Earlier this year, a delegation from the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party visited Syria to gain a better understanding of the situation in government-held areas of the war-torn country. The delegation’s leader Christian Blex, a member of the Bundestag, spoke to Sputnik reporter and columnist Suliman Mulhem about his findings.
Dr. Blex said the delegation “felt safe” throughout their tour of Syria – which included the cities of Damascus, Homs and Aleppo – while noting the presence of checkpoints manned by troops from the Syrian Army to clamp down on terrorists and smugglers attempting to transport armaments to militant-held parts of the country.
“The people on the streets looked completely normal and relaxed. The security situation seemed to me very good, at least beyond the reach of the artillery of the ‘moderate’ terrorists. But East Ghouta is fortunately free now, so Damascus cannot be targeted by mortars and rockets anymore as it is out of range,” Dr. Blex said in an interview with Sputnik on April 30.
On the topic of the repatriation of Syrian refugees in Europe, he said that the religious leaders of the Arab state, in addition to representatives of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) in Aleppo, called for the return of externally displaced Syrians.
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“During our stay, we found no doubt that the return of Syrians of any religious affiliation is eagerly awaited.”
When asked for his thoughts on the EU’s sanctions against Syria, Dr. Blex cited a 2016 report from the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) which described the sanctions as “some…