My VIPs for this week is a group of heroes known as the “White Helmets.” It is not every day that rescuers need to be rescued, but it happened last week with the White Helmets. The White Helmets have the official name of Syrian Civil Defence, but they are better known by their nickname. It was given to them because they wear white helmets as they rush into save their fellow countrymen or anyone else that is in trouble. I found the following information on the White Helmet web site.
When the bombs rain down, the Syrian Civil Defence rushes in. In a place where public services no longer function these unarmed volunteers risk their lives to help anyone in need – regardless of their religion or politics. Known as the White Helmets these volunteer rescue workers operate in the most dangerous place on earth.
As the conflict in Syria worsens, ordinary people are paying the highest price. More than 50 bombs and mortars a day land on some neighbourhoods in Syria. Many are rusty barrels filled with nails and explosives, rolled out the back of government helicopters – bakeries and markets are the most commonly hit targets. When this happens the White Helmets rush in to search for life in the rubble – fully aware that more bombs may fall on the same site. These volunteers have saved more than 114,431 lives – and this number is growing daily.
Recently the rescuers found themselves “between a rock and a hard place” and needed to be rescued. President Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau, and other world leaders contacted Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to request assistance in evacuating hundreds of White Helmets from Syria.
In a predawn operation on Sunday [July 22, 2018], the Israeli military’s 210th Bashan Division oversaw the transfer of 422 Syrians from the “White Helmets” rescue organization and their families from the Syrian Golan Heights through Israel to Jordan.
“The families crossed [the fence], at first apprehensively, but once they reached the border, their eyes twinkled from happiness with the knowledge that they’d gotten their lives back. I am happy to be an officer in an army and in a country that is carrying out this mission and expressing the values of humaneness and compassion,” the lieutenant colonel said.
“This is the nature of our work and this is a significant moment like no other,” he added.
Both Israel and Jordan have reached their capacity to take in more refugees, but both nations were willing to assist in the escape of the White Helmet group from Syria. They were put on “dozens of buses” at the Israeli border and escorted through Israel to the Jordanian border by Israeli police and UN forces. The 422 refugees are mostly women and “lots of children” who will be resettled in Canada, United Kingdom, and Germany within three months.