US sends aid for Syrian civil defence teams

15 Jun 18

The US has released $6.6m to support a United Nations group and a civil defence fund providing relief to those caught up in the civil war in Syria.

The funds will go to the White Helmets, the Syrian group that rescues civilians and the UN International, Impartial and Independent Mechanisms.

In a statement, the US State Department said: “The United States government strongly supports the White Helmets who have saved more than 100,000 lives since the conflict began, including victims of [president Bashar al-Assad’s] chemical weapons attacks.

“These heroic first responders have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world and continue to be deliberately targeted by the Syrian regime and Russian airstrikes.‎”

Since 2013, more than 230 volunteers have been killed while working to save civilians.

The UN group has worked to investigate and prosecute those violating human rights and committing serious crime under international law in Syria since 2011.

It is estimated that more than 500,000 people have been killed fighting in Syria since the war began nearly eight years ago.

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