Abdulrahman Al Mawwas, chief liaison officer for the Syrian Civil Defence volunteer force (White Helmets), calls in an interview at the European Parliament for the creation of a humanitarian corridor in Syria, and planes to drop aid to civilians hit by war
Abdulrahman Al Mawwas is a member of the White Helmets, a humanitarian organisation of 3000 volunteers in Syria. With 2 other members, he was invited to speak in front of the foreign affairs committee of the European Parliament. Having helped civilians for the past 3 years, saving more than 73.000 lives, the work of the White Helmets is internationally acclaimed. They even received the Right Livelihood award. All conditions are against us unfortunately: the number of airstrikes and double targeting of the same areas is what volunteers have to deal with. And a lack of support, aid and equipment. And the fear of being targeted during duty. Honestly, there are a lot of volunteers and this makes us optimistic. And a lot of people ask to join the organisation. The bright side of the civil defense is the love and respect for Syrian people and even the world. All people call us heroes. That’s a privilege for us. Sometimes we’re tired of being heroes. We need a rest now. Honestly, there is a lack of fuel, food and water in several regions of Syria and not just in Aleppo. But the siege of Aleppo has lasted for more than 105 days. Unfortunately, this siege is being used as a weapon against civilians, which is a war crime. We’ve always said there needs to be neutrality for citizens, women and children moved away from the conflict. We need a no-fly zone, with a civil protection. We asked for that 2 years ago. And unfortunately, no one answered. So today, we ask for a humanitarian corridor to send humanitarian aid to help civilians, and planes to drop aid. If we were at all connected to any terrorist organisation, we wouldn’t be here now. We work for Syrians in every region. Unfortunately, the regime and its allies have always targeted our teams. And the last target was yesterday during work. They targeted our work center. Honestly, we know the regime and its allies’ propaganda. They use the media to prevent any successful stories outside of regime control. So we don’t even care about this propaganda. And our goal has been always to save the biggest number of lives in the shortest time.