Germany takes in Syrian White Helmets ex-leader Saleh

Germany has taken in an ex-leader of the Syrian White Helmets aid group and his family, despite earlier suspicions that he had jihadist links.

Khalid al-Saleh and his family flew to Germany on a German government plane on Monday, Spiegel news reported. They had been living in a Jordanian camp.

Their arrival was confirmed by the German foreign ministry.

He was among 422 White Helmets and family members who fled southern Syria during a government offensive in 2018.

In a clandestine operation, they were evacuated via the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, at the request of the UK, Germany, Canada and the US. Jordan agreed to accommodate them temporarily.

Spiegel reports that since that evacuation the German interior ministry had refused to let Mr Saleh move to Germany, suspecting him of sympathising with jihadists, but his arrival on Monday followed pressure from the German foreign ministry.

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