France issues arrest warrants for Bashar al-Assad and aides over 2013 chemical attacks

PARIS — France has taken decisive legal action by issuing arrest warrants against the Syrian regime, implicating its head Bashar al-Assad, his brother Maher al-Assad, and two aides. The charges stem from the use of prohibited chemical weapons targeting civilians in Douma and Eastern Ghouta in 2013, resulting in a devastating loss of thousands of lives.

The criminal investigation, initiated in March 2021, was prompted by a formal complaint and testimonies from survivors of the August 2013 attacks. French criminal investigation judges, acting on the findings of the Specialized Unit for Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes of the Judicial Court in Paris, have now issued arrest warrants, specifying the legal grounds for complicity in crimes against humanity and war crimes.

This significant judicial development underscores France’s commitment to holding those responsible for grave human rights violations accountable and seeking justice for the victims of the chemical attacks. The legal proceedings mark a critical step in addressing the serious allegations surrounding the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime in 2013.