KXIP vs KKR Live Score

The Associated Press first reported on Friday that USA officials were finalizing plans to evacuate several hundred Syrian civil defence workers and their families from southwest Syria as Russian-backed government forces closed in on the Quneitra province, along the Golan Heights frontier.

A military source said in a statement to Syria's state agency SANA that a military site in Masyaf in Hama countryside was targeted by an Israeli aerial aggression, causing only material damage.

While initial reports suggested 800 were evacuated, the White Helmets confirmed that 98 male and female volunteers and 324 family members were now in Jordan, having travelled through the occupied Golan Heights.

USA officials say the United States is finalizing plans to evacuate several hundred Syrian civil defense workers and their families from southwest Syria as Russian-backed government forces close in on the area.

They operate mostly in rebel-held territory where almost all civil services have collapsed.

The offensive has restored Syrian government control over a swathe of the southwest, strategic territory at the borders with Jordan and Israel.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said in a statement: "The White Helmets have saved over 115,000 lives during the Syrian conflict, at great risk to their own".

The evacuations from Quneitra province, which borders the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, came after a Russia-brokered agreement struck earlier this week for rebels to cede the territory to the Syrian regime.

As Mr Assad has won back areas such as eastern Aleppo and Ghouta, the rescue workers have left on buses to rebel-held areas of the north as part of agreed surrender deals, along with fighters and civilians who fear a return of government rule.

The group rose to prominence as it filmed its operations to rescue civilians from Syrian government air strikes in the country's brutal civil war.

Israel was asked by the U.S. and its European partners to evacuate the volunteers and their families.

The source requested anonymity as the Israeli military had yet to carry out a formal investigation.

Israel signalled it would not impede the Syrian army presence in Quneitra as long as it steered away from the demilitarized zone, and said it will continue to escalate attacks along its frontier and elsewhere in Syria where it suspects Iranian-backed forces are stationed.

Also Monday, Israel said it fired a pair of missiles to intercept two missiles fired from Syria in Israel's direction.

"In the last few days, United States President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and several others asked for our help in assisting hundreds of Syrian "white helmets".

Exactly when the White Helmets will arrive is unclear; the rescued Syrians are expected to remain in a United Nations refugee camp for at least three months to allow for processing.


SIMILAR ARTICLES

loading...

COMMENTS