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France accuses Syrian of 'committing war crimes'

Men, members of Syrian civil defense organization, White Helmets let a white pigeon to fly for people who lost his life in chemical attack that in the Eastern Ghouta region of Damascus, Syria on 22 August, 2017 [Amer Almohibany/Anadolu Agency]
Men, members of Syrian civil defense organization, White Helmets let a white pigeon to fly for people who lost his life in chemical attack that in the Eastern Ghouta region of Damascus, Syria on 22 August, 2017 [Amer Almohibany/Anadolu Agency]

A French court yesterday charged an Arab named Salah Habib of "supporting the Bashar Assad regime's army and its chemical weapons program in Syria."

Le Monde reported that Habib was accused of "conspiracy to commit crimes against humanity, and complicity in war crimes."

Habib, 59, is a Syrian-French citizen who is married to a French woman and owns a house in France's southern province of Aix-en-Provence. He was arrested in December and has been imprisoned in France ever since.

Investigations were reported to have begun after Yona Star company, run by Habib, was placed on US sanctions blacklist, and the company was accused of "transiting goods to Syria's Damascus in violation of the international embargo."

This is the first time for a French institution to accuse a Syrian regime supporter.

In 2016, the US Treasury imposed sanctions on individuals and companies for supporting the Syrian regime, including Yona Star, after it was found to have financed "military purchases for the regime, led by Bashar Al-Assad."

The French newspaper pointed out that Habib was accused of being part of a "circle of businessmen that the Syrian regime exploits to circumvent sanctions to smuggle oil and weapons."

The French move comes days after a court in Germany's Koblenz issued a life sentence against the Assad regime's former intelligence chief, Anwar Raslan.

READ: Verdict in landmark trial against state-sanctioned torture in Syria expected tomorrow

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Europe & RussiaFranceMiddle EastNewsSyria
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