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RESCUE REDUX: Are Syria’s White Helmets ‘Recycling’ its Child Victims?

Shawn Helton
21st Century Wire

Since bursting onto the global media scene, the US-UK backed ‘NGO’ known as the White Helmets have produced an unprecedented amount of western-oriented war propaganda. From the New York Times to the BBC, to Time Magazine, everywhere you look, you will see establishment western media outlets promoting the White Helmets. Upon closer examination, however, it seems that the group may be reusing its alleged victims as character subjects in its numerous staged rescue photo opportunities.

Since their inception in late 2013, the White Helmets have been financed to the tune of over $100 million from the UK and US alone, along with millions more from various other NATO, EU and GCC member states – all nations who are deeply invested in arming and backing rebel-terrorists vying for regime change in Syria.

Here is a list of some of their known funding source (as of October 2016):


The White Helmets have even pirated the moniker ‘Syria Civil Defence’ from the REAL Syrian Civil Defence.

The group also claims to have “saved 62,000 lives” since they began ‘search and rescue’ activities in early 2014. None of their incredible claims can be independently verified – and yet, these claims are accepted without question by the entirety of the US and European media and political establishment.

Still, they claim to be “nonaligned” and “independent.” To say this group is misrepresenting itself and facts on the ground in Syria is an understatement, especially after looking at some of its fabled rescue scenes, proudly displayed on their social media accounts and robotically rerun by western corporate media.

‘MEDIA FALSE FLAG’ – The NGO known as the White Helmets have already been caught staging numerous rescue scenes, allegedly shot in rebel-terrorist-held east Aleppo, Idlib and Daara (Photo Illustration 21WIRE)

White Helmet Staging

The so-called “first responder” NGO has been cranking out its iconic war images and rescue videos at an unprecedented rate, leading many to question what this group is really doing, and why. Independent critics and analysts such as the website Moon of Alabama have noted that much of the White Helmets imagery is riddled with anomalies. Here’s one such passage from a Moon report last June, 2016 which revealed the staged nature present in so many of the White Helmets alleged ‘rescue’ operations:

“Isn’t it an amazing fortune that so many kids get rescued ALIVE by the “White Helmets”, without any serious wounds visible, just moments after bomb impacts? This week after week? With all the same attributes in each picture? No photo editor at any of the big media ever wondered about that?

Some of these photos may show real scenes. But most are definitely staged. These staged photos are part of the war propaganda against the Syrian people and their government.

The “White Helmets” take and distribute these photos. They also distribute lots of “kids rescued from rubble” videos.”

Other aspects explored in the Moon report unveiled various PR and social media elements pushing the designer NGO campaign used to shape foreign policy:

The Syria Campaign and the White Helmets – Propaganda Camouflaged as Humanitarian

The Syria Campaign [US-UK run PR vehicle for the White Helmets] was created by Purpose Campaigns LLC. The company fabricates and runs for you any world-wide “grass root” movement you would like. With Purpose LLC or other such companies involved, big dollars will buy you big effects. How about an automated Twitter campaign to spread anti-Shia sectarianism? Someone paid for it and here it is.

The “White Helmets” campaign demonstrates the amazing manipulation potential such companies and their high paying customers have.”

Other questions regarding the alleged rescue operations were once again raised by Hands Off Syria and other independent researchers. Although 21WIRE cannot definitively verify all claims presented here, the visual evidence is more than compelling. Readers can judge the evidence for themselves…

INFO GRAPHIC: Hands Off Syria

Here’s a closer look at this young girl who appears to have been featured more than once in White Helmets ‘No Fly Zone’ promotional imagery:

Here is another exhibit posted by another researcher analyzing a SKY News report from ‘rebel-held’ Syria:

INFO GRAPHIC: Hands Off Syria

Here is one well documented fraud where the White Helmets recycled a random image of a man holding a child claiming to be a victim of “Russian airstrikes” after previously using the image before Russia air force was ever in Syria:


In another Moon article entitled, The U.S./UK Financed “White Helmets” Shtick – Fake “Child Rescued” Videos,” we see a timeline for the uncanny White Helmet rubble rescue operations:

“NYT – December 23 2013: After Airstrike, Children Are Rescued From the Rubble Independent – January 25 2014: Astonishing video shows moment Syrian toddler pulled alive from rubble after Aleppo bombing This video, like others below, was also published by the New York Daily News, The Guardian, USA Today, Yahoo and many other news outlets.”

In early October, the UK’s Guardian newspaper published what amounts to a ridiculous propaganda piece that featured the White Helmets public face, leader Raed al-Saleh, who claims he can tell which planes are striking in Syria – based from sound alone:

“These days, Raed al-Saleh [deported from the US in 2016] doesn’t have to see a warplane to know what kind of bombs it drops. He just needs to hear it. “It’s very depressing,” Saleh says. “Based on its sound, we can predict the kind of airplane, and then anticipate the scale of the destruction.” He has reached the stage where he hopes for the rumble of a Mig-29, rather than a Su-24. It’s the Su-24s that carry the cluster bombs.”

NOTE: Last week, photos emerged supposedly depicting what looked to be “US jets being painted with Russian colors.”

Other White Helmets propaganda appeared in late August if you remember, in an emotionally charged story featuring a Syrian child named Omran Daqneesh in the aftermath of an alleged airstrike. The polarizing story quickly was quickly exploited by Western media outlets, which in turn, was readily accepted by the general public without question.

Here’s another look at the mainstream presentation of the Omran Daqneesh video that pulled at the heartstrings of western media consumers…

While watching the entire video footage of the event, the dust-covered boy who appeared to be bleeding after an apparent airstrike (yet the blood has already coagulated) is left unattended and without pain as he was oddly propped up in an ambulance seat while being photographed by Mahmoud Raslan – an alleged ‘media activist’ who was seen “fraternizing with terrorist groups in Aleppo.”

This prompted critics to charge that Raslan was directly tied to the White Helmets, who are firmly embedded with Al-Qaeda members, while regularly dispensing staged humanitarian media images and video for public consumption.

Here is an image of the ‘Dusty Boy’ Omran alongside another child, a young ‘Dusty Girl’ who, like Omran, was dumped by “rescuers” on to an orange seat inside the brand new ambulance – only to be photographed by the White Helmets’ surrogate, French government-funded “Aleppo Media Centre“. As you can see, the girl has a near identical face ‘make-up’ look to Omran, and like Omran, she does not appear to be crying, in pain, or stressed at all – which is highly improbable:


Has the adorable little boy Omran been used before in past ‘rescues’?

Interestingly, according to one researcher, here are two other potential ‘Omran rescues’ from early 2014 and early 2016:

Readers can make up their own minds, and research these images for themselves.

Is it possible that the White Helmets and Aleppo Media Centre using these children for western Agit Prop purposes in Syria, including campaigning for a US-backed ‘No Fly Zone’ (see Avaaz/Purpose Inc campaign here) or a ‘Safe Zone’ (see other Avaaz/Purpose Inc campaign here) inside of Syria? This is an important question which should be asked by members of the western media.

‘Saving the Children’

In September, other western-backed NGO’s emerged in western media coverage, such as charity organization, Save the Children, a group directly tied to the George Soros’ Open Society Foundation and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Western politicians have latched on to the talking point that there are somehow “100,000 children trapped in Aleppo.” This is completely distorted – there are only an estimated 200,000 people remaining in rebel-terrorist-held East Aleppo and it’s outrageous to assume that half of those are children. The vast majority non-terrorist affiliated civilians have actually fled to the sanctuary of government-protected West Aleppo which is now housing some 1.5 million residents. This is a fact completely omitted in the western PR rhetoric on “Aleppo.”

The charity was also featured in heavily propagandized ‘Syrian’ story which was picked up by the UK’s Telegraph.

The Telegraph article is one of the most incredible pieces of western war propaganda aired to date, and was also syndicated by the The Guardian and other outlets. The article also included a quote from Save the Children and appears to be exploiting the story of Bana Alabed (image, above), supposedly a 7-year-old girl who “with the help of her mother,” Fatemah Alabed, has supposedly taken to Twitter to share her family struggles in Syria. The stories depict a picture perfect Bana living happily in what appears to be a modern flat, with her toy dolls – somewhere in Al Nusra (al Qaeda) held East Aleppo, is tweeting polemics in English like:

“Please stop killing us,” she tweets, “I need peace to become a teacher. This war is killing my dream.”

BANA: “Please, Assad, Putin, Stop the bombing.”

Clearly, this is marketed towards western audiences in order to move public opinion in line with the US State Department and UK Foreign Office talking points about the “Russia and Assad’s Brutal Siege of Aleppo.”

Whether or not the Alabed family story is completely is authentic, it’s clear their tale is at the very least being used by western media outlets friendly with western NGO’s to push for deeper conflict and ‘regime change’ in Syria.

SEE ALSO: Child Exploitation: Who is ‘Bana of Aleppo’?

Fake Rescue Video:

Recently, 21WIRE analyzed the infamous “Rag Doll Rescue” – a purported rescue operation carried out by the White Helmets, which was followed a staged ‘Russian’ bombing scene back in late September:

“In the following video, we’re told that the White Helmets aka “Syria Civil Defense” are frantically digging for survivors at the scene of an alleged “Assad barrel bomb,” or possibly a “Russian or Syrian air-strike.” Either way, it’s impossible to independently verify exactly what the audience is looking at. Same with the location and time – this scene might be somewhere in northern Syria, presumably in “rebel-held” (occupied by terrorists like Al Nusra, Arar Al Sham, Nour al din Zinki, or ISIS) enclaves like Idlib or East Aleppo, but like most White Helmet videos – it’s impossible to independently verify either the time or location of the event in question.”

The White Helmet claim to be rescuing children, but unfortunately, the children below appear to have been used as live props in this White Helmet PR campaign. Of all the exhibits listed here, this video might be the most damning example of staged fakery:

See the original video of the ‘Rag Doll Rescue’ posted on the White Helmet’s own official YouTube channel.

So what’s next with the deceptive White Helmets NGO?

The following is an RT interview featuring Vanessa Beeley, discussing the controversy over the White Helmets recent nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. The White Helmets had been nominated for  the”Peace Prize” but perhaps due to backlash, the award was given to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos last week:

The problem now with western media coverage of the Syrian Conflict is that nearly all of the mainstream media’s reporting and imagery originates from either the White Helmets, al Nusra Front, and ISIS, as well as various unknown “oppostion activists” (an incredible classification, assigned casually by every leading western media outlet, and the US State Dpeartment too) – all of whom are either being armed, financed, or aided logistically by members of the US Coalition, including the United States, the UK, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. No wonder why all the reporting by CNN, the BBC, the New York Times and the Washington Post gives a completely ‘rebel-centric’ narrative, and in some cases appears to normalize the violent crimes of known terrorists, including suicide bombers, in Syria.

This problem is further exacerbated if any of the imagery being aired in the west is staged, or fraudulent – which we have demonstrated that at least some of it most certainly is.

When will western media editors take pause to actual check the thousands of images being supplied via the White Helmets and their media surrogates in Syria and Turkey? 



Open Letter by Vanessa Beeley
White Helmets Campaign for War NOT Peace – Retract RLA & Nobel Peace Prize Nominations

21st Century Wire compilation of key information on the White Helmets:
Who are the Syria White Helmets?

21st Century Wire article on the White Helmets:  
Syria’s White Helmets: War by Way of Deception ~ the “Moderate” Executioners

Original investigative report: 
The REAL Syria Civil Defence Exposes Fake White Helmets as Terrorist-Linked Imposters

A NOBEL LIE: CNN’s Claim That ‘White Helmets Center in Damascus’ Was Hit by a Barrel Bomb:

Cory Morningstar report:
Investigation into the funding sources of the White Helmets, including Avaaz, Purpose, The Syria Campaign

Report by Scott Ritter:
The ‘White Helmets’ and the Inherent Contradiction of America’s Syria Policy

Open letter to Canada’s NDP Leader on Nobel Prize:
Letter to NDP from Prof. John Ryan protesting White Helmet nomination for RLA and Nobel Peace Prize.

21WIRE Report:
‘We Saved 60,000’ – Bogus Claim by Syria’s White Helmets Raises Even More Questions

READ MORE WHITE HELMET NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire White Helmet Files




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