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France Issues Arrest Warrants for Syrian Officials on War Crimes Charges

The French government has issued international arrest warrants on charges of war crimes against three Syrian officials. Included are Ali Mamlouk, President Bashar al-Assad’s head of security; Jamil Hassan, head of air force intelligence; and a second air force officer, Abdel Salam Mahmoud. France is not the first third party nation to bring war crimes charges against the Assad regime, but France believes it has the standing and obligation to do so because Syria allegedly arrested two men in 2013 who had dual Syrian and French citizenship, both of whom have not been seen since. Upon learning from government sources that both are confirmed dead, the charges were filed last month. The charges include collusion in torture, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Germany, which has universal jurisdiction over war crimes has also filed charges. It’s unrealistic to expect anything to come from the French or German actions because Russia and China are riding shotgun in the United Nations Security Council, vetoing all attempts to establish an International Criminal Court tribunal.

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