Former Syrian warlord to stand trial in Stockholm court

The AFP reported on January 10 that an ex-Syrian General will stand trial in Swedish capital Stockholm over his alleged complicity in war crimes in 2012. 

Mohammed Hamo, who now lives in Sweden, will appear before the court as there are accusations that he was involved in calling for strikes in and around the Syrian cities of Homs and Hama.

The Middle Eastern country has been at civil war since 2011 which broke out due to strongman Bashar Al-Assad’s violent crackdown on peaceful pro-democracy protests. Over 500,000 have been killed since and many Syrians now live in neighbouring countries and/or the European continent. 

Turkey hosts the most Syrian refugees (3.5 million) followed by Lebanon (1.5 million). Research from 2022 found that over 110,000 Syrians live in Sweden. 

READ: Assad issued with international arrest warrant

The indictment showed that the 2012 strikes were indistinctively carried out by air and land as well as between civilian and military targets.  

Prosecutor Karolina Wieslande noted that the ex-army chief failed to prevent civilian casualties at the time of the strikes and oversaw the military operations. 

It was reported that seven civil parties, many of them Syrians from the aforementioned cities, will give evidence in person during the trial. 

In a similar but more high-profile case, Assad was issued an international arrest warrant by a French court in November for specific war crimes which took place over a decade ago.

It is believed that he is partially responsible for the use of banned sarin gas in two attacks in August 2013 that killed more than 1,000 people, hundreds of whom were children. 

It was the first time a sitting head of state had been the subject of an arrest warrant in another country for crimes against humanity. 

AFP

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