Trudeau and Israel’s Netanyahu discussed evacuation of White Helmets

Trudeau and Israel’s Netanyahu discussed evacuation of White Helmets

Israel evacuated hundreds of people from Syria, including members of the Syrian Civil Defense volunteer rescue organization, known as the White Helmets, on Sunday.

The statement from spokeswoman Heather Nauert also called on Syria's government and its ally Russian Federation "to abide by their commitments, end the violence, and protect all Syrian civilians, including humanitarians such as the White Helmets, in areas formerly part of the southwest de-escalation zone and throughout Syria".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed Sunday that Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump were among those who asked Israel to rescue the White Helmets in recent days, after leaders first talked about helping the White Helmets during the recent North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels.

Canada previously resettled 25,000 Syrian refugees between September 2015 and February 2016.

Jordan's government confirmed it had "authorised the United Nations to organise the passage of 800 Syrian citizens through Jordan to be resettled in Western countries".

The United States praised Israel and Jordan for facilitating the evacuations and Britain, Canada and Germany for agreeing to give the evacuees new homes.

Al Jazeera's Stefanie Dekker, reporting from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, described the operation as "a massive multinational and worldwide effort, with the United Nations involved to get this under way".

Netanyahu, in broadcast remarks, said he would tell the envoys that "Israel insists on the separation of forces agreement between us and Syria being honored, as they were honored for decades until the civil war in Syria broke out".

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"They were trapped in a unsafe area and arrived in Jordan now", the volunteer group said. It said the Syrian missiles landed inside Syrian territory just short of the Golan Heights, which have been occupied by Israel since 1967. They were besieged in a very unsafe area.

In a statement on Monday the group said during the southwest campaign four of its volunteers were killed and dozens injured, four White Helmet centres were hit and rescue vehicles were destroyed by Syrian government bombardment.

"The only pocket that remains that is under opposition control, is controlled by a group that is affiliated with ISIL". Fifty-five buses carrying the first group of Syrian rebels and their families arrived in Syria's northwest on Saturday.

The military operation saw the Israeli military slip hundreds of people from Syria to Jordan, though the exact numbers were still being determined; Jordanian officials initially said that 800 Syrians were rescued, though that number was later revised down to around 425.

"We pay tribute to the fearless and selfless work that White Helmets volunteers have done to save Syrians on all sides of the conflict".

The Syrian government and its ally Russian Federation stepped up their offensive to defeat the last rebels holding territory in southwestern Syria.

The latest deal for Quneitra was reached on Thursday.

Iran is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and supports a number of militias, including Lebanon's Hezbollah, who have thousands of fighters joining battles in support of his rule.

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