US-Supported Syrian White Helmets Involved with War Crimes Committed by Rebel Groups

William Craddick's picture

This article was co-authored with Disobedient Media editor Cassandra Hasenstein

This article contains graphic images of violence, reader caution is advised


The Syrian White Helmets, or Syria Civil Defense Force are lauded by mainstream news sources for their humanitarian work during the Syrian Civil War. But research by Disobedient Media reveals that the White Helmets are an organization supported by the United States for the purpose of regime change in Syria. We have also directly tied this group to varying levels of involvement with war crimes committed by rebel groups in Syria as well as uncovered evidence of their potential involvement in an effort to intentionally use millions of residents in the besieged city of Aleppo as bargaining chips with the Syrian government.

I. The White Helmets are Funded by the United States

The White Helmets are described by media sources such as Time as being “ordinary Syrians” who simply wanted to band together and help mitigate the damage caused by Assad’s Syrian government forces.

This could not be further from the truth. The Syrian White Helmets are an organization funded by the United States with the intention of using the group as part of America’s wider objective of forcing regime change in Syria.

The Syrian Civil Defense Force is funded in part by United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Included here are two links showing contracts awarded by USAID to Chemonics International Inc. (DBA Chemonics). The first award was in the sum of $111.2 million and has a Period of Performance (POP) from January 2013 to June 2017. It states that the purpose of the award will be to use the funds for managing a “quick-response mechanism supporting activities that pursue a peaceful transition to a democratic and stable Syria.” The second was in the sum of $57.4 million and has a POP from August 2015 to August 2020. This award was designated to be used in the “Syria Regional Program II” which is a part of the Support Which Implements Fast Transitions IV (SWIFT IV) program.

This funding was used, if not entirely, then in part to finance the White Helmets. The Syrian Civil Defense Force website lists Chemonics as its primary supporter alongside NGO Mayday Rescue, who operate out of offices in Turkey, Jordan and Dubai.

II. The White Helmets Were Involved With Depriving Five Million Civilians of Water Supplies in Aleppo

On December 31st, Jordanian news source Al-Bawaba reported that ISIS had shut down two pumping stations on the Euphrates River to leave over five million residents of Aleppo without water. The reports appear to have originated from Iranian news source Press TV on the same day. The shutdown of water supplies to Aleppo appears to be an effort on the part of rebel groups to strike back at the Syrian government following territorial losses over the past month and came on the heels of reports that other rebel groups had similarly deprived civilians in Damascus of water for weeks.

On December 3rd, a demand letter from rebels near the city of Aleppo emerged on several Twitter accounts:

Twitter Post 1

Twitter Post 2

A scan of the demand letter can be seen here:

In the letter, rebel groups stated that they would allow teams to restore the water supply to Aleppo if the Syrian Army and Hezbollah agreed to cease their assault on rebel held positions around the city and allow an international team of observers to monitor the ceasefire.

What made this letter truly significant was the fact that one of the signatories to the document was a representative of the White Helmets:

A quick reference to the Syrian Civil Defense Force website reveals the exact same logo as the one which appears in the letter:

This document indicates that the White Helmets are playing a troubling role in assisting rebel groups commit war crimes against civilians. This would hardly match the stereotype of being the purely humanitarian group the Western press loves to portray them as.

III. The White Helmets Have a Troubling Nexus to War Crimes and Members Often Appear to Actually be Rebel Combatants

The embarrassing revelation that the White Helmets participated in the deprivation of water supplies to civilians in Aleppo comes on the heels of reports that the White Helmets were present at the scene of extra judicial killings and their that members are allegedly involved with various rebel military groups.

On May 5th, 2015, the Al-Qaeda affiliated group Jabhat al-Nusra committed an extrajudicial killing of a prisoner, which was filmed for propaganda purposes. In the video, members of the White Helmets are clearly seen present at the scene of the execution helping to remove the body. They did not appear to make any effort to prevent the killing. Al-Nusra’s decision to kill their prisoner was a clear violation of 75 U.N.T.S. 135 of the Geneva Convention on Treatment of Prisoners of War, and at worst an outright war crime were the victim a civilian. Images of the execution video may be seen here, though the actual footage is too graphic to publish:

The damning revelations of the video forced Syria Civil Defense to put out a now-deleted statement on the incident admitting that their team was present during the execution and stating that they condemned the killing of civilians despite the fact that their members did not make attempts to protest the killing at the scene.

Despite their statement claiming that they do not support the murder of civilians, there are a number of videos circulating online where members of the White Helmets openly express support for al-Nusra and other mujahedeen extremist groups who operate in Syria:

Syrian White Helmet expressing support for mujahedeen operating in Syria

Syrian White Helmet celebrating the al-Nusra capture of Jisr al-Shughur, Syria

There are also a number of images circulating online which appear to show that members of the Syria Civil Defense Force are also members of various rebel military groups in Syria:

Here a screenshot from a video run by Al Jazeera shows a White Helmet member next to a black jihadist flag:

The involvement of the White Helmets in assisting rebel groups to cut water supplies to civilians in Aleppo, their failure to take steps to protest or prevent murders of prisoners of war and civilians in Syria, and the alleged involvement of their members with various rebel groups raises questions about the true nature and purpose of the organization. More broadly, the fact that the Syria Civil Defense Force is backed financially by the United States casts a cloud over the ethics and overall goals of American foreign policy objectives in the Middle East.

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MisesTaurus's picture

They are definitely Terrorists.

There are tons of pics on the web showing how members are also Al Qaida or al Nusra members. Google white helmets terrorists to get a massive bank of photos.

Then the faked videos (plenty where this came from):
And whether this is 1 clip or not it seems highly unlikely in a stressed situation the camera man would change positions to film the same girl in this way... plenty more videos which circumstantially appear to be fake

Then the independent journalists who have been trying to expose them:

Having looked at reems of evidence I am 100 % sure if you send them money you are funding terrorism.

shovelhead's picture

They look like nice youngsters. Helping old ladies cross streets, doing flood relief work and taking out the trash.

Sure, some of them might play carelessly with guns from time to time, but what youngster doesn't in those neighborhoods?

I'm proud my tax dollars support these helpful young fellows with their community enrichment activities and I'm sure President Assad is proud to have them helping out.

Thanks Mr. Obama...Yes We Can.

atthelake's picture

American politicians have committed  WAR CRIMES and CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY and they should hang.

TheVoicesInYourHead's picture

"Rebel groups"?

No "rebels" in Syria. You meant terrorist insurgents.

William Craddick's picture

People need to realize that "mujahedeen" are just Saudi sponsored PMC groups.

TheVoicesInYourHead's picture

"Rebel groups"?

No "rebels" in Syria. You meant terrorist insurgents.

Davy Crockett's picture

Remember when the aid convoy was attacked?  Russia said it was rebel groups on the ground, but a "white-helmet" claimed that it was helicopters that attacked them.  I guess we know how reliable that "white-helmet's" testimony really was.

Pinto Currency's picture

George Webb posts every day tracking the wikileaks findings e-mails re. Clinton Foundation / Dyncorp human trafficking, organ harvesting, moving WMD sarin gas into Syria etc.

Alleges 15,000 children missing from Syria taken by white helmets - organ harvesting and sold into slavery in gulf states:

Webb's latest - Steve Jobs was fighting against gov surveillance, more on Haiti and death of Monica Petersen:

See also:

Wikileaks is finally pushing the story:

DonaldWashington's picture

Check this site out. I guarantee you will be glued to your screen. 


The international Center for Missing & Exploited Children

It's starting to look like the human trafficking aspect is true. 


Decision Sciences International Corporation

Everything you would need to control ports, and transport nuclear weapons, undetected. 


Qatar, Podesta, ICMEC & the Art World

Qatar's involvement in the human trafficking industry, and the connection to Podesta & ICMEC.

William Craddick's picture

Webb posts some good stuff on occasion but I also find that he is wrong about certain things as well. I'm honestly not sure what to think about him.