| 23.07,18. 02:37 AM |
Assad regime blocks White Helmets evacuation
Syrian regime forces have denied exit to members of the White Helmets civil defense agency and their families to opposition-held Idlib province amid an evacuation deal from Quneitra province, according to the group’s chief.
Riyad Salih said on Sunday that the evacuation of the White Helmets members and their families were blocked by the Bashar al-Assad regime, whose forces control Syria’s borderline with Amman.
“We communicated with the UN and for their safety, evacuation was carried out to Jordan through [Israel-occupied] the Golan Heights,” he told Anadolu Agency.
On Saturday, Jordan’s Foreign Ministry said it has allowed the UN to organize the passage of some 800 White Helmets members for humanitarian reasons.
In a statement, ministry spokesman Mohamed al-Kayed said Amman responded to a request to allow the 800 Syrians into the country temporarily to be resettled later in the West.
Three Western countries - Britain, Germany and Canada – made a legally binding pledge to resettle the 800 Syrians within a specified period of time "because of a risk to their lives", al-Kayed said, without elaborating.
Last month, Syrian regime forces launched a wide-ranging military operation -- supported by Russian air power – to recapture the opposition-held Daraa province, triggering a major displacement crisis, with an estimated 350,000 civilians fleeing the province towards areas near the Jordanian border.