Boris Johnson and the British Foreign Office have announced a further 1 million to go to the Syrian Civil Defense.
An unofficial source has indicated that the money will be allocated to the ISIS linked Yellow Helmets.
Yellow Helmets in Raqqah, firefighting (above and left) and rescuing drowning man (below centre right)
Syrian Civil Defence is defined as a Syrian volunteer search and rescue organisation, which is however only seen in ‘rebel’ held areas. The White Helmets operate exclusively in areas controlled by al Nusra (al Qaeda in Syria), whereas the Yellow Helmets operate in ISIS-controlled areas.
The Foreign Office is, with the US State Department, one of the largest funders of Syrian Civil Defence, and is promoting the White Helmets for a Nobel Peace Prize. The FCO believes that al Nusra and ISIS are major partners in the War of Terror and should be suitably acknowledged and rewarded. There are some who quibble about this support for terrorism, believing that at least it should be less blatant. Unkind souls have pointed out that many White Helmet ‘volunteers’ appear to have a day job as terrorist fighters, often taking part in the torture of Syrian soldiers. One view holds that the White Helmets are no more than a set of props and uniforms to be donned when required for propaganda purposes.
Less is known about the Yellow Helmets as, although the BBC and CNN have journalists regularly putting al Qaeda’s viewpoint from Eastern Aleppo, fewer journalists make it to Raqqah.
However it appears that Mr Johnson is concerned that the Yellow Helmets should not be ignored, and discussions are taking place on whether they should be nominated for the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.