Bashar Assad: White Helmets, mask for terrorists
Syrian president Bashar Assad said that White Helmets are a mask for terrorists and will be killed if they don’t surrender.
Speaking to Russian media on Thursday, Syrian president Bashar Assad reiterated his position that the White Helmets were not a rescue group, but rather a "mask" for Nusra Front terrorist group.
Assad said that the leaders of the group had likely already fled Syria, with the remainder staying behind under the guise of civilians and hiding in terrorists-controlled Idlib, which he said was home to tens of thousands of terrorists.
Syrian president Bashar Assad's remarks come amid the ongoing evacuation of hundreds of members of the controversial group, which Damascus considers to be a media arm of al-Qaeda in Syria.
"They have fled Syria, but really did not flee — they were evacuated by Israel, Jordan and the Western powers," Assad said.
According to Syrian president, any White Helmets who refuse amnesty will be liquidated.
"The fate of the White Helmets will be the same as that of any terrorist. They have two paths: either lay down their arms and take advantage of amnesty or be liquidated, like other terrorists," Syrian president said.
Four years after the U.S. and a number of its' allies unleashed a devastating air campaign in Iraq and Syria, the coalition Thursday acknowledged the deaths of 1,059 civilians from its aerial bombings in Iraq and Syria.
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova recently renewed that the so-called “ White Helmets” organization has been involved in criminal acts.
The US and its Western allies have been actively engaged in the seven-year long war in Syria, including the illegal stationing of troops in the country and backing anti-government terrorists and militants such as Daesh, al-Nusra Front, and the Free Syrian Army (FSA).