While the world is distracted by the Covid-19 crisis, scant attention has been paid to events in Syria. The US-led coalition is maintaining a savage multispectrum war on the country, but few are aware of the suffering of the Syrian people as the media have barely reported on the starvation, economic catastrophe, scorched-earth policy, and war crimes directly committed by the US-led coalition and indirectly via their client terrorist groups. All of these are components of the US-led spoiler policy designed to economically reduce Syria to a failed state, a sinister objective they were unable to achieve militarily.
The White Helmets’ Fall from Grace
For seven years of the hybrid war waged against Syria by the US-led coalition, the White Helmets were the flagship manufacturers of much of the propaganda aimed at maintaining the criminalization of the Syrian state, its army, and its allies. Their multimillion-dollar PR image has recently taken a battering, however. From their involvement in the Douma chemical weapon hoax to accusations of their murdering civilians and planting corpses for use as “props” in images used to justify US-led coalition bombings of Syria, the White Helmet organization has been discredited on several occasions and is no longer a pristine brand.
Even prior to the exposure of their collaboration with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), itself recently exposed as a corrupt and compromised organization, the White Helmets were reported to have participated in various terrorist war crimes including the execution of prisoners of war and civilians. A study carried out by Maxim Grigoriev of the Foundation for the Study of Democracy raised the issue of organ and human trafficking and child abuse by this same group. Grigoriev’s seminal investigation is supported by testimonies I have also collated over my years of reporting on this terrorist-affiliated group.
A discussion I had with a senior UN official two years ago confirmed that many in the UN are aware of these crimes but know that they will never be investigated because the White Helmets are too “politicized” — meaning that the countries funding them will never openly admit that their intelligence asset in Syria was responsible for atrocities committed against the very civilians they claim to defend.
However, the Dutch government did withdraw funding in September 2018 following an investigation that concluded that there was a high risk of funds that were destined for the so-called humanitarian organization would end up in the hands of the various armed groups occupying and controlling the territory where White Helmets exclusively work.
Following the suspicious death of James Le Mesurier, the British military-intelligence founder of the White Helmets, in Istanbul in November 2019, investigations revealed his involvement in fraud and embezzlement of funds destined for the White Helmets. As a consequence, the German government demanded the repayment of 50,000 euros in March 2020 in connection with these financial irregularities. Western media are naturally trying to downplay the seriousness of these findings. A separate in-depth investigation into Le Mesurier’s business activities and covert role in Syria was carried out by the Working Group on Syria, Media and Propaganda and can be read here.