Briton who helped found Syria's White Helmets dead in Turkey

11 Novembre, 2019, 21:07 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • James Le Mesurier

Local media reports said his body was found with fractures to his legs and head at the foot of his apartment early on Monday.

Police had established that no one had entered or left his home at the time of his death, Anadolu reported.

The Istanbul governor's office said "comprehensive administrative and judicial investigations" had been initiated into Le Mesurier's death.

The private DHA news agency said authorities were investigating whether he had committed suicide, saying he had allegedly been on anti-depressant pills.

A friend of Le Mesurier, freelance journalist Oz Katerji, also reported that Le Mesurier's wife informed him that he fell from their balcony while she was asleep. His body was awaiting an autopsy.

Le Mesurier set up the Mayday Rescue emergency response group, which helped train White Helmets volunteers. "Nowhere was the impact of his important work felt so strongly as in Syria", the worldwide non-profit organisation said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry tweeted about Le Mesurier last week, alleging that he was a former agent of the UK's Secret Intelligence Service, better known as MI6.

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Le Mesurier, who had also worked for the United Nations, was considered a founder of the White Helmets.

Hailed as fearless rescue workers by the Western media, the White Helmets have been accused of associating with Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups inside Syria.

A member of the Syrian Civil Defence (White Helmets) takes part in a search for victims of a Russian air strike that hit the village of Jabala in the south of the Idlib region on November 2, 2019.

James Le Mesurier was a former British army officer.

"It all came together with an initial training course of 20 guys from northern Aleppo, then spawned from one team to 20 teams".

The White Helmets quickly expanded, and are credited with saving tens of thousands of lives during Syria's conflict.

A documentary about the group won an Academy Award in 2017.

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