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EASTERN GHOUTA: Syrian Voices Raised in Condemnation of White Helmets


Woman waiting to return home to Eastern Ghouta. Over 70,000 have gone back since the final liberation from terrorist groups. (Photo: Vanessa Beeley)

Vanessa Beeley
21st Century Wire

The dust has settled on Eastern Ghouta. The media guns have fallen silent. The rampant sensationalism that was deployed to halt Syrian Arab Army advances has failed just as it did in East Aleppo and the pall of truth hangs over the western media lynch mob that now grindingly recalibrate their narrative for the next stage of the Syrian anti-terrorism campaign.

These state-aligned media brigades will regroup and sustain themselves with sniping from the sidelines until it is time to gather their forces for another assault upon the minds of people in the West to persuade them that war is the best path to peace in Syria.

The published statements, in this article, were taken from Syrian civilians liberated from Western backed Islamofascist occupation in Eastern Ghouta during March and April 2018. These particular statements are all in relation to the NATO-member-state financed and lauded White Helmets.

Some are shocking in their content, some are harrowing, all are condemnatory. If only a percentage of these testimonies were to be taken into account by the so-called International Community we should be seeing outrage and a demand for justice for civilians who were forced to witness and who were profoundly affected by the appalling atrocities they report as committed by the White Helmets in collaboration with the armed groups.

Christopher Black, an acclaimed international criminal lawyer, has stated that “the other actions of White Helmets –  (as testified to by Syrian civilians) –abuse, torture, kidnapping, murder of captured combatants and non-combatants are crimes under the ICC statute dealing with war-crimes and crimes against humanity, Articles 6 through 8.”

Black also provided the following statement on the White Helmets:

“Nicolo Machiavelli wrote in The Prince that deception is the principal means by which people can be controlled.  Sun Tzu in The Art of War stated that the art of deception is the first art of war, above all others, and it is deception that the citizens of the NATO countries are faced with in the aggression being conducted against the government and people of Syria.

Using special propaganda units such as The White Helmets, which several NATO countries now freely admit they finance and support, the aggressor nations try to justify their war against Syria. Part of the deception is that this unit is a non-governmental organisation but the admissions about NATO support destroy that argument.

They are clearly a very governmental organisation. But more than that the work of Vanessa Beeley, Eva Bartlett, Mark Taliano and others about their origins, military and intelligence connections and operations establishes that they are in reality a military propaganda unit, acting within the units of the proxy forces they support, carrying weapons, engaging in hostilities on the side of the NATO proxy forces, acting as a cover for their crimes, generating anti-Syrian disinformation and, when the proxy forces flee government forces, fleeing with them.

They are not a “humanitarian aid group” to be praised but a military propaganda unit, combatants in disguise, to be condemned. And since they are part of the NATO war machine attacking Syria they are war criminals.” (Emphasis added)

Syrian Voices Raised in Condemnation of White Helmets


Medical Point in Douma, 700m from the site of the alleged chemical attack on 7th April 2018. (Photo: Vanessa Beeley)

1:  Suleiman Saour, 21 years old from Douma – Nurse at the Douma Medical Point that received patients on day of alleged chemical attack on 7th April 2018.

“On the 7th of April, at 7 p.m we had been receiving wounded people all day long.

At 7 p.m someone came in carrying a little boy, he laid him on a bed and said he was hit with chemical weapons.

Basically, I checked the boy, shelling dust was all over him, and there was a smell of fire, or burnt plastic. The boy suffered suffocation from smoke inhalation.

We dealt with the case quickly, we took off his clothes that reeked of smoke, and we washed his face, and used a spray and (Ventolyn)

Later on, we found out that he had child asthma, and it got worse because of smoke. After that someone told us there was a fire in the place they were in, in the building basement, and there was plastic in the ground floor, so the smoke affected them.

Q: Were White Helmets involved?

On the day of the incident when the civilian came in and laid the boy, they (White Helmets) came right after him.

They (White Helmets) brought assumed cases (patients) who were walking, and they said it was a chemical hit.

They (White Helmets) spread that story between unharmed civilians, people were already feeling down, and it got to them. A chemical hit? It was a huge shock.

People started coming here with psychological cases only, imagining they were suffering chemical substance symptoms, they would get in here, then stand up and go.

Someone was on a stretcher, when he saw the water hose, he stood up and ran away, he didn’t want to get sprayed.


The hose used by White Helmets and other actors to douse the non-chemical attack victims. (Photo: Vanessa Beeley)

Q: What was White Helmet relationship to the terrorist groups?

First of all, they had very hard-to-deal-with personalities.

They (White Helmets) had a lot of relations, support and financing, that was their relationship with the terrorists, the terrorists supplied the White Helmets with cars, fuel and the equipment they used.”

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2: Sabah Al Mushref – from Marj Al-Sultan (an area near the Airport), and sought shelter in Zamalka and Hamourya, Eastern Ghouta.

“Civil defence” (White Helmets) were supposed to help wounded civilians, but NO! if any of the terrorists were wounded they would run to their aid, but civilians – NO.

It was very rare, if they (White Helmets) weren’t going to film it, they wouldn’t come. When the camera was there they would run around as if they were helping people.

Our neighbor in Zamalka – we left on Friday, but on the Previous Wednesday, there were strikes.

The ceiling collapsed onto the woman, and her children.

We – the women – pulled 3 kids from under the wreckage, they were alive, but the mother remained there, from the morning till the evening. Nobody came to help. We witnessed that.

Her husband kept running around asking them for help, they said “NO”.

They (White Helmets) blamed us for leaving the basement. We were dying in these basements. The smell, alone, could kill you.

We were sitting on the floor, nothing there, not even toilets, we needed water, they had given us water tanks with taps, but when the taps were broken, they didn’t fix them.

We had to go far away to find water.

When the woman was trapped under the ceiling, they (White Helmets) didn’t come to help her. She stayed there till it was a bit before dusk when groups of people came and got her out…in pieces.”

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3: Ahmed Toumeh – 42 years old from Hamouriya 


Ahmed Toumeh from Hamouriya, pictured with his injured father and family. Interviewed shortly after liberation of Eastern Ghotua by SAA and allies. (Photo: Vanessa Beeley)

“During the six years we endured a lot of starvation and suffering. Since the “chemical attack” in Zamalka in 2013 that supposedly killed 1300, people were fooled into not seeing it was an act between Nusra Front and their civil defence. When the chemicals were used, they had hospitals ready always two days before – they had information in advance of the supposed attacks. How could they know unless they were involved? 

At that time (2013) there had been an earlier chemical attack by terrorist groups against the Syrian Army in Khan Al Asal. The Syrian government had invited UN investigators to Damascus. The same night the UN inspectors arrived,  they (Nusra Front and White Helmets) prepared for the ‘chemical attack’ in Zamalka.

Everything was prepared. The video was filmed and produced, the water sprayers had been prepared two days in advance.

Many people were fooled by this act and from then on the White Helmets added to the image. They would film themselves rescuing children who were not hurt and they would take a wounded person and film him to change public opinion, to criminalise the Syrian government, portray the Army as destructive.

Everyone in the West pictures the White Helmets as the white dove of peace for Syrians. They were the opposite. They  filmed things, misrepresented them and gave the West the chance they needed to destroy this country, my country. All the attacks were timed with UNSC conferences or peace meetings, like Astana. We began to expect the role-play during these times.

I have to tell you, – the White Helmets served Western interests and Western interests were the destruction of Syria. For example, when people were killed in clashes, often between the armed groups, they (White Helmets) would film the bodies and then gather them in one place to film them as a “massacre carried out by the Syrian Arab Army”.

When the SAA advanced and the terrorists started to leave, people started to wake up and they saw they had been deceived for a long time. Media and TV outlets in the West told our story incorrectly, we lived through this occupation, we were on the ground.

Now, thank God everything is exposed, and everyone sees the conspiracy against my country.

After the conspiracy details were revealed we discovered that, we, the people were traded and that the blood of our children was traded for foreign political gains. The West would accuse the Syrian government of so many things and we would pay for these lies with the lives of our children and innocent people.

With the liberation of Eastern Ghouta their assets on the ground, here in Syria, have failed. The intention of the US, the West was to make Syria another Iraq but the will of the people, the strength of our Army and allies and our love for our country challenged all the great powers and the conspiracy will fall at the steps of Damascus.”

4: Mahmoud Al Khaled, 28 years old from Hosh Nasri, settled in Douma

“Jaish Al Islam were responsible for all the ‘chemical attack’ lies. It was their fabrications, they were preparing for them all the time. They would claim the Syrian government wanted to hit us with chemical weapons and then they would use these weapons.

White Helmets worked everywhere, they had points in all places – Harasta, Douma, Misrata, Otaya and they had centres in other sectors also alongside Failaq Al Rahman brigade (Nusra Front affiliate). They had points in Jobar also. Everywhere in Ghouta.

They worked with terrorist groups like Jaish Al Islam, Failaq Al Rahman, Fair Al-Ummah (Dawn of the Nations). Of course, Failaq al Rahman, Nusra Front and Ahrar Al Sham movement all collaborated but Jaish Al Islam was separate…or they said they were but in the end they all worked together.

For example, when the armed groups attacked the vehicles administration centre in Harasta, they worked together.

Before every “chemical attack” the armed groups or the White Helmets would visit us in the basements and tell us we were going to be hit with chemical weapons. They would tell us to be careful and to go outside to avoid injury. They always told us two or three days beforehand. 

They planned all the chemical operations in Eastern Ghouta. They traded organs. If anyone was lightly injured, we were afraid to go to them. They would remove the hand, arm or leg claiming the injury was really bad.

They were in an area called “Ashaari”, there were huge storage units, hangars where they would store the organs. If you ask me what it was like, I would say more like a butchery. It is where they did most of their work. They had centres in Douma, Misraba, Harasta, not one specific place – not just Douma but in most places they had designated areas.

They drove cars that had the logo of the Syrian flag but in blue, we knew them by their white helmets and the blue uniform they wore.

They did make videos all the time, but they tried to stop us going outside when they were filming, I think so we wouldn’t see what they were doing. Everything was blamed on the Syrian government, but we were here in Ghouta, in Douma, we know who really attacked us.

For example, the White Helmets would come, supported by Jaish Al Islam, and put explosives in a house and detonate it. They would get a lot of dust. Then they would bring children and film them to show the ‘Syrian Army had attacked us’.

The armed groups attacked us. They used us in every way. They forced some of us to carry weapons alongside them. They forced us by starving us so in the end we had to fight with them to eat. If you can’t work or fight with them you had to steal. Honestly, you had two choices, steal or work with them.”

5: Mohammed Raed Midani, 13 years old, from Hamouriya.

I met Mohammed in Harjallah IDP centre on the outskirts of Eastern Ghouta. This camp housed 20,000 people who had been displaced from various districts of Eastern Ghouta during the liberation. Most had left via the humanitarian corridors established by the Syrian government and Russian reconciliation teams. Mohammed was back at school with thousands more children who had been deprived of education under the West’s “democracy” bringers, the armed extremist groups that controlled Eastern Ghouta for six long years.

I asked Mohammed what had happened to him.

“I can’t remember everything but I remember my house being shelled. I was unconscious. The ones they call the White Helmets took me to one of their centres. When I woke up my leg was gone and it hurt so much. They didn’t give me anything for the pain, they sent me home with nothing. They didn’t take care of me.”

Mohammed was overjoyed to be back at school, I asked him what his favourite subject was – “Science and English” he told me. He took his place back among the other children in the class. He seemed at ease with his disability but no child deserves to endure such treatment. Mohammed was also unclear if it was the armed groups or Syrian Arab Army that had “shelled” his home. He told me it was very “difficult” towards the end of the battles for liberation and that he was scared during that time but happy now to be in the camp where he felt safe.

6: Marwan Qreisheh, from the village of Kafarbatna, 60 years old.

“The civil defence they speak of, or the White Helmets, they are not Syrian. They were planted among us, they came from America and other countries. They did not speak Arabic when they came here, we did not understand them.

For example, if they stopped a car, to ask a question they did not speak in Arabic and nobody understood them. Some came from Afghanistan, we could tell by their hats. We saw them in Kafr Batna and Hamouriya, Beit Sawa.

They drove so fast in our residential areas, if they hit someone and killed them they would just pick them up and drive off. In the square of Kafr Batna, for example, they hit a man on a bicycle and knocked him off the bike. We saw the car stop and they picked up the man, threw him in the car and drove off. We wanted to know where they took him. The man disappeared, for the last year and a half – we were still asking about him 34 days ago before we left. Nobody would tell us where he is.

The White Helmets would carry smoke grenades with them everywhere they went. This is really important. Everyone in Eastern Ghouta knows that they posed as civil defence and said they were there to ‘save people’. They were not civil defence and they were not there to “save people”, they had no first-aid expertise. They were planted among us to torment people here.

They would throw the smoke grenade near the basement. Then they would start shooting….

Yes, they were armed. They were also accompanied by gunmen from the armed groups. After the smoke cleared we would see the ambulance and the medics running around. When they are being filmed, they check the dead bodies, but who killed them? THEY killed them, we saw that with our own eyes. The women knew, they stayed in the basement or in the building while the men went outside. Those men would be shot, then the bodies were taken away and never seen again.”

[Just in addition to this statement:

Last year Chris York of Huffington Post sent questions to a young French humanitarian, Pierre Le Corf, who has been working in Aleppo for the last two years and who survived the terrorist groups occupation of East Aleppo that ended in December 2016 when the SAA liberated the civilians from their brutal reign. Pierre Le Corf said this about the White Helmets:

“I can tell you that 80% of the White Helmets were members of the Jihadist groups (and I am being very nice) So, imagine tomorrow I come to you, I take a gun and I shoot you in the belly – then I put on a White Helmet and I bring you to the hospital and I am given a Nobel Peace Prize because I brought you to the hospital and I saved you – but I shot you first”

I will include the video from Pierre Le Corf at the end of this article. Please do watch it for further information on the true agenda of the White Helmets in Syria.]

Back to Marwan’s testimony:

“If people were lightly injured, if they got injured in their wrist, the White Helmet teams would cut the whole arm off. If someone’s leg was not badly injured, they would cut it off, no stitching, no treatment. If the injured person was a civilian they would not get any care, just amputation and then throw them out.

That’s the way of the civil defence, the White Helmets. They are liars, hypocrites! All over Syria, they are against the Syrian people, they are against us in every way. They never defended a Syrian citizen because many are not from our country. They belong to Western countries.

The White Helmets and this Army (so-called rebel army) created offices and Sharia courts in every town and village. The whole of Eastern Ghouta had one “records” place which was in Kafr Batna but in every village there was a place so they can arrest people and execute them if they will not support them or are loyal to the Syrian government and Army.

The White Helmets and armed groups would execute them and throw the bodies in the river. If you were against the White Helmets or the terrorists, you could count on being dead very soon. Then they would also attack the families. Women were taken to “Al Toubeh” prison (Repentance prison), there they would torture her and God knows what else they did to the women.”

7: Mahmoud Al Khatib, Ambulance Driver, 36 years old from Misrata, Eastern Ghouta

“I used to be a car mechanic. When the White Helmets came I started work as an ambulance driver. They did not accept me at first, but later they used me to work with them. They would not let you get close to understand about them or to get information about them. Most of the people working with them were from outside Syria, from other countries, speaking more than one language.

Some were foreigners and they were paid high salaries. We received $100 while they received $ 500 per month. They had their gear, their uniform, boots, helmets. They filmed everything as if it were a movie, they made everything a drama. Every time they got in their vehicle the camera was on – that is what they did, that was the White Helmets.

They were dependent on foreign aid – all their support came in from abroad. They received a lot of money from their supporters abroad.  There were a lot of people from Nusra Front working with the White Helmets and other immigrants. There were many White Helmets from more than one country like Jordan or Saudi Arabia and there were some – we didn’t even know what language they were speaking.

Their actions were controlled by these backers. The White Helmets would only go out if it was a ‘big attack’. They didn’t help civilians at all. If we wanted to go out for civilians, they would stop us. We would only go out if there was a suitable battle or an attack that they wanted to film. When we saw what they were doing, we challenged them.

We started working with the White Helmets because we wanted to help our people, but their work had nothing to do with helping civilians or being humane, helping people. They would always set up the events they filmed, it would be planned days or weeks in advance. It would be studied and planned very well. They would go out and perform for the camera.

In the end they fired us because we did want to help the civilians. The hospital I worked for was the Ghouta Islamic Hospital in Misrata and it was barely a hospital.

They stole vehicles, land, stores, houses from people with the excuse that they were starting a humanitarian or medical project and then they would decorate the vehicle or the place and put their logos everywhere.

The White Helmets had nothing to do with civilians, they staged attacks and then filmed them, that was their role in Eastern Ghouta.

After liberation most members of the White Helmets did not stay here to help us. They ran away because everyone here knew about their lies about ‘giving first aid and evacuating people’ after the “chemical attacks”. We knew it was all designed to frame the Syrian Arab Army. That was their job here in Eastern Ghouta and they knew we knew that.”

8: Maan Qseedeh, 23 years old, a resident of Jisreen.

“We were in our land, farming, working and everything was good, then people from Al-Rahman Brigade and White Helmets showed up.

They kicked us out of our lands, and they took everything from us, even our money, and they kept us imprisoned in the town.We stayed there for a while, then terrorist gangs came and took us to Hazzeh, where we stayed for 2 or 3 days, near al Mahmoud mosque.

Then at night, they told us we were going to be hit by chemical weapons and told us to be cautious.

And then they – White Helmets- hit us with chemical weapons, they hit us with poisonous gases. We put on some home-made masks.

My family and I went upstairs, we stayed for 2 days, then we went back to Jisreen, we stayed there at our relatives’ and the terrorist groups came and told us that the Syrian Arab Army was at the outskirts of Jisreen.

They told us they were going to take all young men to Ain-Tarma, and we had a fight with them.

The army had sent word for us to raise white flags or Syrian flags so they would come to us and help us.

So the terrorists tried to occupy the buildings, and we ganged up on them and kicked them out.

Later, around dusk, a man came demanding all families and residents to move with him to Ain-Tarma, and he said it was forbidden to anybody to leave with the Syrian Arab Army.

A guy left the shelter, and they asked him where he was going, he said he wanted to turn himself in to the Syrian Arab Army, so they shot him, and they did not let anyone pick him up, and told us not to pick him up until he (the man) would come back, then they left.

After they left, a group of our elders raised white flags and walked towards the Syrian Arab Army area, and explained to them what was going on, so they came to us, and got us out. and we’re very good.”

Final Remarks and Part Two

In Part Two of these testimonies focused on the role played by the White Helmets in sustaining a Western sponsored narrative that protected the Islamofascist rulers of Eastern Ghouta for six years, I will present evidence from these civilians of the White Helmets and Failaq Al Rahman planning to stage a ‘chemical attack’ in Hamouriya on the 6th March 2018. This was the aborted precursor to the eventual Douma White Helmet-reported event on the 7th April 2018.

In this article, I have also included the video from Pierre Le Corf, in which he describes the role of the White Helmets in East Aleppo and then a compilation video of the Syrian civilian testimony I gathered immediately after liberation of East Aleppo from the same ruling groups of sectarian extremists, including and dominated by Nusra Front (Al Qaeda). Finally I have included the testimony of a young boy in the former Bab Al Nairab White Helmet centre in East Aleppo.

These videos demonstrate the clear parallels between the testimony from Eastern Ghouta and East Aleppo, two areas most influenced (until now) by the White Helmet construct.

WATCH:


***

Vanessa Beeley is an independent journalist, peace activist, photographer and associate editor at 21st Century Wire. Vanessa was a finalist for one of the most prestigious journalism awards – the 2017 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism – whose winners have included the likes of Robert Parry in 2017, Patrick Cockburn, Robert Fisk, Nick Davies and the Bureau for Investigative Journalism team.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE WHITE HELMETS BY READING THE FOLLOWING ARTICLES:

White Helmets Centre in Saqba, Eastern Ghouta Next Door to Terrorist Bomb Factory
“Humanitarians” and the ‘Moderate’ Bomb Factory in Saqba, Eastern Ghouta.

BBC and Guardian Whitewash of UK FCO Funding Scandal in Syria
What to Expect From BBC Panorama and Guardian’s Whitewash of UK Gov’t Funding Terrorists in Syria

White Helmets Evidence Presented at Geneva Press Club:
Vanessa Beeley Presents Exposé on White Helmets at Swiss Press Club in Geneva

‘Global Britain’ – UK Funding a Shadow State in Syria
‘Global Britain’ is Financing Terrorism and Bloodshed in Syria and Calling it ‘Aid’

White Helmets – Hollywood Poster Boys:

WHITE HELMETS: State Sanctioned Terrorism and Hollywood Poster Boys for War

21st Century Wire:
New Report Destroys Fabricated Myth of Syria’s ‘White Helmets’

Initial Investigation into White Helmets:
Who are Syria’s White Helmets?

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

Who Funds the White Helmets?
Secret £1bn UK War Chest Used to Fund the White Helmets and Other ‘Initiatives’

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

Irish Peace Prize Farce
Tipperary’s White Helmets Peace Prize: A Judas Kiss to the Antiwar Movement and Syria

White Helmets Executions
WHITE HELMETS: Severed Heads of Syrian Arab Army Soldiers Paraded as Trophies

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

White Helmets Links to Al Nusra
WHITE HELMETS: Hand in Hand with Al Qaeda and Extremist Child Beheaders in Aleppo

Report by Patrick Henningsen
AN INTRODUCTION: Smart Power & The Human Rights Industrial Complex

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

Staged Rescue Videos
(VIDEO) White Helmets: Miraculous ‘Rag Doll Rescue’

White Helmets Oscar Award Farce:
Forget Oscar: Give The White Helmets the Leni Riefenstahl Award for Best War Propaganda Film

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

Open letter to Canadian MPs from Stop the War Hamilton (Canada):
Letter from the Hamilton Coalition to Stop War to the New Democratic Party in Canada ref the White Helmet nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize:

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.

READ MORE WHITE HELMETS NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire White Helmets Files

READ MORE SYRIA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Syria Files

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