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Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said in a statement on Sunday that Israel had facilitated the exit from Syria 0f relief workers, known as "white helmets".

"The civilians were subsequently transferred to a neighboring country", it said without elaborating.

The request came as the White Helmets volunteers and their families were threatened by advancing forces of the Syrian government in the south of the war-ravaged country.

Petra said they would remain in a closed area in Jordan and that Britain, Germany and Canada had agreed to resettle them within three months.

The White Helmets rescue group operates mainly in opposition held parts of Syria and acts like an informal emergency services in areas devastated by war. They also saved countless lives during Syrian poison gas attacks.

The Israeli evacuation of more than 400 Syrian civil defense workers and their families in a bold nighttime raid brought praise from overseas, even as media reports attributed an airstrike on an Iranian missile factory in northwest Syria to Israel.

Russian Federation has been exerting pressure on the Syrian army to facilitate the return of numerous displaced and has also asked the United Nations to send regular convoys of aid to ease the humanitarian crisis triggered by the offensive, UN officials said.

They had fled as a Syrian government offensive in the south-west of the country intensified earlier this summer.

A number of those evacuated were from the White Helmets volunteer rescue group, known as the Syrian Civil Defense.

The military said its actions did not reflect a change to Israel's non-intervention policy in Syria's war, now in its eight year, where all the warring parties are considered hostile.

"Several days ago, U.S. President Trump contacted me, as did Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau and others, and requested that we assist in evacuating hundreds of White Helmets from Syria", Netanyahu said in Hebrew during an online address. Evacuation plans were accelerated after last week's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels.

A commander in the regional alliance that backs Assad said the army's victory in southwestern Syria forced Israel to accept the Syrian army's return to the old 1974 armistice lines. Thousands of civilians had taken shelter near the frontier to escape the government offensive.

Numerous fighters surrendered under Russian-brokered deals and were transported to rebel-held areas in the north of the country.

The Syrian government managed to get full control over a strategic territory at the border with Jordan following the operation.

Israelis involved in the rescue operation told Hadashot news that it was one of the most emotional efforts to help Syria to date. The Syrian rockets landed inside Syrian territory.

On Sunday, the evacuation of hundreds of rebels and their families resumed for the third day from villages along the Golan frontier as part of a Russian-brokered surrender deal, sources said.

El Deeb reported from Beirut.


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