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Trump praised Islamic terror group White Helmets via State Dept. proclamation, 3/16/19. He said these heroes “have the most dangerous job in the world….US government strongly supports work of White Helmets” in Syria. He also gave them $5 million more US taxpayer dollars

June 16, 2019

President Trump in March 2019 praised Islamic terror group White Helmets in a State Dept. proclamation:These heroic first responders have the most dangerous job in the world.Trump further rewarded his terror group “heroes” with 5 million more US taxpayer dollars, saying, “The United States Government strongly supports the work of the White Helmets.”…Trump should be forced to resign immediately, but won’t be because the entire US political class agrees with him that Islamic terrorists come first. And terrorists only accept cash: The millions of US taxpayer dollars Trump funnels to White Helmets are delivered in cash, there are no paper receipts, per August 2018 report by Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, page 31. Added, from page 24: “The large majority of the [White Helmets] volunteers is not actually vetted.”

3/16/19, “US to provide $5 million to White Helmets to continue services: State Dept.,” almasdarnews.com, Beirut, Lebanon

“The U.S. administration, at the direction of President Donald Trump, will be providing an addition $5 million to the White Helmets in Syria, the State Department announced on Friday.

At the direction of the President, subject to congressional approval, the United States intends to provide $5 million for the continuation of the [so-called] vital, life-saving operations of the White Helmets in Syria and in support of the UN’s International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) [separate from OPCW] which is charged with assisting the investigation and prosecution of persons responsible for the most serious crimes under International Law committed in Syria since March 2011. [That would easily be the US]

Today, at the third Brussels Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region, Special Representative for Syria Engagement and Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Ambassador James Jeffrey publicly announced these contributions. In addition to those made last year, these contributions to the White Helmets and IIIM demonstrate the United States’ commitment and ongoing support for justice and accountability in Syria.

The United States Government strongly supports the work of the White Helmets….

These heroic first responders have the most dangerous job in the world….Despite these dangers, the White Helmets provide these services based on strict humanitarian principles and have become a symbol in Syria and world-wide for these courageous values,the statement read.”

…………………….

Added: White Helmets is a glamorous terror group. (Being glamorous, perhaps the group was vetted by Ivanka. When Trump is re-elected, White Helmets and Ivanka will likely be given keys to the US Treasury)

White Helmets is a glamorous terror group: An Oscar for a Propaganda Flick,” Consortium News, 3/3/2017

Islamic terrorist leader praises White Helmets as “hidden soldiers:”

This March [2017], a leader of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, the powerful newly rebranded al-Qaeda-led rebel coalition in Syria, hailed the White Helmets in a special video message as the “hidden soldiers of the revolution.”…”Abu Jaber praises [terrorist] humanitarian workers, such as the White Helmets.” 3/19/17.…..

White Helmets acts of terror across Syria:

9/6/2017, Investigation: White Helmets Committing Acts Of Terror Across Syria, Mint Press News

…………………………………..

Added: Netherlands stops funding White Helmets:

9/17/2018, Netherlands Cuts Funding to White Helmets Over Likely Links to Terrorism,” Mint Press News, Whitney Webb

“A report by the Netherlands’ Foreign Affairs Ministry found Dutch funding given to the group had fallen into the hands of extremist groups and had been used in illegal black market transactions.”

……………………………………

Added:

August 2018, Review of the monitoring systems of three projects in Syria: AJACS, White Helmets and NLA,” Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs

page 23, Section “2.2 White Helmets”

“The White Helmets are formally an independent organisation registered in Turkey, but in practice they are closely tied to Stichting Mayday Rescue Foundation (Mayday), the implementing partner for the majority of the White Helmets’ donors. Both organisations have their headquarters in the same office building. The White Helmets are supported by the governments of the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and the US. Most donors provide support through Mayday, whereas the US provide support through the US contractor Chemonics. According to Mayday, between 2014 and 2018 the programme funds totalled USD 127 mln., of which USD 19 mln. comes from private parties. The Netherlands has contributed almost EUR 10 mln. during this period….

While their M&E [Monitoring and Evaluation] capacity has improved, there remain crucial limitations in the M&E system. These include a ToC and a results framework of poor quality, and an absence of independent programme results and risks verification. Support to the White Helmets lacks donor coordination, resulting in limited donor insight into who finances which parts of the entire joint project….

page 24

Information from the field is gathered mainly though self-reporting by White Helmets inside Syria. Moreover, there is no separate flow of information about the project and there are few on-the-ground networks to enable information gathering from the wider community. Additional information is provided by two organisations contracted by Mayday to support with monitoring the payment of stipends and with conducting perception surveys amongst the population. Thus, there is a lack of independent monitoring of the project’s activities and results. In addition, there has not been an external evaluation of the programme that validates the White Helmet’s proclaimed relevance, efficiency or effectiveness. IOB [Operations Evaluations Dept.] also considers it problematic that the amounts of money transferred through Hawala or cash payments are not systematically monitored.

Mayday and the White Helmets are closely intertwined and many donors have difficulties understanding their joint and separate responsibilities. At the same time, linkages between Mayday and the donor group are less close. Due to its proximity to the project’s implementation and its direct interest in the White Helmet’s reputation, Mayday may well be perceived as lacking transparent risk monitoring and reporting mechanisms….It must be noted, however, that due to capacity issues the large majority of the volunteers is not actually vetted. At the individual volunteer level, information on vetting and on stipends and activities is gathered and analysed in a rather sophisticated online knowledge management system. Yet the quality of this system entirely depends on the quality of the information derived from the M&E [Monitoring and Evaluation] systems in place….

page 30, 3.2 The Hawala Networks [“It does not leave a paper trail.”]

The financial system in areas controlled by the [Islamic terrorist] opposition in Syria has entirely shut down. The only way to transfer money into these areas is by using informal money transferring systems like Hawala (‘transfer’ in Arabic). This is an informal method of debt settlement, built on mutual trust of each party to the transaction….

page 31

The Hawala system relies on personal connections between various agents in different locations and in different countries. Because the various agents manage cash pools in these different locations, there is no need for physical border crossings….Single transactions are managed by various layers of agents, and because the system is based on trust, it does not leave a paper trail.

The large majority of humanitarian aid provided to Syria, including by the UN, is transferred through this system. At the moment, this is the only method available to organisations such as AJACS or White Helmets for transferring cash inside [Islamic terrorist] opposition held areas. Nonetheless, there are several risks associated with its use. There exists a risk of diversion of funds by armed groups, since the it does not provide insight into who receives payments and taxes along the way or how the money is used. In addition, by using the wider system, organisations may indirectly facilitate harmful or illicit trade.”…

page 42, Assessment of White Helmets

“Commentary”…

“The movement of money into Syria is the largest risk. Diversion of stipends may occur, especially given the shrinking operational space for the opposition. There are no transparent ways of getting stipends to beneficiaries. Currently, this is done by moving cash across the border and by using the Hawala system. It is problematic that Mayday does not possess information about the amount of money being transferred into Syria using the Hawala vs. the amount of money being transferred into the country using cash. • There is a certain risk of diversion of equipment by armed or [Islamic terrorist] extremist groups. Thia is considered acceptable to donors, especially since the materials can mainly be used to save human lives or repair damaged buildings. • White Helmets are also active in areas controlled by (non-acceptable) armed groups. Sometimes, therefore, communication between the White Helmets and, for example, representatives of local councils is needed. This is unlikely to change given the shrinking space for the opposition. •… Another related risk is co-optation or other sorts of influence exerted by [Islamic terrorist] extremist groups or by armed groups on White Helmets….

The White Helmets themselves are the primary source of information from implementation sites and all information about activities is based on self-reporting. There is only little triangulation with other sources of information on the ground. SREO and RMTeam are hired consultants to collect data on perceptions and stipends from the field, and are therefore not part of an actual on-the ground network….

page 46

To date, there has not been an independent evaluation of the White Helmets and, therefore, no independent recommendations about improving the relevance/efficiency/effectiveness of the project have been formulated. It is in the best interest of all parties involved that an independent evaluation is performed shortly. In addition, the unclear and fragmented monitoring system does not allow for learning and improvement of the project as a whole.

…………………………………..

Added:

6/14/19, Kurds say White Helmets not welcome to help fight fires in northeast Syria,” kurdistan24.net, Wladimir van Wilgenburg

“The White Helmets rescue organization has offered to help with firefighting efforts in northeast Syria where thousands of acres of farmland have been recently destroyed, but Syrian Kurds who control the area have responded by saying that the group is not welcome.”…

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