France issues arrest warrant for Syria's Bashar al-Assad

AFP - [email protected]
France issues arrest warrant for Syria's Bashar al-Assad
Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, pictured in November 2023 attending an emergency meeting of the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in Riyadh. Photo by SAUDI PRESS AGENCY / AFP

France has issued an international arrest warrant for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, accused of complicity in crimes against humanity over chemical attacks in 2013, a judicial source and plaintiffs in the case said on Wednesday.


The judicial source told AFP that Assad was also suspected of complicity in war crimes for the attacks, blamed by the opposition on the regime, that killed more than 1,400 people near Damascus in August 2013.

International warrants were also issued for the arrests of Assad's brother Maher, the de-facto chief of a Syrian elite military unit, and two armed forces generals.

The Paris court's unit concerned with crimes against humanity has been investigating the chemical attacks since 2021.

France claims worldwide jurisdiction for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The probe was sparked by a legal complaint filed by the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM), the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI) and the Syrian Archive.


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