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White Helmets offer assistance in fighting fires in Syrian regime areas, if workers' safety guaranteed Open in fullscreen

The New Arab Staff

White Helmets offer assistance in fighting fires in Syrian regime areas, if workers' safety guaranteed

The White Helmets are a humanitarian group [Getty]

Date of publication: 9 September, 2020

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Despite being vilified by the brutal Assad regime, the White Helmets have offered to assist in extinguishing fires that have engulfed western Syria.

The Syrian White Helmets have offered to help extinguish fires in regime areas, if their safety can be guaranteed.

Agricultural areas have been destroyed by the wild fires, particularly around the forests of Slunfeh and the city of Latakia in western Syria, as well as the Masyaf Mountains in Homs.

Strong winds have allowed the blaze to spread even faster. 

Syrian fire fighters are attempting to extinguish the blazes but the fires continue to sweep through the countryside.

Syria's White Helmets, the civilian defence force that operates in opposition areas, have offered to assist with extinguishing the fires and save Syrian lives and properties if the regime guarantees the safety of its workers.

The White Helmets have been subjected to a smear campaign by supporters of the brutal Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad, particularly after they received international acclaim for their brave efforts in rescuing the victims of regime bombings.

Read also: Syria's White Helmets join the fight against coronavirus

In recent years, the civil defence force is best known for their rescue work in Idlib province - which has been subject to heavy Russian and regime bombing - but its workers have operated in opposition areas across Syria.

According to a statement released on Tuesday, the White Helmets offered to assist to prevent a "national catastrophe".

"The effects resulting from these fires will not be limited to a specific region, and may extend to wider areas threatening civilian gatherings, and also lead to an environmental catastrophe at the level of Syria. The damage caused by the fires so far needs many years to recover from," the statement said.

"The Syrian Civil Defence, with its expertise and equipment, confirms its readiness to provide assistance in fighting fires and rehabilitating the damage it left behind, and renews its call to provide guarantees that ensure the safety of volunteers and allow them to go to the area and contribute to limiting damage, stopping the spread of fires and saving civilians from any losses," they added.

Syria entered its tenth year of war in March, which started when the brutal Assad regime violently suppressed peaceful protests calling for government reforms.

According to independent monitors, hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed in the war, mostly by the regime and its powerful allies, and millions have been displaced both inside and outside of Syria.

The Syrian regime have used chemical weapons, sieges, mass executions, bombings, and torture against civilians over the past nine-years.


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