Three French lawmakers, currently on a humanitarian mission in Syria to visit Syrian Christians in Aleppo for the Orthodox Christmas weekend, say the French have been misled about the conflict in Syria.
Thierry Mariani, Nicolas Dhuicq, both from the Republicans party as well as Jean Lassalle, arrived in Damascus on Thursday. They plan to meet with Syrian officials in Damascus and Aleppo.
Mariani, who has served in government of François Fillon, told AFP that he had held discussions in Damascus with Deputy Foreign Minister Ayman Susan about situation facing the country.
“Today we are flying to Aleppo, which means that the airport there has finally reopened. We want to see what the situation in Aleppo really looks like. During our previous visit here we celebrated Catholic Easter with local Christians and promised to come back for Christmas. In Aleppo we’ll meet with representatives of the local Armenian community in a sign of solidarity with the residents of this much-suffered city,” Mariani said.
He warned about the water crisis in Damascus: “People keep talking about this [water poisoning by militants] as a real crime and a tragedy for so many people living here,” Mariani added.
“There are a lot of lies being told about the situation in Syria. Now that Aleppo is finally free we want to ask its residents about what exactly happened there over the past few months. We want to know what needs to be done so that these people, regardless of their religion and ethnicity, can live in peace again.”
He pledged to convey the real picture to the French public, SANA and TASS news agencies reported.
In an interview with Sputnik News, Nicolas Dhuicq said this was his third visit to Damascus.
“Life is now returning to the city, windows are lighting up and people are beginning to leave their shelters and live a normal life,” Dhuicq said, adding that the situation had improved notably from a year ago.
“My impression is that the French people now realize that the interpretation of the situation presented to them for all these years is not true, that’s why I think that our account will have a positive effect on the public opinion in France.”
On December 16, 2016, the Russian Defense Ministry’s center for Syrian reconciliation that the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo had been liberated.