May 23, 2017 -
While CNN and other outlets rely heavily on footage taken by White Helmets members, not one major Western media outlet has reported on the latest execution video starring the group’s uniformed members.
The video, which Syrian opposition activists uploaded to Facebook, shows three men from the White Helmets rushing into the center of a crowd, mere seconds after an alleged criminal was shot in the head, and removing the body on a stretcher. A member of the White Helmets can be seen celebrating along with the crowd of onlookers.
(Editor’s note: The Facebook video was removed after this article was published, but the post was archived at two different websites.)
The men in the video were clearly identified by their signature white helmets, along with vests embroidered with the Syria Civil Defense logo.
The public execution took place in the small city of Jasim, in Syria’s southern Daraa province — which is often described as a hub for “moderate” rebels. Activists posted the video on May 16 on the Facebook page Coordination of the City of Al-Harra, Mother of the Martyrs, a site for the opposition in the neighboring city of Al-Harra.
Two days later, Syria Civil Defense released a carefully crafted statement admitting its members were involved in the execution. (Editor’s note: Syria Civil Defense later removed this statement from their website, but it is archived here.) The statement noted that a tribal council in Jasim had asked the White Helmets “to humanely dispose of the body of a person that had been sentenced to death, by the local court, for murder.” The group said it had “conducted an investigation” into the execution, and in response dismissed a White Helmet leader, while temporarily suspending two other team members.