Assad is one of Russia’s most dedicated allies and has been supported by Moscow throughout the 11-year civil war in Syria.
Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad went on a ferocious anti-Ukraine and antisemitic rant last week, in which he falsely claimed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is “a Zionist Jew” who “supports the Nazis that killed the Jews.”
In a speech on Syrian Teachers’ Day translated by MEMRI, Assad claimed, “The West has proven that it does not have friends or enemies. It has only one enemy — anyone who stands in the way of its material interests.”
“Communism, Islam, Nazism, China, Russia, or anyone else are not the enemies of the West,” he proclaimed. “If they serve the interests [of the West] — they are friends. In other words, they have zero principles.”
“The ugliest truth of them all — and not many people know this — is the lie that the West and Zionism oppose Nazism,” Assad claimed. “Not many people know that the leaders of the Nazis in Ukraine — Nazi organizations that closely collaborated with Hitler in terms of security, military, and ideology — were driven out [of Ukraine] at the end of WWII, some of them to Europe, and some of them to America.”
“In the 1950s, the CIA asked the American administration to lift the ban on these Nazi groups, because America needed them in Ukraine, which was part of the USSR,” he said.
“What proves these historic facts today is that Zelensky is a Zionist Jew, yet he supports the extremist nationalist organizations that fought [alongside the Nazis] in WWII when Hitler invaded [the USSR], and some of them took part in the massacres committed against the Jews. So how come that Zionist Jew is supporting these organizations? The West supports these organizations, which today are called the right-winged ‘Azov organization,’” Assad claimed.
“And Zionist Israel, which keeps crying about the victims of the Holocaust, supports a leader that supports the Nazis that killed the Jews,” he said. “This proves that the West is lying in everything that it is saying, and it does not care about anything except ruling the world, plundering resources, and filling its coffers.”
Assad’s claims are not supported by historical evidence. The U.S. fought and helped destroy Nazism in World War II, and the Jews were the Nazis’ primary victims. The dictator also wildly exaggerates the CIA’s use of former Nazis, something also practiced by the Soviet KGB.
The Azov Battalion is a far-right neo-Nazi Ukrainian militia. It did not exist during the Nazi era and was founded in 2014. President Zelensky has never expressed support for Nazism and has repeatedly compared the Russian invasion of Ukraine to the actions of the Hitler regime during World War II.
Assad is one of Russia’s most dedicated allies and has been supported by Russia throughout the 11-year civil war in Syria — during which Assad’s regime has been accused of committing numerous atrocities, including the use of chemical weapons against civilians.