Any time you see the White Helmets in the news these days, it’s probably going to be for all the wrong reasons. This latest bombshell is no exception.
As 21WIRE has previously noted, this “urban search and rescue” organisation claims to be “impartial” in the Syrian conflict, even though it has receive nearly all of its support and money from Western governments, and has only ever operate in ‘rebel’ terrorist-occupied pockets in Syria. Incredibly, even though they are non-existent in Syria proper, the group solicits cash donations from the public on their website.
As of April 2018, this organisation has claimed to have saved over 114,000 lives, and yet have never once released any records of proof of this wild claim.
But it’s claims like this which have been used to elevate the group’s public image and to pull in hundreds of millions of dollars in financial support and government patronage from the West.
Since its inception in late 2013, it is clear that just through the known funding it had received from its main funders the US and UK governments, along with EU state funding and Gulf states like Qatar – that this supposed ‘search and rescue’ group has received well in excess of $200 million. If you added it all up, including solicited donations from the public, this may top a quarter of a billion dollars. Many have asked the question: where did all of the money go? Not surprisingly, both donor governments and media seem to be disinterested in this question. In 2018, when the wider public, and even the Trump White House too, began to really cop onto the fact that the White Helmets weren’t really what they were being marketed as, the press began running media cover pieces like, “UK may increase aid to Syrian White Helmets after Trump pulls funding.”
So aside from a motivation by Western mainstream media and politicians to protect the White Helmets’ image as a truthful source of information (in reality, they produced visual propaganda which was used to bolster the US, UK and Turkish-led proxy war against Damascus) coming out of Syria, there was also a clear financial motivation for its principle actors to protect its reputation and image.
Will this be the final death knell for this dubious propaganda vehicle created and funded by Western governments?
Clearly, their days are numbered. Presently, the White Helmets are only operating in the small Al-Qaeda-occupied province of Idlib in northern Syria. They also have offices in Turkey but these are mainly concerned with producing and disseminating images for western audiences.
Because of their overt western backing, along with the painful fact never reported in Western media – that they have only ever operated in Al Nusra/HTS/Al Qaeda controlled areas in Syria – the White Helmets are not liked, nor welcome by the Syrian population as a whole. Hence, their only support resides in the West and from other regional actors like Turkey, Israel and Gulf States, who themselves are engaged in destablising Syria and trying to overthrow the government in Damascus.
Many have asked: where does all the money go? We’re told that all of the proceeds received are being funneled through a front organisation called Mayday Rescue, based in the Netherlands. However, beyond this, it is difficult to get a clear picture of group’s total financial expenditures since 2013. These are extremely large sums indeed, which left many unanswered questions.
Fortunately, this latest shocking embezzlement scandal may begin to provide some crucial answers.White Helmets Implicated in Cash Embezzlement and Fraud Scandal