caused in Syria from this ongoing conflict.

Iconic; a young boy is pictured in the middle of a war zone in a pristine ambulance, sitting calmly as photographers clamber around to get the perfect shot.

When this young boy first entered the spotlight, the West was disgusted, with NATO affiliated governments calling for fresh strikes against the Syrian regime in response. You probably have not noticed however that this photograph is no longer in circulation amongst mainstream media. This is due to the fact that the boy was manipulated by the media branches of Al-Qaeda connected groups such as the White Helmets. His head injury is faked, with the boys father later expressing outrage at how his son had been portrayed in such a way on the world stage. Fortunately, the young child, named Omran Daqneesh, and his family managed to escape the extremists shortly after this incident, and have since shown full support for Assad’s government.

The same boy from the ambulance is pictured safe and sound, clutching the national flag of Syria, indicating the families loyalty to the government of Syria.

Perhaps the most damning thing of all in this circumstance is the case of the man behind the photo-lens. Mahmoud Raslan is the photographer who took the symbolic picture of Omran in the ambulance, with Mahmoud giving a touching account to the British news organisation The Telegraph about how he was brought to tears in the moment. Mr Raslan later took a selfie with Al-Qaeda linked men who went on to behead a 14 year old boy.

Mahmoud Raslan pictured with child killers from the Al Zinki faction, a Sunni Islamist “moderate” rebel group once backed by the United States.

When questioned on how they are funded, the White Helmets responded that they are “fiercely independent and accepts no money from governments, corporations or anyone directly involved in the Syrian conflict. This allows us full autonomy to advocate for whatever is needed to save lives.”

It is now a well known lie about how they receive their funding, with US deputy spokesperson Mark Toner admitting on 27th April 2016 when asked how the White Helmets fund themselves that the United States provides “about 23 million dollars in assistance to them.” This however is a small slice of overall funding, with the British and Saudi Arabian governments respectively providing even larger sums to the would-be independent White Helmets.

The White Helmets outline their official position on the Syrian conflict time and again, “We are not tied to any political group in Syria or anywhere else. We support universally-agreed human rights and freedoms. We support the aspirations of Syrians to live in a country that respects those rights and where people of different backgrounds, cultures and faiths live alongside each other in peace. We criticise anyone violating human rights, no matter what side they’re on.”

Netflix released a short film on the White Helmets at the end of 2016, with the film winning an Oscar the following year. The film demonstrates the so called heroic actions of White Helmet members throughout the civil war, however fails to include any of the unscrupulous deeds that surround the disgraced organisation. Instead the documentary has been hailed as nothing more than a propaganda piece, with the Oscar win being politically charged.

While in filming of this Netflix original, Raed Saleh, the head of the Civil Syrian Defence (White Helmets) was due to receive an award in the United States, recognising his contributions to humanitarian relief. Mr Saleh, who works in Syria, was denied entry to the US after landing in Washington from Istanbul, Turkey. He was told his visa had been cancelled, likely due to his name showing up on a database intended to guard against terrorist suspects entering the country.

Evidence against this group paints a very different picture of them to the one mainstream media and Western governments would have it’s citizens believe. The war crimes committed by the White Helmets are ignored by the media, while their false propaganda is heavily distributed, intended to tug at the emotional heartstrings of NATO affiliated countries populations. Regime change is an agenda heavily pushed by the organisations that engage in White Helmet produced propaganda.

Civil Syrian Defence has made the news recently, claiming a government sanctioned chemical attack in the Douma region of Syria, to which Britain, US and France have recently responded with missile strikes against pro-government positions. There is still no evidence of any chemical attack having taken place prior to allied strikes, nor after.

 

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