The White Helmets, upon closer inspection, appear to be staging photo ops used as propaganda to manufacture consent for a “no-fly zone” in Syria.
Despite their claims of neutrality in the conflict between the Syrian government, US-backed rebels, and ISIS, the Syrian “volunteer” group known as the “White Helmets” have openly acknowledged that they receive over $123 million from Western governments, with $23 million coming just from the US State Department. Though you wouldn’t know it from the near-constant praise they receive from the media, this same group, which has been linked to US-backed terrorist group al-Nusra, has been accused by independent Western journalists as well as Syrians of staging photo ops and protests to demonize the Russian and Syrian bombing campaign in Aleppo that is currently targeting al-Nusra and other US-backed “rebel” forces.
This certainly wouldn’t be the first time the US and its allies have paid millions to manufacture propaganda supporting their wars in the Middle East. It was recently revealed that the US paid a British PR firm over half a million dollars to create terrorist propaganda in Iraq in an attempt to manufacture support of its illegal occupation of the country. Independent journalist Vanessa Beeley, who has personally traveled to and reported from Aleppo, has argued that the White Helmets are doing something similar as their chief purpose is to manipulate the Western public into accepting Western military intervention in Syria.
The White Helmets themselves deny this narrative but do not deny the millions of dollars they receive from pro-intervention Western governments. One of the leaders of the White Helmets, Abdulrahman Al Mawwas, recently told RT that though they “are a humanitarian organization,” they “admit [that] there is funding from the USA, from the UK, from Germany, from Netherlands.” The White Helmets themselves are well-known for their repeated calls for a no-fly zone over Syria, which even Hillary Clinton has admitted would result in countless civilian deaths and is the current policy goal for the US and its allies in Syria.
Also of concern is that the White Helmets are embedded exclusively in areas controlled by al-Nusra and the Islamic State. Indeed, their connections to al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch, have even been confirmed by the US State Department. The leader of the White Helmets, Raed Al-Saleh, was denied entry to the US this past April but was eventually allowed to enter last month. Mark Toner, a spokesman for the State Department, struggled to explain Al-Saleh’s ban, but eventually admitted that he had been banned because he was “suspected of having ties … with the extremist groups.”
There seems to be significant evidence suggesting that the White Helmets are an organization tasked with creating propaganda. Indeed, the only photos of Syrian civilians injured in the conflict that are shown by mainstream media come directly from the White Helmets and the Aleppo Media Center, which also receives millions in Western funding.
A well-known example of this is the so-called “dusty boy” from Aleppo which sparked international outrage over the bombing campaign, though no media outlet reporting on the photo sought to verify its authenticity. Assad and Russia have claimed the photo was staged. It is also strange that equally horrible civilian deaths, such as a 7-year-old Syrian boy killed by a sniper from a US-backed “rebel” group was entirely ignored by Western media. Was his death worth less than the “dusty boy” or did his death fail to serve the interest of Western propaganda? In addition, videos have shown the White Helmets involved in al-Nusra execution of civilians, which were deleted by Google-owned YouTube. Another video, which is still on YouTube shows one of the members of the White Helmets saying that they gather the corpses of Syrian army soldiers and “throw them in the trash.” You can watch that video below.
With Western governments calling for military intervention in Syria, which would lead to war with Syria, Russia, Iran, and possibly China, the need to manufacture consent among Western populations is paramount to the implementation of a no-fly zone. With new questions raised about the White Helmets as well as revelations regarding the US’ previous projects creating fake propaganda to support its invasion of Iraq, people must investigate for themselves what’s really going on in Syria and must stop taking Western media and Western-backed media organization in Syria at their word.