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    Syrian civil defence volunteers, known as the White Helmets, dig through the rubble of a mosque following a reported airstrike on a mosque in the village of Al-Jineh in Aleppo province late on March 16, 2017

    Why the White Helmets in Syria 'Cause More Harm Than Good'

    © AFP 2019 / Omar haj kadour
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    Pierre Le Corf, a 28-year-old French national who has been living in Aleppo since February 2016 and who has set up an association aimed at "helping the Syrian people to rebuild themselves," talked with Sputnik France about why organizations such as the White Helmets cause more harm than good to Syria.

    When Pierre Le Corf arrived in Aleppo, the city which suffered catastrophic damage during the occupation by jihadists, he set up the association "We Are Superheroes", aimed at helping Syrian people to survive during the long war.

    "There were times when terrorists were only 500 meters away from my home and I heard them shouting 'Allahu Akbar!' before shooting from a mortar-gun. Now they are already three kilometers away. They are already not in the city center but at the entrance to the city. We are still being shot at every day. And we are still under partial siege," he told Sputnik France. 

    Since Pierre Le Corf came to the city, he noticed that very few mass media sources reported on the actual state of affairs in Eastern Aleppo. There were about 30 armed groups there, only jihadist and all of which called themselves al-Nusra. Before his arrival, he said, there were the so-called "moderate opposition." But by the time Russia started its aerial campaign in September 2015, he said, there were only jihadists in the city.

    He told Sputnik that all the NGO associations that have been reporting from Syria are located on the territories which are under control of terrorists. And only two international organizations, "We Are Superheroes" and SOS Chrétiens d’Orient (Christians of the Orient) operate in the areas under the control of the Syrian government.

    "Associations such as The Syria Civil Defense volunteer organization, also known as "White Helmets" have been either pursuing Salafi views from the very beginning of the conflict or have belonged to more or less radical movements," he told Sputnik.

    "They are bringing more harm than good to Syria. They receive a lot of financing, but their true purpose is to continue dragging Syria into the war as it legitimizes their existence. They are the minority who keep the majority hostage," the activist said.

    Le Corf then commented on the liberation of Eastern Aleppo.

    "Anyone will tell you, if not for the Russians and Russian jets, Aleppo would have been defeated. My backpack was always ready and at hand. We slept fully dressed and did not know what would happen next. There were airstrikes and many people died. But I see the people of Aleppo every day and they are convinced that they have been saved," he said.

    Of course there are many people who are convinced that the government does not do everything well, they want reforms, he further said. But the majority of the country supports President Assad.

    "When I was distributing gifts at Christmas after the liberation of Eastern Aleppo, I was very surprised that people were talking about President Assad as their savior. If the people did not support him, he would have been toppled long ago. People have been fighting for their own country," Pierre Le Corf said.

    At the end of his interview he said that Syrians don't like the French. They harbor a grudge against those countries which destroyed what they had. France unfortunately is one of those countries which supports the sanctions which strangle the Syrian people.

    "Sanctions are more powerful weapon than bombs. They force people to leave their country not because of war, bombing or because they are not satisfied with the government they have, but because they have no future. They have no imports, the country is closed and the majority of enterprises have been moved outside, to countries such as Turkey," Le Corf concluded.

    Tags:
    liberation of Aleppo, Syrian crisis, Syrian conflict, White Helmets, Pierre Le Corf, Syria, Aleppo
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