MOSCOW, February 3. /TASS/. The White Helmets non-governmental organization received money from the West to set up provocations and stage incidents in Syria which were used to justify air strikes on the Syrian territory, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a joint press conference Wednesday following talks with his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi.
"This so-called humanitarian organization was created with active participation of Western intelligence representatives. It was financed by the West, never provided its so-called humanitarian services on territories controlled by the Syrian government and worked exclusively in the parts of Syria where terrorists called all the shots, primarily Jabhat al-Nusra, the White Helmets actively worked with them," Lavrov answered a question from TASS. "Western money was used to set up brazen provocations, stage incidents and film choreographed videos to allege that the [Syrian] government was using chemical weapons in Syria. These so-called facts, which any even slightly objective expert will see as farfetched, were nevertheless used by Western countries to carry out airstrikes against a sovereign state without any justification in the form of UNSC decisions."
He underscored that "the ground started burning" under the feet of White Helmets after the operations aimed at liberating Syrian territories, and the West "cared about saving their clients and take the heat off them" by calling on Jordan to temporarily settle the movement representatives on its territory. "Of course, we are coming from the premise that Jordan was promised that they would be taken out in a couple of months. It should be fulfilled, even though we know how the West treats its word," Lavrov said.
In turn, the Jordanian minister confirmed that the country indeed agreed to accommodate the White Helmets under the condition that it will be temporary. According to him, the decision was prompted by humanitarian concerns. "Currently, the majority has already returned [to places of permanent residence]. There are now fewer than 50 people from the so-called White Helmets in Jordan. <…> We are actively cooperating with Western partners to complete their resettlement process," noted Safadi.