Syria's Assad, Hizballah 'courting German neo-Nazi group'

Syria's Assad, Hizballah 'courting German neo-Nazi group'
Members of the neo-Nazi Der Dritte Weg, implicated in attacks on migrants in Germany, recently traveled to Lebanon where they are said to have met representatives of the Assad regime.
2 min read
16 May, 2017
A number of European right-wing delegations have visited Damascus during Syria's civil war [AFP]

A German neo-Nazi party recently undertook a diplomatic mission to Lebanon where it met with representatives of the Assad regime, according to a report in The Jerusalem Post.

In late April German neo-Nazi group Der Dritte Weg (The Third Wave) published a post on its website detailing the trip which it said was in support of Hizballah's ongoing, though currently cold, war with Israel.

According to the post members of Der Dritte Weg met with members of the far-right Syrian Social Nationalist Party, which has been accused in the past of Nazi sympathies and whose "Red Hurricane" party symbol has been compared to the swastika, in addition to representatives of the Assad regime during its Lebanon visit.

During the trip members of Der Dritte Weg also visited Hizballah's museum in the southern Lebanese town of Mleeta – in dedication to the Shia paramilitary group's 2006 war effort against Israel.

The Jerusalem Post alleged on Tuesday that the trip served as evidence of a growing alliance between Der Dritte Weg and the Assad regime in Syria.

The Assad regime has notably gained support for its war effort in Syria from far-right figures in Europe by presenting itself as the only alternative to an Islamist take-over despite the fact it is responsible for by far the most civilian deaths in the conflict.

It has also played upon traditional anti-imperialist tropes regarding foreign interference in the conflict – despite being backed by Russia and Iran, who have both physically put thousands of troops on the ground in the war-torn country – in order to drum up support from Europe's left, a tactic that has gained some traction.

Damascus has hosted a number of visits involving European far-right leaders over the course of Syria's civil conflict.

Guests have included Nick Griffin, the former head of the British Nationalist Party, and American holocaust denier David Duke, a former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Clan.

With specific regard to Der Dritte Weg Bavarian news outlet BR24 recently reported that at least one activist from the neo-Nazi group recently travelled with a pro-Assad delegation called the European Front for Syria to the war-torn country, meeting with regime representatives including the Assad government’s information minister.

Der Dritte Weg announced its formation in 2013 and calls for a supposed "third way" distinct from communism and capitalism, while also calling for a boycott of Israel.

The group have been implicated in attacks on asylum seekers in Germany and have been called a "right-wing extremist, anti-Semitic" group by Germany's Interior Ministry.