Israel evacuates White Helmets volunteers from Syria

Syrian army pushes into Quneitra province: state tv, rebels

White Helmets expected to be resettled in UK after rescue from Syria

The U.N. refugee body praised Jordan's move to give them temporary sanctuary. "Therefore I approved their passage through Israel to additional countries as an important humanitarian gesture".

Euronews has contacted the White Helmets for comment on the reports.

Netanyahu also revealed on Sunday that Trudeau was one of the world leaders who personally asked for Israel to evacuate roughly 800 of the White Helmets over fears they would be targeted by regime forces.

The White Helmet volunteers and their families will be held in a "restricted area" of Jordan and assessed by the United Nations, pending resettlement.

A Jordanian government source said 422 people were brought from Syria, over the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights frontier and into Jordan, down from a figure of 800 announced earlier by the foreign ministry in Amman.

The operation to remove the rescue workers from the province of Quneitra took place at the request of Britain, Germany and Canada with a view to resettling the evacuees in the West on humanitarian grounds.

It said they were transferred to a neighbouring country, which it did not identify.

"White Helmets have been the target of attacks and, due to their high profile, we judged that, in these particular circumstances, the volunteers required immediate protection".

Jordan had confirmed that it had authorised the evacuation of the rescue workers from southern Syria and said that they would be resettled in Britain, Canada and Germany.

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Canadian officials told public broadcaster CBC that they "agreed" to accept 50 White Helmets volunteers and their families, which could mean up to 250 people.

Who are Syria's White Helmets?

"Canada is resettling up to 50 members and their families, and is working with the global community to assess remaining needs", said Canada's foreign affairs spokeswoman Elizabeth Reid. The volunteers, known as White Helmets, had been stranded along the frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights following the latest Syrian government offensive in southwestern Syria. But Israel has said it will not allow the refugees to enter Israel.

It was unclear how many White Helmet volunteers remained in both the Daraa and Quneitra provinces after the evacuations.

The White Helmets are mostly Syrian nationals who over the past several years have taken it upon themselves to conduct rescue operations following major military confrontations in the war-torn country.

Since its formation, more than 200 of its volunteers have died and another 500 have been wounded.

They are credited for saving thousands of lives.

Some members have received training overseas, including in Turkey, returning to instruct colleagues on search-and-rescue techniques.

Jordan said it would transfer the Syrians to Britain, Canada and Germany.

Southwest Syria, a prized region for almost all stakeholders in Syria's war due to its strategic position bordering both Jordan and the Israel with close proximity to Damascus, has been under heavy bombardment by Assad's forces which launched an offensive last month to take over the last remaining strongholds of rebels in that part of the country.

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