October 24, 2018
The White Helmets are the flagship of the Western-manufactured “human rights” industry working to destabilize Syria and to criminalize the Syrian government and its allies.
In July 2013, 51 Syrian Arab Army (SAA) soldiers were executed in Khan Al Assal. Nusra Front (Al-Qaeda) and affiliated extremist group Ansar Al Khalifah took responsibility for this brutal mass murder. Videos alleged to be taken just before the execution show young boys among the soldiers forced to lie on the ground. One soldier is seen giving the victory salute just before death.
Not long after this atrocity was committed, the UN chemical weapons inspectors arrived in Damascus on 18 August 2013. On 21 August 2013, the news broke that the SAA had allegedly carried out a chemical weapons attack in Eastern Ghouta right under the noses of the recently arrived UN inspectors.
The credibility of this narrative has been challenged by a number of analysts and research institutions, including MIT and Carla Del Ponte, member of the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria.
During the Ansar Al Khalifah attack on Khan Al Assal, a further estimated 123 civilians and army personnel were massacred. The bodies of the martyrs were desecrated and mutilated, some were burned or flung into a pit on the outskirts of the town, used as a mass grave. The international condemnation of this bloodbath would be overshadowed by their redirected outrage as events in Eastern Ghouta conveniently overtook the atrocities committed in Khan Al Assal.
The human rights industry that has been created to manage the Syrian narratives manipulates events to amplify those that serve the NATO-member-state agenda in Syria, effectively the furtherment of US Coalition resource-plundering and the reduction of Syria to a rudderless state and a terrorist vacuum, where sectarian lawlessness and conflict will thrive.
Simultaneously, the crimes and massacres committed by the Western-sponsored armed gangs and terrorist groups in Syria will be normalized and “disappeared” by this highly partisan network of public opinion influencers.
The White Helmets epitomize this doctrine. As their role has developed since their British intelligence-led incubation in Turkey, they have become pivotal to the US Coalition military adventurism in Syria. They are essential to legitimize ongoing proxy and direct intervention in Syria by the regime-change global alliance. Their Western state-endorsed “humanitarian” label appears to give the White Helmets immunity from accountability, particularly when it comes to their involvement in the atrocities committed by the multitude of terrorist and extremist factions who control the areas where the White Helmets are embedded.
The history of the White Helmet construct stretches further back than the Syrian conflict, however, as does the concept of the hybrid war or the deployment of the “smart” power complex as an iron fist inside the velvet glove of “humanitarianism” – an alternative to military deployment which has become a far less attractive option since the second Gulf War when US “boots on the ground” returned home in body bags and threatened to turn public opinion against needless and expensive foreign wars.
James Le Mesurier, a former British military officer turned private security expert with links to MI6, was the mastermind behind the creation of the White Helmets when he was working for ARK Group in 2013. ARK specializes in “stabilization and development” in conflict zones and “sustainable positive social change,” a tagline that is much favored by the “smart” power networks.
Mesurier was expanding on a concept he had pioneered in Pristina, Kosovo after the NATO bombing campaign of 1999. From July 1999 – 2000, Le Mesurier was appointed Intelligence Coordinator for Pristina City, acting as liaison officer between intel officers of different national contingents in KFOR (Kosovo Force). Le Mesurier was tasked with the transformation of the KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army) into the Kosovo Protection Corps. At that point, the KLA consisted of Albanian warlords and Al-Qaeda elements which Le Mesurier rebranded and promoted as the post NATO-intervention security and stability agents.
Many analysts, historians, and researchers will present the case that the NATO intervention in Yugoslavia was the template for Iraq, Libya, and Syria. Le Mesurier used the same concept that he had introduced in Kosovo with the creation of the White Helmets to collaborate with and offer protection for the extremist groups, including Al-Qaeda, while also enabling and providing cover for the US Coalition’s violations of international law in Syria. The White Helmet project is designed to demoralize and undermine resistance to US Coalition strategy in Syria. It has successfully displaced existing Syrian state institutions such as the REAL Syria Civil Defence, established in Syria in 1953.
The White Helmets’ role in Syria has been identified and proven to be one of destabilization rather than the restoration of stability to a war-torn Syria. In a recent interview with the author, a still-functioning White Helmet in Daraa Al Balad, south of Damascus, told me that it is very likely that many of the White Helmet groups are led by Nusra Front members: “Of course! They might be Nusra Front and run a White Helmet center so this means all his colleagues are also Nusra Front”.
The White Helmets have been shown to participate in terrorist atrocities that include the torture and execution of prisoners and civilians. On a recent trip to East Aleppo, I visited Al Mashad square, only 200 meters from the White Helmet headquarters featured in the Oscar nominated movie ‘Last Men in Aleppo’. In this square, “moderate” extremists, Nour Al Din Zenki, tortured and beheaded 12-year-old Abdullah Issa in July 2016. Witnesses I spoke to last month told me the White Helmets knew the execution was taking place but only appeared after the grizzly murder to “clean up” once the extremist group savagery had claimed another child victim.
Survivors of the April 2017 Rashideen (Aleppo) suicide bomb attack on the evacuees from the terrorist-besieged Idlib villages of Kafarya and Foua have accused the White Helmets of participating in the abduction of dying and injured children from the scene. A huge number of those children are still missing.
Civilians who remained in Eastern Ghouta after its liberation from extremist groups told me that they feared that the White Helmets would kidnap their children during the occupation. In September 2018, a family from Idlib informed me that the White Helmets had played a role in the abduction of their 11-year-old son, Ahmed, to be used in the staging of a “chemical attack.” An “attack” that would permit further unlawful aggression from the UK, US, French alliance in defense of their proxy forces now gathered in Idlib.
The list of accusations against the White Helmets from all areas they occupied alongside the US Coalition extremist factions is a comprehensive one. So, the question must be raised – why do NATO-aligned media, think tanks and “humanitarian” agencies refuse to address these alarming incidents of inhumanity?
Instead, they have erected a media and political firewall around the White Helmets, providing them with immunity from accountability for the unspeakable acts they are accused of committing, by the Syrian people they claim to serve.
Earlier this week, Canadian international human-rights lawyer Irwin Cotler nominated the White Helmets for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize. The group has been nominated for the NPP before, but failed on previous attempts.
Cotler claims that the White Helmets are “the embodiment of what heroism and hope and the search for peace and our common humanity is all about.”
A young boy in the Bab Al Nairab district of East Aleppo (after liberation) told me that the White Helmets worked with Nusra Front in a shared building and collaborated in the imprisonment and torture of members of his family. If this is Cotler’s vision of “common humanity” then we are facing a very bleak future.
In an interview with journalist James Corbett in February 2018, I made the point that the White Helmet construct was potentially a global franchise that would appear, perhaps rebranded, in other areas of the world targeted for intervention by the imperialist war machine. Journalist Caitlin Johnstone picked up on this prediction and wrote:
“James Le Mesurier is a British private security specialist and a former British military intelligence officer. He knows how to construct a psyop. He’s trying to franchise his war propaganda firm worldwide, where it will be used to manufacture pro-regime change narratives and will be aggressively defended and promoted by the establishment media, and its allegations against disobedient governments and factions will be reported as fact by western newscasters and pundits.”
The pro-war factions went into overdrive when this subject was raised. On Twitter, Elliot Higgins of Bellingcat, with “links to intelligence agencies,” tweeted a veiled threat which appeared to confirm exactly what I had said.
Mayday Rescue was established by Le Mesurier in 2014 to act as a conduit for funds from the British government Conflict Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) to the White Helmets. The Netherlands government has just suspended funding for Mayday Rescue and the White Helmets on the basis that neither are able to provide reassurances that the funds are not going to the extremist and terrorist groups in Syria. On their website, Mayday Rescue informs us it is “assessing opportunities for implementation of Civil Defence-based stabilisation programmes in other countries in the Middle East, including Yemen and Iraq.” A variation on the White Helmet theme has made an appearance in Venezuela, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Le Mesurier was recently on a recruitment drive in Brazil.
A recent investigation reveals that Le Mesurier and the same board of directors who established Mayday Rescue have created a new entity – R3covery which then changed its name to Sisu Global BV – based in Amsterdam, Holland. The website is almost a carbon copy of Mayday Rescue with the same mission of developing and implementing resilience solutions via stabilization actors “delivering critical services to communities emerging from conflict.” Working with “local partners” to provide support for “transition” – the blueprint for the Global North “democratization” process.
The White Helmet construct has an entire industry of PR agencies, government-linked influencers, and billionaire networks protecting their questionable reputation. The intention is to recycle the ultimate “humanitarian” instrument of war in future campaigns to destabilize and “democratize” target nations. Awareness is key to preventing the same fate for other nations that Syria has endured for almost eight years. There must be a demand for a public enquiry into the true agenda of the White Helmet “propaganda construct” before it’s too late.
*Vanessa Beeley is an independent investigative journalist and photographer. She is associate editor at 21st Century Wire.