Syrian Arrested On War Crimes Charges

Civil defence members try to put out a fire at a site hit by airstrikes in the rebel held besieged Douma neighbourhood of Damascus
One man stands accused of committing war crimes in Syria's civil war. Picture Source: Reuters

German officials have arrested 2 Syrian men accused of membership in the terror organization Jabhat al-Nusra, the country’s federal prosecutor’s office said in a statement on Thursday. One of the men is accused of having committed war crimes over the killing of dozens of civil servants during Syria’s civil war.

The two Syrian nationals, 26-year-old Abdulrahman A. A. and 35-year-old Abdalfatah H. A., were arrested in the western German towns of Giessen and Düsseldorf. The prosecutor’s office did not say when the two men entered Germany.



Both men are charged with being members of al-Nusra, a former branch of the al-Qaeda terrorist group, and accused of having participated in an armed battle against Syrian government troops in 2013.

Abdalfatah H. A., whose full name is withheld due to German privacy laws, is further accused of having executed a so-called Shariah death verdict, killing 36 Syrian government employees in collaboration with other members of the terroist group. The prosecutor said these killings were being treated as war crimes.

Both men are slated to appear before a federal court.

It was not said whether the two men were asylum seekers in Germany. Past arrests of Syrian nationals on suspicions of terrorism have raised fears over a wave of migrants that entered Germany in 2015 and 2016, when more than 1 million asylum-seekers came into the country, some of them undocumented.

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