Despite recent attempts to re-direct funds earmarked for operation in Syria, the US will continue to support the Al-Qaeda affiliated White Helmets operating in the country.
“We will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to the Syrians in a situation of vulnerability, we will support the White Helmets and the Independent and Impartial Mechanism of the United Nations so that [Syrian President Bashar] Assad is held responsible for [his] serious crimes,” US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.
In addition, Nauert further stated that the US State Department will allocate $230 million, originally planned to finance the “stabilization of Syria” for other purposes of Washington’s foreign policy.
“As a result of the contributions of the major coalition partners, US Secretary of State Pompeo authorized the State Department to redirect approximately $230 million for the stabilization of Syria, which was under review,” said the spokeswoman, adding that “the State Department will redirect those funds to support other foreign policy priorities” in the United States.
The US decision to redirect funds does not imply a change in Washington’s commitment to Syria-related goals, Nauert said.
“This decision does not represent any kind of reduction of the US commitment to its strategic objectives in Syria,” the spokesman said.
The White Helmets are widely misrepresented in Western media as a politically neutral, non-belligerent NGO dedicated to aiding civilians in Syria. However, behind the videos portraying White Helmets rescuing children from ruins, there is growing documentary evidence of the group staging such scenarios, coercing victims into acting out scripts in front of cameras for propaganda stunts.
Syrian President Bashar Assad has insisted that the White Helmets are indeed part of the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda. The evidence presented on this account includes instances of White Helmet members caught filming, photographing, and even fighting alongside Al-Qaeda and affiliated terrorist groups.
According to the White Helmets, its main donors are the Mayday Rescue Foundation, funded by the United Kingdom, Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany, and the Chemonics company, based in Washington.
In July, the evacuation of White Helmets by Israel, which has both supported terrorist groups in Syria and engaged in direct military aggression against the embattled Arab state, was called by Russia’s foreign ministry a “sign of the organization’s hypocrisy.”