Bashar al-Assad
Bashar al-AssadReuters/AJ/CLH

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad claimed in a speech this week that the Holocaust was fabricated to justify the creation of the State of Israel and that the Jews who immigrated to what is now Israel are not true Jews but are descendants of the Khazar people.

The speech was given on Monday, December 18, posted to Youtube by the Syrian Arab News Agency, and translated into English by the Middle East Media and Research Institute (MEMRI).

Assad claimed that the rise of the Nazi party in Germany after the First World War and the rebuilding of Germany's military might was only possibly because of "American support, money, loans, and investments."

"There is no evidence that six million Jews were killed," Assad said. "Perhaps there were holocausts, nobody denies this."

He claimed that Jews were not singled out for murder and extermination compared to any other ethnic group, saying: "There was no method of torture or killing specific to the Jews. The Nazis used the same method everywhere."

According to the Syrian President, the Holocaust "was politicized, in order to falsify the truth, and later to prepare for the transfer of the Jews from Europe to other areas, or [rather] to Palestine."

He went on to claim that "the Jews who came to Palestine are Khazar Jews, from east of the Caspian Sea. They were pagans who converted to Judaism in the eighth century. They emigrated to Europe, and from there, came to this region. They have nothing to do whatever with the [ancient] people of Israel."

Last month, France issued an arrest warrant for Assad over his regime’s alleged use of banned chemical weapons against civilians in Syria during his country's civil war.

Syria agreed to destroy its chemical weapons in 2013 under a deal brokered by Moscow and Washington, which came two months after a chemical attack on an opposition-held Damascus suburb killed hundreds of victims. The UN concluded in 2014 that the attack involved the use of the nerve agent sarin.

Since then, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has concluded several times that Syria has used chemical weapons against rebels trying to oust the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad.

Assad's Holocaust denial and peddling of the discredited Khazar theory are reminiscent of similar remarks made by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

In August, Abbas delivered a speech in which he claimed that Hitler killed Jews "because they dealt in usury and money."

"This is explained in many Jewish books," Abbas said at the time. "They say that Hitler killed them because of their Jewishness. Not so. They (the Nazis) fought them because of their social role and not because of their religion."

The PA chairman also repeated the debunked 'Khazar theory' that modern Jews are not descended from the ancient Israelites and Judeans but of Turkish and European converts to Judaism.