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Volunteers of White Helmets evacuated to Jordan via Israel Volunteers of White Helmets evacuated to Jordan via Israel  (ANSA)

Major rescue as ‘White Helmets’ leave Syria

Israel has evacuated White Helmets volunteer rescuers and their family members threatened by Syrian government forces.

By Nathan Morley

An evacuation of members of Syria's White Helmets civil defence group from a conflict zone in southern Syria has been conducted by the Israeli Defence Forces.

Late on Saturday, over 400 volunteers along with dependants were taken to Jordan via the Golan Heights. According to media reports, the Israelis were asked to help by the United States and European Union.

“Israel has completed a humanitarian effort to rescue members of a Syrian civil organization (“the White Helmets”) and [their] families,” Emmanuel Nahshon, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, confirmed on Twitter.

Drone shot down in Syria

In a separate development, a drone launched from a rebel held area of Syria was detected and destroyed near the Hmeymim airbase, a main garrison for the Russian forces.

Russian military officials said the ‘drone was destroyed sufficiently’ and there were no casualties or material damage.

Iran

In other regional news, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has warned US President Donald Trump about pursuing hostile policies against Tehran.

"America should know … war with Iran is the mother of all wars," he said.

Iran faces increased pressure from the United States after President Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from an international deal over Iran's nuclear program.

Listen to Nathan Morley's report
22 July 2018, 16:51