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Syria opposition slams West's 'double standards' over response to Ukraine war

DARAA, SYRIA - SEPTEMBER 01: A photo shows Russian troops entering in the Syrian district of Daraa al-Balad in Syria's southern province of Daraa, Syria on September 01, 2021. A cease-fire agreement has been reached between the negotiating committee in Daraa al-Balad neighborhood in southwestern Syria and Russia following heavy shelling on the enclave by Syrian regime forces in recent days, according to local sources on Wednesday. The agreement allowed the Russian military police and a security committee affiliated with the Syrian regime into the neighborhood to cement the cease-fire, the sources said. ( Yasser Alhatib - Anadolu Agency )
A photo shows Russian troops entering in the Syrian district of Daraa al-Balad in Syria's southern province of Daraa, Syria on September 01, 2021 [Yasser Alhatib - Anadolu Agency]

The Syrian opposition has condemned the West's "double standards" in its reaction to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in comparison to the Russian bombardment of Syria, as well as difference in treatment towards both countries' refugees.

Speaking to the Turkish Anadolu Agency, the head of the Syrian Negotiation Commission, Anas Al-Abdah, expressed his disappointment at Western nations' difference in their approach towards aiding the Ukrainian government and the Syrian opposition.

"We support the protection of Ukrainians from the weapons of Russian President Vladimir Putin, but we are against this crude and public duplicity of Western countries," al-Abdah said, reiterating that "the killing of a person should not be tolerated, regardless of the victim's nationality or belief."

He compared the reaction of the international community towards the outbreaks of war in Syria and Ukraine, stating that "In Syria, there is a massacre of an entire people in front of the eyes of the world and with international complicity, while in Ukraine, the whole Western world is trying to protect it and its people."

Ultimately, he insisted, Russia's invasion of Ukraine last week – which is ongoing as Russian forces attempt to capture the capital Kyiv – was facilitated by the West's allowance of its bombardment of Syria over the years.

The war on Syria emboldened Russia and its relentless targeting of civilians in Ukraine

Al-Abdah also warned that Moscow's aggression may expand further, saying the West "gave Russia direct and indirect support to carry out new adventures that may not stop at the borders of Ukraine…Failure to anticipate the danger before it becomes a reality on the ground, is the biggest failure that any country's leadership can fall into."

He also criticised the difference in the treatment of Ukrainian and Syrian refugees, with European nations in particular opening their doors to Ukrainians and granting them certain rights, while Syrians were instead constantly pushed back and assaulted by European border agencies over the past decade.

Mainstream Western media outlets were ultimately complicit in that criminalisation of Syrian refugees, he claimed, by "demonising the Syrian opposition as promoting terrorist organisations."

Al-Abdah added that "Western countries are fully aware of the misinformation and attempt to stigmatise the Syrian opposition and the Syrian people with terrorism and they remain silent about it…This situation harmed us and our struggle against the fascist regime in Damascus and its supporters, our struggle for our freedom and the future of our country."

Following Russia's launching of its invasion of Ukraine last week Thursday, the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad immediately declared support for the invasion while the Syrian opposition announced its support for Ukraine and its sovereignty, condemning the same Russian aggression which it had experienced.

Orientalism, Ukraine and the social disease of selective solidarity

Europe & RussiaMiddle EastNewsRussiaSyriaUkraine
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