French judiciary issues arrest warrant for Syrian regime officials accused of war crimes

PARIS — The French judiciary has taken a resolute stance against officials and high-ranking officers of the Syrian regime, issuing arrest warrants for their alleged involvement in war crimes committed against the Syrian people.

Continuing the pursuit of Syrian regime officials implicated in the violence and mistreatment of Syrians, the specialized French judicial body for war crimes has issued international arrest orders for four officers from the Syrian regime’s armed forces. Among those sought are two former defense ministers, Ali Abdullah Ayoub and Fahd Jassim Al-Freij, as well as the Commander of the Air Force, Ahmed Baloul, and the Commander of the 64th Helicopter Brigade, Ali Al-Saftli. These warrants have been issued based on their suspected roles in war crimes and the violation of international humanitarian law, particularly in connection with the killing of an individual protected under these laws.

The arrest warrants stem from a comprehensive judicial inquiry into the tragic death of Syrian-French citizen Salah Abu Nabout. He lost his life during an aerial assault in Druco (Daraa) in June 2017, executed by Syrian regime aircraft with the backing of Russian support.

These four officers are just a fraction of a much larger list of Syrian officials wanted by European judiciaries across several countries, as they continue their efforts to bring justice for the victims of these heinous crimes.