The IDF deserves a “special commendation for this – they managed to pull this operation together quickly and were focused on saving as many people as possible,” Greenblatt stated.
Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump’s special Mideast envoy, said that the IDF deserves a “special commendation” for its special operation that rescued 422 Syrian White Helmet operatives and their families, whose lives were in danger.
“The Israel Defense Forces deserve special commendation for this – they managed to pull this operation together quickly and were focused on saving as many people as possible. Thank you as well to the Government of Jordan for their efforts,” Greenblatt tweeted Sunday.
Over the weekend, following the request of the US and additional European countries, the IDF carried out a humanitarian operation to rescue members of a Syrian civil organization and their families.
The civilians were evacuated from the war zone in southern Syria due to an immediate threat to their lives posed by the Assad regime, which had declared the rescue and aid group a terror organization and claimed it was involved in anti-Assad actions.
“The transfer of the displaced Syrians through Israel is an exceptional humanitarian gesture,” the IDF stated.
The civilians were subsequently transferred to Jordan, from where they will move on to European countries or Canada.
“Israel continues to maintain a non-intervention policy regarding the Syrian conflict and continues to hold the Syrian regime accountable for all activities in Syrian territory,” the IDF stressed.
‘Thank You Israel’
The United Kingdom’s new foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, tweeted, “Fantastic news that we – UK and friends – have secured evacuation of White Helmets and their families – thank you Israel and Jordan for acting so quickly on our request. The White Helmets are the bravest of the brave, and in a desperate situation this is at least one ray of hope.”
European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement that “the EU recognizes the essential efforts of Israel and Jordan], and of all others—including several EU Member States—who contributed to bringing the White Helmets and their families to safety.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explained on Sunday that he was contacted several days ago by US President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and others, who requested that Israel assist in evacuating hundreds of White Helmets from Syria.
“These are people who have saved lives and whose lives were in danger. Therefore, I approved their passage through Israel to additional countries as an important humanitarian gesture,” he stated.
The IDF has been conducting Operation Good Neighbor, providing humanitarian aid to Syrians, who until recently had regarded the Jewish state as the enemy.
As part of Operation Good Neighbor, the IDF has provided over 1,500 tons of food, 950,000 liters of fuel, 8,000 diaper packages, 545 tons of baby food, 25,000 boxes of medicine and medical equipment, 775 medical equipment units, 250 tons of clothing, 14,000 hygienic products, and 300 tents to Syrians since June 2016.
Additionally, over 1,300 Syrian children suffering from various illnesses and ailments have received treatment in Israel’s specialty clinics.
The Mazor Ladach field clinic, established by the IDF and international aid organizations in the southern Golan Heights, has provided medical treatment to approximately 6,000 Syrian civilians suffering from various conditions since its opening in August 2017.