Workers' Weekly On-Line
Volume 46 Number 25, December 17, 2016 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

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A Note on the "White Helmets"

Infographic produced by website UKCOLUMN on links between White Helmets and other organisations

The "White Helmets" are part of the imperialists' private special forces on the civilian front. They reinforce the aim of regime change in Syria, including acting as auxiliaries for anti-government armed groups that are financed by the imperialists.

The "White Helmets" were founded in 2013 by James Le Mesurier, a British private military contractor, consultant for the Foreign Office and former military intelligence officer [i], when the governments of the US and Britain funded select individuals in rebel-held territory in Syria to travel to Turkey to allegedly receive training in rescue operations. The White Helmets group is supported by a foundation started by Le Mesurier called Mayday Rescue which operates out of the Netherlands, Dubai, Jordan and Turkey. According to the US State Department the group has received at least $23 million in US government funding but the Foreign Office is said to be its largest single backer.

The group has operated exclusively in those areas which were under the control of armed groups that have been refusing to participate in a political resolution to the conflict in Syria.

(Source: TML Weekly, December 10, 2016)

(i) James Le Mesurier, "founder and Director of Mayday Rescue," who, according to his official biography at the Mayday Rescue site, "has spent 20 years working in fragile states as a United Nations staff member, a consultant for private companies and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and as a British Army Officer. Much of his experience has involved delivering stabilisation activities through security sector and democratisation programmes." According to an article in Men's Journal, Le Mesurier was a member of the Royal Green Jackets. He was deployed in northern Ireland and Kosovo. The article notes he is also a private security trainer. "He trained several thousand citizens to become the oil and gas field protection force for the UAE, designed security infrastructure for Abu Dhabi - 'everything from the potential of sea-level rise to political uprisings, shit you just don't think of, so you're sitting down with futurists in New York talking about what the world will be like in 30 years' - and ensured the safety of the 2010 Gulf Cup in Yemen, a regional soccer tournament held in the midst of fears of a potential Al Qaeda uprising." In 2013, "with help from Turkey's elite natural-disasters response team, AKUT, and $300,000 of seed funding from Japan, the UK, and the US, he launched the first seven-day SCD [Syrian Civil Defence] course to teach 25 vetted Syrians". Who vetted them and based on what criteria of course is not mentioned. The article also notes that Le Mesurier does not go into Syria as he "fears his presence alongside the team would compromise its local integrity".


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