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Hundreds of rescuers remained in South Syria after the evacuation



Beirut (AFP) – Several hundred Syrian rescuers remain trapped in the south of the country without saving themselves from approaching government forces, two of them said Monday after a secret evacuation had saved many of their peers.

Israel helped more than 400 people on Sunday-opposition White Helm forces and their families flee from a neighboring pocket in southwestern Syria when government forces took them down.

They were then transferred to Jordan and resettled in Western nations including France. Britain, Germany and Canada

"It was the only alternative for our captured volunteers who would otherwise have been in custody or death to the Syrian regime and its allied Russia," the group said Monday.

Ninety-eight male and female White Helmet volunteers were able to escape to Jordan with 324 members of their families, according to a statement.

But a similar number remains trapped in southern Syria.

"We call The parties involved should help us to leave," said Cesar, a 23-year-old White Helmets worker in the southern city of Daraa.

He estimated that some 400 fellow rescuers in the Jordan-bordering provinces of Daraa and Queneitra, adjacent to the buffer zone adjacent to the Golan annexed by Israel

Cesar said he had "accidentally" joined a few days ago The operation was told, but when he contacted the White Helm leadership, they told him it was too late. Sign up to leave.

– "Made Things Worse" –

"You have agreed another meeting for today on this subject, but we learned some time ago that the effort failed, the fact that some White Helmets members were leaving and some hurt us more than it helped us, "he told AFP on Monday.

"Yesterday's evacuation by Israel only aggravated the situation, we are afraid of the regime and the reactions of Russia."

The Syrian troops supported by Russia have been defeating the South for over a month to submerge it to bring state control.

The military coup has damaged hospitals and civil defense centers that have forced hundreds of thousands to flee to the borders of Jordan and Israel, which remained sealed.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Damascus launched an evacuation on Monday calling it a "criminal operation" and reiterated its allegation that the White Helmets represented a front for "terrorists".

Moscow said it was "symbolic, that White Helmets preferred to flee Syria thanks to foreign support and thus reveal their true nature ".

The 422 evacuees are allowed to stay in Jordan for three months before being relocated, Amman has said.

On Monday, White Helmets called on the international community to help those left behind in southern Syria.

"We thank all the governments that c c due to the success of this operation to save the rescuers, and we ask that they do more to help the hundreds of thousands in southern Syria," they said.

– & # 39; We are surrounded & # 39; –

White helmets chief Raed Saleh said that not all workers had been evacuated because some had not committed to it while "some volunteers could not reach the evacuation point".

He said there were no plans for a second such operation. 19659023] "They pulled out the others but can not get us out?" Asked the 20-year-old rescuer Imad from a rebel village in Quneitra.

"We are surrounded," he said.

Imad also said there had been a meeting of white helm officers in Jordan on Monday to discuss the fate of the other rescuers.

After the meeting, members of the White Helmets still living in Syria were told that they could only drive north to the opposition. controlled area under a surrender agreement.

Last week, rebels in Quneitra agreed with Russ, among other things, to give up their remaining territory in the province, in return for an end to the bombing and safe transfer to other rebel territory.

The conditions are similar to previous agreements that have brought parts of Syria under state control.

But Imad told AFP he feared reprisals.

"We are a burnt map when it comes to the Syrian army – there will be no mercy – whoever seizes the regime is lost, and nobody knows what happens to them."

Die Syrian civil defense (White Helmets) was founded in 2013 to rescue injured territory held by rebel attacks.

The group receives funds from a number of Western governments and individual donors.


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