White Helmets offer 'Syria Revolution supporter' McCain their condolences

White Helmets offer 'Syria Revolution supporter' McCain their condolences
3 min read
29 August, 2018
Syria's White Helmets civil rescue team have issued a statement praising John McCain for his support for the country's revolution.
The White Helmets are Syria's leading civil rescue team [Getty]
Syria's White Helmets have sent their condolences to the family of veteran Senator John McCain, who passed away on Saturday after a year-long battle with brain cancer.

The civil rescue team, which have saved tens thousands of lives following regime bombing, praised McCain for his support for the Syrian revolution and constant opposition to Bashar al-Assad's regime.

"We are profoundly saddened by the death of Senator John McCain, an extraordinary man and politician, and a staunch supporter of peace, human rights and dignity for all, in his country, in Syria and everywhere," the civil rescue team said in a statement.

"McCain was a man who believed firmly in international law and human rights, which is why is invariably went the extra mile to support the White Helmets in our work to save lives," the group added.

"His unwavering values and principles and his tireless work for the oppressed and vulnerable live on and will continue guiding our actions as humanitarians and human rights defenders."

The Republican senator passed away on Saturday at his home in Arizona surrounded by his family, with the White Helmets offering McCain's family their "sincere and heartfelt condolences" on Tuesday.

McCain was one of the US' Senate's most vocal supporters of the Syrian opposition, clashing with President Donald Trump several times on the issue.

Read also: John McCain, an unlikely friend to Syrians in Washington

Following the fatal chemical attack on the opposition enclave of Eastern Ghouta in April, McCain called out Trump for announcing that the US was withdrawing from Syria.

He saw this as a signal to Bashar al-Assad's brutal regime that Washington was unconcerned with the Syria civil war, thus giving Assad a green light to use chemical weapons, again.

"President Trump last week signaled to the world that the United States would prematurely withdraw from Syria," McCain said in a statement.

"Bashar Assad and his Russian and Iranian backers have heard him, and emboldened by American inaction, Assad has reportedly launched another chemical attack against innocent men, women and children, this time in Douma."

He called for Trump to take tough action against the Syrian regime for the chemical massacre, but appeared disappointed with the limited scale of the US strikes.

McCain also condemned President Barack Obama's inaction during his tenure in office, which many viewed as contributing to the Syrian regime's escalation of bombing and other attacks on civilian areas.

"[Trump] inherited bad options after years of inaction by his predecessor [Obama] in Syria. History will render a bitter judgment on America for that failure," he said in the statement.

When McCain's death was announced, Syrians took to social media to mourn the death of the US politician who many viewed as a lone supporter of their cause in the Senate.

"Whether you agree or disagree with Senior John McCain, he was a real hero... a supporter of the Syrian revolution," tweeted Abdulaziz Alhamza, founder of Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently activist group.

he is also an inspiration to the new generation of leaders, as many Syrians I pray to his soul to reat in peace & my deepest condolence to his family