France issues arrest warrant for Putin’s dictator pal Bashar al-Assad over chemical attacks that killed 1,000

France issues arrest warrant for Putin’s dictator pal Bashar al-Assad over chemical attacks that killed 1,000

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FRANCE has issued an arrest warrant for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad over chemical attacks that killed 1,000 people in 2013.

The international warrant accuses Putin’s dictator pal of complicity in crimes against humanity after the brutal attacks in Syria’s capital.


Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad speaking during a press conference[/caption]

Russian president Putin meeting with al-Assad in March
AP:Associated Press

Putin and Assad have been long standing allies[/caption]

Warrants have also been issued for three of Assad’s generals for gassing their own citizens.

Legal sources in France confirmed on Wednesday that investigating judges considered there is enough evidence to bring the men to trial.

“The warrants have been issued in connection with war crimes and crimes against humanity, that is to say chemical weapon attacks in August 2013,” said one of the Paris sources.

Syrian dictator al-Assad, 58, has ruled the country with an iron fist for almost two decades.

He has been involved in a civil war which has claimed the lives of thousands since 2011.

The chemical attacks saw the Damascus suburbs of Douma and Ghouta hit by rockets filled with sarin in August 2013.

Syrian civilians who fled to France filed a complaint about the gas attacks which left more than a thousand dead, mainly women and children.

A lead plaintiff, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “If the regime doesn’t find you to kill you, it will go after your family or even your neighbours.

“So, if I say that it was me who filed the complaint, I am putting too many people in danger.”

The Ghouta attack was the deadliest use of chemical weapons since the Iran-Iraq War, with UN investigators saying there was “clear and convincing evidence” of the use of sarin.

A UN report the following year also found that: “significant quantities of sarin were used in a well-planned indiscriminate attack targeting civilian-inhabited areas, causing mass casualties.

“The evidence available concerning the nature, quality and quantity of the agents used on 21 August indicated that the perpetrators likely had access to the chemical weapons stockpile of the Syrian military, as well as the expertise and equipment necessary to safely manipulate large amount of chemical agents.”

Sarin is a colourless and odourless but extremely toxic nerve agent which can be used as a chemical weapon, especially when evaporated into a gas.

Multiple international agencies have said since 2013 that Syrian armed forces led by al-Assad and his generals delivered the deadly chemical with rockets.

Getting them to Paris for trial is extremely unlikely, but the legal source said the warrants highlight France’s role in holding international war criminals accountable.

The names will be placed on an Interpol red list, making travel outside Syria extremely dangerous for them.

Beyond al-Assad, the three names on the warrant are family members Maher and Bassam Al-Assad, and Ghassan Abbas.

None have yet commented on the legal action in France.

Al-Assad, who was re-elected in 2021 with 95.1 per cent of the vote – according to Syrian officials – has long been supported by despot  Vladimir Putin.

The twisted pals – who have both been accused of horrific human rights violations over the years – are long standing allies.

Thanks to the Russian leader the murderous tyrant has been able largely to escape justice for unleashing horrendous misery on millions of his own people.

The Syrian dictator has also repeatedly defied a global ban on chemical weapons by attacking his own civilians.

Human Rights Watch previously found that the Syrian government was responsible for the majority of 85 confirmed chemical attacks.

Corbis – Getty

A mother and father weep over their child’s body who was killed in the chemical attack in Ghouta, August 2013[/caption]


A U.N. chemical weapons expert, wearing a gas mask, holds a plastic bag containing samples from one of the sites in 2013[/caption]

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