Trial of suspects for committing war crimes in Syria begins in Germany

Elements of the German police (Stern newspaper)

Elements of the German police (Stern newspaper)


The Higher Regional Court in Düsseldorf, Germany, has commenced the investigation of two Syrian individuals accused of committing war crimes.

German newspaper Stern reported today, Thursday, April 25, that the suspects are believed to be affiliated with the Islamic State organization, with one of them accused of committing murder crimes.

The newspaper mentioned that both individuals were arrested in Germany, in March 2023. The first suspect is 39 years old and the second is 33 years old.

According to information provided to the newspaper, the first suspect registered himself as a refugee in the town of Marschacht, in the Lower Saxony region, and lived with his brothers in the city of Essen.

He is accused of establishing a fighting faction in Syria, which included 50 fighters in 2012, and later joined them with the Ahfad al-Rasul Brigade, and was responsible for carrying out bombings in Damascus.

He then declared a split and joined the Islamic State organization at the end of 2013, where he was responsible for 200 fighters who carried out kidnapping and killing operations against the Syrian opposition.

He is also charged with offenses related to the death of abductees.

Meanwhile, the second individual joined the Islamic State as a fighter in 2013 and is accused of executing prisoners.

According to Stern, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office charged them last December, and they have been detained for one year.

The trial is scheduled to last 16 days and is expected to conclude at the end of July.

Security authorities in European Union countries work on arresting and prosecuting those among Syrian refugees who are proven to be involved in “terrorist” activities or war crimes against Syrians, whether they were part of opposition armed factions or fighters of the Syrian regime.

On April 22, the German authorities commenced the trial of a Syrian (54 years old) on charges related to purchasing military equipment and supplying it to the Ahrar al-Sham faction, between October 2012 and April 2014.

German sites reported that the accused traveled between 2012 and 2014 from northern Germany to Syria three times to deliver military equipment to Ahrar al-Sham.

He transported drone batteries and charging devices through Greece to Syria in a convoy.

The accused, identified as “B,” is charged with bringing antennas, routers, and binoculars to Syria in an ambulance on December 2, 2013.

The accused announced that he would testify regarding these charges on the day following the trial, without precisely specifying the date.

Germany is among the European countries that pursue individuals who committed “war crimes” while in Syria before seeking refuge there.

The trial of Syrian officer Anwar Raslan in Germany is one of the most prominent cases involving Syrians accused of responsibility for “crimes against humanity,” which were carried out in detention centers under the Syrian regime in Damascus.

On January 13, 2022, the Higher Regional Court in the town of Koblenz, southwest Germany, sentenced former Syrian General Intelligence officer Anwar Raslan to life imprisonment with full costs to the victims.


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