“The arrival of Bashar al-Assad, widely regarded as one of the most infamous figures of our time, in Saudi Arabia to address the Gaza issue, has sparked intense reactions. This observation is just one of numerous critiques circulating as the head of the regime prepares for the Arab summit in Riyadh.
The question resonating across Syrian and Arab social media asks, “How can an individual responsible for mass genocide condemn murder?” This inquiry is directed at Bashar al-Assad, considering the countless casualties and detainees attributed to his regime. The military strategies employed in Syrian cities bear unsettling similarities to those currently witnessed in Gaza, involving intensive shelling, firebelts, and the deliberate targeting of medical facilities, hospitals, and the displacement of civilians.
This marks Assad’s second visit to Saudi Arabia, following the restoration of Syria’s seat in the Arab League last May. Preceding him was his foreign minister, Faisal Mekdad, who attended preliminary meetings with Arab foreign ministers in Riyadh.
Mansour al-Omari, a human rights activist, expressed his dismay on the social networking site “X,” stating, “What an absolute shame for humanity! The most notorious criminal of our time, Bashar al-Assad, arrives in Saudi Arabia to discuss the Gaza issue.” He further adds, “Instead of being provided with welcome coffee, this dirty individual should be held accountable.”
Upon reaching the official lobby after landing at the airport, activists shared images of Assad seemingly laughing, reminiscent of his behaviour during the devastating earthquake in Aleppo. Journalist Samer Daaboul highlighted Assad’s role in the suffering of Palestinians in the Yarmouk camp in 2014 and questioned the irony of his participation in the emergency Arab summit discussing Gaza’s situation.
Syrian journalist Abdullah al-Moussa commented, “Bashar al-Assad’s presence at the Arab summit is tragically ironic, as he authored the criminals’ guide that Netanyahu strictly followed in his war on Gaza.”
Expressing disbelief, he wrote via X: “We find ourselves in a time when an emergency summit convenes, and the biggest criminal in modern history attends to denounce the second biggest criminal.”
Turkish journalist Ragheb Soylu shared a striking image, captioned: “When you invite a serial killer to a summit to discuss how to stop the murders.”
Egyptian human rights activist Nancy Okeil, reacting to a recording documenting Assad’s arrival at Riyadh airport, stated, “Bashar al-Assad receives a royal reception in Saudi Arabia to attend the emergency Arab summit. What could be more ironic than entrusting a war criminal to address war crimes?”
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.