There has been an outcry from many regarding Bashar al-Assad’s speech at the Arab-Islamic summit in Saudi Arabia, where he criticized Israel’s actions in Gaza, especially from activists in northwest Syria. They have decried Assad’s denunciation of Israel as hypocritical, given the regime’s track record of committing similar war crimes against civilians and civilian infrastructure in Syria.
According to a recent article by Al Jazeera Munira Baloch, a journalist, expressed her belief that Assad has been able to remain in power despite his crimes because he received the “green light” to act as he pleased against the Syrian people. She highlighted the regime’s pattern of using flimsy pretexts to justify bombing and crimes, which the world has condoned. Baloch drew attention to the intense military escalation in Idlib, where hundreds of sites, including hospitals, schools, markets, and refugee camps were targeted by aerial and artillery attacks, resulting in numerous casualties and a new wave of displacement. She emphasized the similarity in the policies of intense bombing to displace opponents in both Gaza and northwestern Syria.
Ali al-Dalati drew similar parallels between the displacement of Palestinians in Gaza and his own experiences in Syria. Vividly recalling the harrowing scenes of people being targeted by snipers during their displacement, as seen in Israel’s invasion of Gaza. An elderly IDP from Homs, 61-year-old Talal al-Loush, expressed astonishment at Assad’s speech, stating that he felt “nauseous” listening to it. He highlighted the hypocrisy of Assad speaking on behalf of Gaza while being responsible for the killing and displacement of hundreds of thousands, including Palestinians, in Syria.
Assad regime representative to the UN, Hakam Dandi, “strongly denounced” the repeated use of internationally banned white phosphorus by the Israeli occupation forces in their attacks on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon. Calling for an investigation into Israel’s deployment of these prohibited weapons. Despite the Assad regime’s previous and repeated use of cluster munitions, white phosphorus, napalm, and other incendiary weapons on civilians, in the past and during September and October of this year in one of the greatest escalations of attacks in the last three years.
The feelings of outrage and disbelief expressed by many Syrians and human rights activists regarding Assad’s criticism of Israel’s actions in Gaza in light of the parallels drawn between the displacement and targeting of civilians in Syria and Gaza have only served to underscore the perceived hypocrisy of the statements of the Assad regime.