July 22 (UPI) -- Israel evacuated hundreds of people from Syria, including members of the Syrian Civil Defense volunteer rescue organization, known as the White Helmets, on Sunday.
The Israeli Defense Forces said the evacuations were carried out at the request of the United States and additional European countries due to "an immediate threat to their lives" in an area in south-western Syria near the border with the Golan Heights.
"The transfer of the displaced Syrians through Israel is an exceptional humanitarian gesture," the IDF said. "Israel continues to maintain a non-intervention policy regarding the Syrian conflict and continues to hold the Syrian regime accountable for all activities in Syrian territory."
The White Helmets issued a statement confirming the evacuations involved a number of its volunteers and their families
"They were trapped in a dangerous area and arrived in Jordan now," the volunteer group said.
Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi tweeted Sunday that the country had originally planned to evacuate 800 Syrians but the actual number settled at 422.
The evacuees will be held in a restricted area of Jordan and assessed by the United Nations as they await resettlement in Britain, Germany and Canada in the coming months.
"Britain, Germany and Canada made a legally binding undertaking to resettle them within a specified period of time due to 'a risk to their lives,'" Safadi said.
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt praised the "fantastic news" of the evacuation and thanked Israel and Jordan for their involvement.
"Thank you Israel and Jordan for acting so quickly on our request," he wrote on Twitter. "The White Helmets are the bravest of the brave and in a desperate situation this is at least one ray of hope."