Roger Waters blasts Syria’s White Helmets as ‘fake organization’
Leon Neal (AFP/File)
Pink Floyd former frontman Roger Waters slammed the Syrian civilian volunteer group, the White Helmets, during a concert last Friday in Barcelona calling them a “fake organization” that prompted propaganda for “jihadists and terrorists.”
He then went onto claim that by listening to “propaganda of the White Helmets and others we would be encouraged to encourage our governments to go and start dropping bombs on people in Syria.”
In the video, posted on YouTube by a group called Hands off Syria, Waters begin by addressing an individual called ‘Pascal’ who wished to come on stage and make a speech about the chemical attack in Syria’s, Douma last week.
“He is one voice, I personally think he is entirely wrong, I believe the organization that he purports to represent and who he supports, the White Helmets, are a fake organization that is creating propaganda for jihadists and terrorists, that’s what I believe," Waters said.
The White Helmets, also known as the Syrian Civil Defense, emerged in 2013, working to rescue civilians in rebel-held areas during the nearly seven-year-long war. It is named for the distinctive white hard hats worn by its volunteers and has gained international renown for its daring rescues, and was even nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2016.
Before fighting broke out, the volunteers had everyday jobs -- bakers, painters and even students. Since 2013, the group says it has attracted more than 3,000 volunteers and has saved over 80,000 lives.
The group released images following the alleged April 7 chemical attack, that saw around 40 people die, depicting rescue workers carrying children appearing to have inhaled the toxic substance. The caption of the tweet read: “more families were found suffocated in their houses and shelters in #Douma.”
Russia has since accused the UK-funded White Helmets of staging fake chemical attacks in an attempt to mislead the world. Russian ambassador to the UK Alexander Yakovenko described it as “fake news” claiming no evidence of chemical weapons.
Speaking ahead of of the airstrike launched by the US, UK and France in the early hours of Friday morning, Waters said that “this would be a mistake of monumental proportions, in terms of us as human beings.”
“What we should be doing is persuading our governments not to go on drop bombs on people and certainly not until we have done all the research that is necessary until we have a clear idea of what is really going on,” Water said.
Adding, “we live in a world where propaganda seems to be more important than reality.”
The US-led strikes were the biggest international attack on President Bashar al-Assad's regime since the start of Civil War. US, French and British missiles destroyed sites suspected of hosting chemical weapons development and storage facilities Saturday, in a move lauded by President Donald Trump as "perfectly executed.”
Waters is a well-known for his outspoken political views and often uses the stage as a platform to spout his ideas about issues close to his heart. He is longstanding critic of Israel and self-appointed spokesman of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement criticizing the Jewish State’s policies vis-a-vis the Palestinians.
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