Updated: Nov 13, 2019
Former British Army officer and founder of the White Helmets in Syria, James Le Mesurier, has been found dead in Turkey. The actual cause of his death is as yet not known; however, witnesses who saw his broken body lying on the street, next to his home, say that his legs had obviously suffered many fractures. Turkish authorities have as yet to comment, but have said they will launch an investigation.
What do we know so far?
Mr Le Mesurier lived in Istanbul Turkey and had both his home and office in Istanbul's Beyoglu district, which is on the European side of the city and as mentioned above it was just outside his office that his bloodstained broken body was discovered lying in the street by a passerby.
The motive for his killing is so far not known, but it is a well-known fact that both the Syrian government and its allies Iran and Russia have accused the “White Helmet Organisation” of aiding terrorist organisations and in-fact only last week the Russian foreign ministry tweeted that Le Mesurier was a former agent of MI6 the United Kingdoms Intelligence Service.
Mr Le Mesurier was in the past a British Army officer and has been honoured by the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II back in 2016 when he was awarded an OBE, Order of the British Empire. This was followed in the same year 2016 when the White Helmet Organisation received the Right Livelihood Award given for their "outstanding bravery, compassion and humanitarian engagement in rescuing civilians,” later that same year, the group was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Tributes since the news of his death have been pouring out from around the world, one in particular, Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, director of the “Doctors Under Fire campaign group” and a friend of Mr Le Mesurier, said: "It's absolutely tragic. He was one of the few people who have made a humanitarian footprint in Syria."
The world has lost one of its bravest men, rest in peace, my friend.