Dozens of White Helmets members are now resettling in Canada after they were evacuated from war-torn regions in Syria with the help of Israel. This has raised questions from many who have criticized the actions of this so-called humanitarian group…
Canada is now accepting at least 117 White Helmets members and their families who were evacuated from Syria over the summer. The group has made headlines for its reported humanitarian aid efforts, and it receives substantial funding from western governments, which has included an estimated 33 million dollars from the United States since 2013.
Canadian media reported that the country was prepared to accept as many as 1,200 refugees, but it has recently resettled 117 former White Helmets members and their families after they were evacuated from Syria in July with the help of Israel, Britain, France, and Germany. Justifying the decision to settle the White Helmets in four major provinces in Canada, reports also claimed that members of the group had a target on their backs in Syria and knew what their fate would be if they stayed.
The White Helmets have been praised by the mainstream media, and have even been the subject of a self-titled documentary on Netflix. They were also in the running for the Nobel Peace Prize last year, and it is reported that they will be nominated again this year.
But even with all of the attention from the media, the White Helmets have also been the subject of controversy. A number of leaked videos have shown White Helmets members with members of Al-Qaeda, dancing with weapons, and executing and disposing of the bodies of members of the Syrian military. Russia has also publicly accused the White Helmets of staging videos of alleged chemical attacks in Syrian with the intent of blaming those events on the Syrian government.
Given the group’s history, it has raised the question of whether their members share the same radical beliefs as groups like Al-Qaeda, which has made the reality of the White Helmets resettling in western countries all the more concerning.