'Rebellious' Mayor of Aleppo: 'Propagandist' or Member of Syrian Opposition?

© Sputnik / Mikhael Alaeddin / Go to the mediabankSyria. Terrorist-controlled eastern Aleppo districts as seen from the city's Citadel.
Syria. Terrorist-controlled eastern Aleppo districts as seen from the city's Citadel. - Sputnik International
President of the Council of Eastern Aleppo Brita Hagi Hasan has been visiting France for already 10 days. According to French lawmaker Gerard Bapt, Hasan is "traveling from country to country to continue his propaganda."

First of all, Brita Hagi Hasan has portrayed himself as a rebel and is known for his anti-Assad stance on the situation in the besieged city of Aleppo.

"I’m not saying eastern Aleppo. I’m talking about the liberated Aleppo," he commented on the situation in the part of city, which is not under government control.

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In the West, Hasan was accepted as a diplomat and a representative of the population of the eastern part of Aleppo. He was elected as the head of the council in December 2015.

He is currently living west of Aleppo, in Idlib. He was in Turkey when Aleppo came under siege in September 2016, and since then he has been unable to return to the city, as it was said at a press conference in Paris on December 6.

However, the official authorities in Aleppo are represented by the governor of Aleppo. Diyab Hussein now serves as the head of the city.

© AFP 2023 / ALAIN JOCARDBrita Hagi Hasan
Brita Hagi Hasan - Sputnik International
Brita Hagi Hasan

For 10 days, Hasan has been meeting with politicians and officials in the French capital, including Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, Paris Mayor Anna Hidalgo, Socialist lawmaker Elisabeth Guigou and member of the European Parliament Yannick Jadot.

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He has also given interviews to news agencies and different media outlets, including AFP, Arte and France Info.

In his numerous conversations with the press, he has insisted that al-Nusra Front has no control over the situation in Aleppo, in an attempt to solidify his idea of the "liberated Aleppo."

"There are some 200 or 300 militants in Aleppo," he said.

Socialist lawmaker Gerard Bapt met with Hasan in October in the National Assembly. "I think he’s traveling from country to country to continue his propaganda," Bapt said in an interview with Sputnik France.

"He complained about the humanitarian crisis in eastern Aleppo. I told him that the situation in western Aleppo was catastrophic too and the best option would be a ceasefire and partial implementation of UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura’s proposal to withdraw militants from Aleppo. But he didn’t say anything in response," the lawmaker said.

He added that currently the situation demonstrates that certain terrorist groups, including al-Nusra Front, do not want to leave Aleppo and say they will fight till the end.

"Now, it is very difficult to negotiate peace," Bapt noted.

Recently, Hasan called on the international community to help establish a humanitarian corridor in eastern Aleppo to let some 250,000 civilians leave the city.

"The civilians are calling for the world to help. In the name of humanity let the civilians leave the city. Help the civilians! Protect the civilians!" Hasan said at a news conference held with Ayrault.

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On December 7, he sent an open letter to Pope Francis, asking to deliver a "humanitarian ultimatum" to Russia after Moscow vetoed a resolution on Aleppo in the UN Security Council.

Member of the Russian parliament's upper house Alexei Pushkov told Sputnik that the moderate political opposition exists in Syria and abroad and it is part of the negotiating process of the Syrian settlement.

"Russia has contacts with representatives of the Syrian political opposition, as an important part of the Geneva peace process," he said.

The local Council of Eastern Aleppo was established in March 2013 in a bid to provide "continuity of public institutions." It is connected with the Regional Council which is under command of the "government of free Syria."

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