Syria Daily: Germany Issues Arrest Warrant for Assad Regime’s Top Intelligence Official

Jamil Hassan charged for oversight of torture and execution of prisoners


Germany’s chief federal prosecutor has issued an international arrest warrant for Jamil Hassan (pictured), the Assad regime’s head of Air Force Intelligence.

Hassan, who has held his position since 2009, has been charged with “crimes against humanity” over the torture and murder of hundreds of detainees in Syria between 2011 and 2013. The warrant is the first issued by a Western country against a high-ranking official of the Assad regime.

The military photographer Caesar brought out pictures of almost 6,800 slain detainees in 2013. Amnesty International has reported that up to 13,000 prisoners were executed in Sednaya Prison between 2011 and 2015.

The warrant is based on Caesar’s photographs. High-ranking German officials said that, although there was little hope of apprehending Hassan soon, “We will not forget about this. We want to get this man.”

According to international media, Hassan lamented the regime’s reaction to the uprising in 2011, suggesting that the response should have been the same as in Hama in 1982, when between 20,000 and 30,000 people were killed after an uprising by the Muslim Brotherhood.

But not all have been so critical of the general. In a profile of Hassan in November 2016, filled with the official’s self-serving explanations, British journalist Robert Fisk responds to Hassan’s assurance that not one detainee be executed:

I doubt very much if the Syrian judiciary, however independently it claims to function, would deny a letter of recommendation from so formidable a figure as General Jamil Hassan. So his prisoners will be spared. I must accept that the general is a man of his word.

Toll from Russian Bombing in Idlib Province Rises to 50 Killed

The toll for Thursday night’s Russian bombing of the town of Zardana in Idlib Province in northwest Syria has risen to 50, with the discovery of more bodies in the rubble.

A Russian Su-25 warplane fired four missiles as people were leaving Ramadan prayers, including a “double tap” strike targeting rescuers who gathered to help victims of the initial bombing.

See Syria Daily, June 8: Pro-Assad Strikes Kill 47 in Idlib Province

The Russian Defense Ministry insisted on Friday that the deaths occurred because of “fierce fighting…between a large formation of the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organization and the Jaish al-Islam irreconcilable opposition grouping with the use of heavy artillery guns”.

The rebels of Jaish al-Islam knocked back the claim:

Jaish al-Islam does not have any points of friction with Jabhat al-Nusra since the departure from the eastern Ghouta [near Damascus in April], and there was no clash of this kind, neither in Idlib nor in any other place. [We do] not have any force stationed in the area of the massacre.

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.


  1. Sorry, but this is ridiculous. The photographs show a war time morgue where the majority of bodies belong to Syrian soldiers, and the rest of are war victims from all over the place.

    There is zero evidence that any of this has anything to do with this Jamil Hassan’s guy.

    • BTW, it is super cool that both this report as well as most others “forget” to mention such little fact as this photographer is literally on Qatari payroll and under their intelligence services control, and that Qatar has paid to a UK PR firm to push this sham among all of the endless neocon pro-regime change media.

      • Well, no, Caesar was not on “Qatari payroll”. He was paid by the Assad regime to document the deaths in the prisons.

        But thank you for trying.

        • If he was paid by the Assad regime, then the claim he was given the name Caesar to protect his identity is laughable. After all, if he had indeed worked for the regime, and for as long as it is claimed, then the regime would have been able to identify him instantly.

          • I have no clue what you are on about, but it has nothing to do with the veracity of the photographs.

            • It’s pretty simple Scott.

              The story claims that the photographer was referred to as Caesar to protect his identity, presumably from the Assad regime. But if he is who he claims to be, he would have been easily and instantly identified by the Syrian government.

              As for the veracity of the photographs, closer inspection shows them to be other than the claims made about them. Many were already decomposed, meaning the victims were picked up and did no die in custody.

              The so called investigation was carries out by the Carter-Ruck law firm, on contract to Qatar, thus has no credibility.

              • No. He was named “Caesar” to cover him in the process of the defection from the Assad regime.

                And you’re recycling more bullshit about the photographs.

                Since you’re at the point where you’re claiming a British law firm carried out the investigation — they didn’t, they just provide legal representation in the case, I think we can close down your nonsense on this one.

              • He was named “Caesar” to cover him in the process of the defection from the Assad regime.
                In the process? Has he finished the process of defection and if so, what is his real name?

                And you’re recycling more bullshit about the photographs.
                Corroborated by someone who actually investigated the photographs and made those observations.

                According to the HRW reports “Caesar told both an international team of lawyers investigating the photographs” so you might want to check your facts. There has been no legitimate investigation to this point other than claims compiled by a Syrian opposition group based out of Syria – Syrian Association for Missing and Conscience Detainees (SAFMCD). No evidence is provided that the causes of death took place while in custody. The HRW report relies on the testimony of former detainees, which begs the question as to how so many former detainees manages to survive what is alleged to be a death camp.

              • Ah, that explains your series of false and distorted statements — you’re drawing all of this from the Assad-backed Syria Solidarity Movement and the propagandist Rick Sterling.

                The photographs have been inspected and verified by international investigators. They are now forming part of the war crimes documentation being compiled by a UN team.

              • Scott – Since you mention my name please allow me to correct your misinformation. 1) The Caesar photos have been hidden all these years. Very few people have been allowed to see them. HRW was provided access and revealed that nearly half of them show dead Syrian soldiers and victims of car bombs and conflict not tortured prisoners. 2) That fact alone discredits the “verification” by the bought and paid prostitutes masquerading as legal experts 3) As the Christian Science Monitor suggested at the time, the Caesar story was a “well timed propaganda exercise”. 4) I am not an “Asad propagandist”. I have not received a penny from the Syrian government. When I have visited Syria to learn about the situation I paid my own way. It’s too bad more people don’t go there to see the reality.

                I suggest interested readers review the full investigation I did on the Caesar case. It’s not very long. Pdf is available for download here:


                – Rick Sterling

              • Rick,

                Reliable coverage of the Caesar photos has long mentioned that some of the photographs are of Syrian soldiers, so your first and second points are a red herring, in an attempt to sweep away that coverage and the fact that many of the photos are of detainees.

                Nothing in your comment touches on the facts of the case, whether or not you consider yourself to be promoting the Assad regime with your assertions.



        • there are also thousands of those who died in the nearby prison and were buried on the grounds.

          Laughable. The cemetery on the grounds was reserved for Martyrs ie. soldiers who died for their country. No one can be buried there except those regarded as the martyrs of the army. The fact that the plots of burial sites increased is clearly the result of the massive death toll from the civil war.

    • You appear to be confused. While there are photographs of Syrian soldiers who died in the military hospital, there are also thousands of those who died in the nearby prison and were buried on the grounds.

      You might want to read up on the “Jamil Hassan guy” as you don’t seem to realize his significance.

    • What, the Syrian regime engage in torture!? What calumny is this!

      Look, guy, of course the Assad regime tortures people … it’s one of, if not the defining characteristics of the regime.

      Why do you think we sent our post-911 hard cases to Syria to be tortured? Because we were out of practice, and we knew they were the best at it (i.e. they are globally known to be exceptionally brutal).

      So you might as well find another windmill to tilt at.

      • Why do you think we sent our post-911 hard cases to Syria to be tortured?

        Deniability. The US are experts in torture and trained some of the worst exponents of torture in Latin America at the School of the Americas Why do you think Gina Haspel destroyed the torture tapes and Obama permanently sealed the report on torture? Because those inflicting the torture were our of practice?

        Why do you think the US sent inmates to Gitmo? Answer – to circumvent US jurisdiction.

        Yes the Assad regime carried out torture. So did Saddam. That didn’t make the story of the babies taken out of incubators true

  2. although there was little hope of apprehending Hassan soon, “We will not forget about this. We want to get this man.”

    Translation: there is no risk of this case ever going to court thus the German government can score some political points while saving the German government the risk of the evidence being scrutinised and thrown out of court

    According to international media, Hassan lamented the regime’s reaction to the uprising in 2011, suggesting that the response should have been the same as in Hama in 1982

    Wow, that’s a smoking gun if ever I saw one. What international media and who witnessed this lamention?

  3. Check out al Jazeera story which features a Free Syrian Army fighter who did two years in the prison AND WAS RELEASED. Wait a minute… I thought they were exterminating everyone? What gives?


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