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.