Despite a series of scandals involving the Red Crescent and turning it into a means of financing Assad’s militias and even torturing Syrians, the Pope bestowed decorations on Khaled Hboubati, the leader of that organization. Meanwhile, an economist exposed the corruption of that director and his close ties to the government of Assad’s militia.
Through its social media accounts, the Red Crescent Organization boasted on Monday of the meeting between its President, Khaled Hboubati and Pope Francis on Saturday, January 28th.
It said that the Pope received Hboubati, during which he briefed him on the latest developments in the humanitarian response in light of the Syrian crisis, which has left millions in dire need of the necessities of life.
Haboubati did not fail to use the meeting to promote Assad’s claims, as he claimed that needs are still increasing, especially under debilitating economic sanctions that increase the burdens on Syrians and make securing the necessities of a decent life a difficult blow to achieve– especially in this harsh winter. This comes despite the fact that Western sanctions have never included aid or any of the goods for civilian use.
Despite the Assad regime causing the displacement of Christians from Syria, Hboubati tried to play on religion and minorities, expressing his pride in the authentic Christians of the East as part of the fabric of Syrian society rich in its cohesive sects. He stressed that Syria was and still is the cradle of authenticity, civilization, brotherhood and morals, so the crisis in it is a wound to all humanity.
On the other hand, the Pope expressed his “admiration for the Red Crescent Organization, which has provided 81 years of humanity and praised the dedication of the volunteers and their efforts in responding under difficult circumstances. He expressed regret for the humanitarian workers who lost their lives in the line of duty.”
While Hboubati presented a symbolic gift of an icon from Aleppo to His Holiness the Pope, the latter presented him with a valuable set of medals.
U.S. report exposes organization’s total bias toward the regime
In July, the American New Lines Institute exposed with figures and information the looting of aid funds provided to the Red Crescent by the Assad militia government. Its security services control most of its activities and Asma al-Assad’s involvement in misleading Western supporters through its evaluation and monitoring companies.
According to the report, the interviewed senior Red Crescent officials agreed that the Assad militia government transferred an average of 40 to 60 percent of cash assistance to its benefit. In some cases, it reached as high as 80 or 90 percent.
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.