Oscar-feted White Helmets are part of Al-Qaeda - Assad | 20 March 2017 | Syrian President Bashar Assad has hit out at the controversial nonprofit White Helmets, calling it a front for Islamic terrorism, and saying they are an example of Western narratives grotesquely distorting the truth about the conflict in the country. "White Helmets are Al Qaeda members and that's proven on the net," Assad told RT during an interview with Russian journalists in Damascus. "The same members are killing or executing or celebrating over dead bodies, at the same time they are humanitarian heroes, and now they have an Oscar." Both Damascus and Moscow have repeatedly accused the White Helmets of functioning as a propaganda operation that stages videos and manipulates coverage to generate sympathy abroad for the rebel cause, and as a jihadist rescue service that operates in tandem with [John McCain's] Al Nusra and other
radical terrorist groups in Syria.