NewsWorldArmed with their war experience, the Syrian White Helmets...

Armed with their war experience, the Syrian White Helmets come to the aid of the Ukrainians

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Published on: 04/12/2022 – 10:02 Faced with the war in Ukraine, Syrians, also victims of the war and the Russian intervention in their country, are now helping Ukrainian refugees. Material or psychological assistance, Syrian civilians are mobilizing as they can to support the Ukrainians. Armed with solid experience acquired during the war in their country where Russian forces intervened, Syrian opponents are mobilizing to help Ukrainians treat the wounded, help refugees or prepare for possible chemical attacks. beginning of the war in Syria in 2011, triggered by pro-democracy demonstrations, President Bashar al-Assad lost control of part of his country until Russian troops came to his rescue in 2015 to restore it saddle.On February 24, the Russian army entered the soil of Ukraine, resulting in the death of hundreds of civilians and the flight of more than 10 million Ukrainians. >> To (re) read on France24.com : Alexander Dvornikov, “the butcher of Syria” in command of Russian forces in Ukraine ‘is woven with them.” Seen our experience in Syria, we are probably among the best able to understand the pain of the Ukrainian people,” Raed al-Saleh, head of the White Helmets, relief workers engaged in Syrian rebel areas, told AFP. “Syrians have experienced the bombardments, killings and displacements caused by the Russian forces”, he explains. Yesterday Aleppo, today Mariupol “Time and space have changed but the victims are the same, the civilians, and the ‘murderer is the same, the Russian regime,’ adds Raed al-Saleh. in the rebel zones. The fate of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol (south-east), besieged and devastated by the Russian army since the end of February, is not unlike that of Aleppo, the second city of Syria (north). In 2016, the eastern districts, in the hands of the rebels, were ravaged by Russian aerial bombardments during a long siege. >> To (re)read and (re)see on France24.com: “Syria: understanding the genesis of the conflict and its consequences “Faced with the violence in Ukraine, a group of associations created the Syria-Ukraine Network (SUN) which helps Syrian doctors to go to Ukraine to treat the wounded, explains to AFP the coordinator, a Ukrainian , Olga Lautman. In addition, “we will cooperate with Syrian experts specializing in war crimes and chemical attacks”, she says. It came from a “desire of the Syrians to use their experience to help” , she said, speaking of the “link” between the two peoples. In the province of Idleb (north-west), one of the last regions beyond the control of the regime, doctors from the Academy of Health Sciences line of Ukrainian colleagues and nurses, says its president Abdallah Abdelaziz Alhaji. The Ukrainians s especially want to know more about chemical attacks, he says. “They want to take advantage of our experience.” If for the moment there is no evidence of the use of Russian chemical weapons in Ukraine, the Syrian forces have been accused several times of having used them in Syria. “The White Helmets also make video tutorials to teach Ukrainians how to care for the wounded. On the Ukrainian-Polish border, the Syrian Omar Alshakal, founder of the association Refugee4Refugees, provides him with assistance to Ukrainians fleeing their country. For Charles Lister , of the Middle East Institute, Syrian activists “seek to ride the wave of anti-Russian sentiment to promote the cause [de l’opposition] Syria, but also to stimulate new geopolitical relations with Ukraine”.>> To (re)read on France24.com: “Ukraine: the influx of refugees ‘rekindles burning historical memories'”Observers have noted similarities in the tactics of Russian forces employed in Syria and Ukraine, such as targeting infrastructure in order to establish so-called humanitarian corridors and emptying cities of their inhabitants. The most important question for Syrian militants and Ukrainians remains whether Moscow and Damascus will be held accountable for their actions in these wars.” If Putin is held accountable for his crimes in Ukraine, that means he will be held accountable in Syria as well. But if he gets away with it, then the next crime is just a matter of time,” said the leader of the White Helmets. For analyst Emile Hokayem, of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, “the Syrians want to embrace the Ukrainian cause because it helps them draw international attention back to their own tragedy and tell Westerners: ‘We warned you, but you preferred to look elsewhere'”. With AFP

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