James Le Mesurier: White Helmets backer found dead near his home in Istanbul | The Independent
Encore un coup des Russes ! insinue très fortement le Gardian...
A former British army officer, who helped start the “White Helmets”, an emergency response group in Syria, has been found dead near his home in Istanbul, just days after the Russian foreign ministry menaced him, accusing him of being a spy.
James le Mesurier, 43, was the director of Mayday Rescue charity that trained members of the Syria Civil Defence, nicknamed the White Helmets, playing a major role in its creation in Turkey in 2013.
He was awarded an Order of the British Empire for his work helping Syrians three years later.
The police have yet to confirm how Mr Mesurier died, but he is believed to have fallen from the balcony of his apartment in the Turkish city at dawn on Monday.
His death comes just three days after he was publicly attacked by Maria Zakharova, Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, who on Friday claimed he was a “former agent of Britain’s MI6, who has been spotted all around the world”.
He and the White Helmets had been the subject of a disinformation campaign spearheaded by Moscow and their allies in Damascus for years.