Published: Tue, July 24, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Israel Praised for Rescuing Hundreds of Syrian 'White Helmets' and Families

Israel Praised for Rescuing Hundreds of Syrian 'White Helmets' and Families

Israel rebuffed on Monday a new Russian offer to keep Iranian forces in Syria away from the Golan Heights ceasefire line, an Israeli official said, complicating Moscow's bid to stabilise the country amid a waning civil war. It said the Syrian missiles landed inside Syrian territory just short of the Golan Heights, which have been occupied by Israel since 1967. "I therefore authorized their transfer via Israel to other countries as an important humanitarian gesture", Netanyahu said. No injuries or damage was reported, and the military says the rockets landed in Syrian territory.

Israeli media said Monday was the first time it was sacked operationally.

Israel seized the Golan from Syria in the 1967 Six Day war, in a move that was never recognised by the global community.

Netanyahu met Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and its armed forces chief, Gen. Valery Gerasimov - a visit the Israeli leader said was arranged last week at the request of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Israel's vigilance was underscored by the launch of its latest, US -backed missile shield against rockets that it said were fired from within Syria but which fell short of the Golan lines.

The report did not elaborate on what exactly had been targeted, but an intelligence source told Reuters that a major military research centre for chemical arms production was located near the city and believed to house a team of Iranian military experts involved in weapons production.

"It's quite emblematic that the White Helmets preferred to flee Syria with foreign assistance, thus unmasking their essence and hypocrisy to the whole world", the commentary said.

Both Tehran and Moscow are backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the conflict.

Sirens sounded in northern Israel on Monday morning as the IDF implemented the David's Sling to intercept two SS-21 ballistic missiles, which had been fired as a result of internal fighting in Syria.

The Syrian government on Monday condemned a multilateral operation to evacuate hundreds of rescue workers from the war-torn country as a "criminal process" meant to de-stabilize Syria.

In May, Israel said it attacked almost all of Iran's military infrastructure after Iranian forces fired rockets at Israeli-held territory for the first time in the most extensive military exchange ever between the two adversaries.

"The criminal operation that Israel and its tools conducted in the area reveals the true nature of the so-called White Helmets", said a source at the foreign ministry, cited by state news agency SANA.

In a statement on Monday the group said during the southwest campaign four of its volunteers were killed and dozens injured, four White Helmet centres were hit and rescue vehicles were destroyed by Syrian government bombardment.

Syrian authorities have long described the Civil Defense search-and-rescue group, which are popularly known as the White Helmets, as a terror organization.

Netanyahu earlier said he would tell the envoys that "Israel insists on the separation of forces agreement between us and Syria being honored, as they were honoured for decades until the civil war in Syria broke out".

"The kingdom agreed to a request by Britain, Germany and Canada to give the White Helmet workers temporary asylum in the kingdom before settlement in the West on humanitarian grounds", spokesman Mohammad al Kayed said.

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