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Israel rescues Syrian volunteers stranded in the border area



JERUSALEM – The Israeli military said on Sunday that it had rescued members of a Syrian civilian volunteer organization from the unstable border area and evacuated it to a third country, the first such Israeli intervention in Syria's protracted civil war. [196592002] Jordan confirmed this 800 Syrian citizens have entered its territory to be relocated to Western countries. Known as White Helmets, the volunteers were stranded on the border with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights after the recent Syrian government offensive in southwestern Syria.

The Israeli military said the night operations had been an "extraordinary humanitarian gesture" claiming the United States and its European allies "an immediate threat to (Syrian) lives."

The military said its actions reflected no change in Israeli policy of non-interference in the Syrian war In the eight years in which all hostile parties are considered hostile, the Syrians will remain in Jordan for three months before moving to Britain, Germany and Canada The speaker of the Jordanian Foreign Ministry, Mohammed al-Kayed, said that he would move on.

The application was approved purely for humanitarian reasons, "he added.

Raed Saleh, head of Syrian Civil Defense, as the White Helmets are also called, said a number of volunteers and their families were from a dangerous, besieged He had not reported on the number of evacuees.

The Associated Press first reported on Friday that US officials had passed plans to evacuate hundreds of Syrian civilian defenders and their families from southwestern Syria Russian-backed government forces approached Quneitra province along the Golan-Heights border

Officials said the White Helmets, which have been supported by the United States and other Western nations for years, are likely to be attacked by Syrian troops when they take control of the southwest e evacuation plans were accelerated after the NATO summit in Brussels last week.

Since the beginning of the Syrian government offensive in June, the area along the Golan Heights border was the safest area in the southwest, and due to its location, attracted hundreds of displaced persons along the dividing line with Israel, demarcated in 1974 after a war. Israel occupies the Golan Heights since 1967. Thousands of civilians had taken refuge near the border to escape the government's offensive.

The Syrian government is unlikely to fire or launch airstrikes for fear of Israeli reaction.

Meanwhile, the Syrian forces continued their offensive and stormed the southern tip of the southwestern region, in which still holds a group of Islamic states affiliated group territory.

The Syrian Human Rights Observatory said the bombing – 130 air strikes since Saturday – displaced 20,000 civilians estimated 10,000 remain trapped in the area controlled by the militants, their fate is unknown.

The White Helmets have typically operated in oppositional areas across Syria, where government services almost do not exist and voluntarily risk their lives hundreds of civilian lives during relentless air strikes and bombardments of the government.

The Government and Russia consider the White Helmets They have accused them of being "agents" of foreign powers and regularly accusing them of conducting bailouts or chemical attacks.

The Syrian state television Al-Ikhbariya reported on the Israelis' evacuation of White Helmets, calling it a "scandal" and saying "terrorist groups" Now we have no options. "

Last month, Syrian government forces supported The Russian Air Force roams southwestern Syria to consolidate government control over this strategic corner of the country that forms the border with Jordan and the border. Israeli-occupied Golan Heights

With their new advances, government forces are conquering for the first time Since the beginning of the civil war in 2011, this territory has been rebuilt by the rebels, restoring their positions along the Golan Heights' release line 19659019] Since the beginning of the offensive, Jordan has declared that it will not open its borders to the newly displaced Syrians according to the United Nations at least 650,000 r registered Syrian refugees, but according to Amman, there are also a similar number of undocumented Syrians.

During the recent Syrian government offensive, which began on June 19, around 300,000 Syrians were driven away towards the sealed Israeli and Jordanian borders in what was the United Nations' largest single displacement after the Syrian civil war began in 2011.

Some Syrians have decided to be evacuated to the northern province of Idlib. Thousands of armed men and their families were evacuated on the weekend. The observatory said that two buses with evacuees were detained by a pro-Syrian government militia, apparently after leaving the road.

Panic-stricken passengers fearful of their lives wrote pictures of the militia surrounding their bans on social media Al-Kayed, the Jordanian spokesman, said the transfer of 800 Syrians does not impose any further obligations on the kingdom.

Israel has been sending aid to Syria for several years and has provided medical care to thousands of Syrians who reached the border of the Golan Heights. Over the past two years, the Israeli military has said it has delivered more than 1,500 tons of food, 250 tons of clothing and nearly a million liters of fuel.

The Israeli military said it will continue to help the needy, but "I allow a massive influx of refugees into the country."

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El Deeb reports from Beirut Associated Press writer Fares Akram in Amman, Jordan, contributed to this report.

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