Syrian army retakes territories near Golan Heights

Syrian army pushes into Quneitra province: state tv, rebels

Hundreds of volunteer rescuers have been evacuated from southwest Syria for resettlement in Britain, Canada and Germany.

The White Helmets, officially called the Syrian Civil Defence, operates a rescue service in rebel-held parts of Syria.

Israel's military said the overnight operation was "an exceptional humanitarian gesture" at the request of the United States and European allies due to an "immediate threat to the [Syrians] lives".

"Canada, working in close partnership with the United Kingdom and Germany, has been leading an global effort to ensure the safety of White Helmets and their families", she said.

Jordan's Foreign Ministry stated in a press release that Amman allowed the United Nations to arrange passage for the Syrian refugees through its territory, ahead of their resettlement in Western countries.

The army was consolidating its control of a series of commanding heights that overlook the Golan frontier that had allowed mainly Islamist rebels who once controlled it a strong position in the sensitive border area.

"They were trapped in a unsafe area and arrived in Jordan now", the volunteer group said.

"We judged that, in these particular circumstances, the volunteers required immediate protection", they said.

Both Moscow and Damascus have accused the White Helmets of staging rescue missions and chemical attacks to blame on the government.




Syria's state-run news agency SANA reported on Sunday that Israel "smuggled" the White Helmets to Jordan, saying the volunteer group had links to terrorist groups including the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front.

The request came as the civil defense volunteers were threatened by advancing forces of the Syrian regime in the south of the war-ravaged country, where President Bashar Al-Assad's forces are waging an intensive campaign to retake the last rebel-held pockets of the region bordering both Israel and Jordan.

The U.S. State Department said in a statement that it welcomed the operation and renewed its call on "the Assad regime and Russian Federation to abide by their commitments, end the violence, and protect all Syrian civilians". Jordan hosts at least 650,000 registered Syrian refugees, according to the United Nations, but Amman says a similar number of undocumented Syrians are also in the kingdom.

Some Syrians have opted to be evacuated to northern Idlib province, where the opposition still holds territory.

The rescue workers and their families who evacuated to Jordan will now be resettled overseas.

Also, the rebel groups in the areas of "Muzayrib" and "Yadouda" in rural Daraa continued to hand over their weapons to the Syrian army, including 7 tanks, 3 armored vehicles and various equipment.

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 group receives funding from a number of governments, including Britain, Germany and the United States. "There were lots of children", said one Israeli.

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