The president’s remarks come amid the continuing evacuation of hundreds of members of the controversial group, which Damascus considers an al-Qaeda arm in Syria.
Speaking to Russian media on Thursday, Bashar Assad reiterated his position that the White Helmets were not a rescue group, but a cover for the Al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra Front militants.
Assad said the group’s leaders have fled Syria, with the remainder falling behind under the guise of civilians and hiding in Idlib, controlled by terrorist militants.
“They fled Syria but did not actually flee – they were evacuated by Israel, Jordan and the Western powers,” Assad said.
According to the president, all White Helmets that refuse the amnesty will be eliminated. “The fate of the White Helmets will be the same as any terrorist. They have two paths: either they surrender their weapons and take advantage of the amnesty … or they will be eliminated like other terrorists,” he said.
Commenting on the priorities of the Syrian military, Assad considered the liberation of Idlib province as one of the main goals, but also not the only one. Today, of course, there are territories in the eastern part of Syria that are controlled by various groups, some of which are held by ISIS (these are small pockets), as well as the Al-Nusra Front.
Assad compared the current situation in his country with that of the Eastern Front of World War II. Surrounded by Russian military relatives who died fighting the jihadists in Syria, the Syrian president said that the barbaric actions of the Nazis were comparable to those of today’s terrorists.
The Nazis were engaged in an imperialist war to exploit foreign labor forces and resources, exactly in the same manner that the US attempts to keep its strangle hold on global hegemony, which of course comes at the expense of independent states like Syria.