A UN report released today states that numerous war crimes, as well as crimes against humanity, were committed in the province of Idlib, northwest Syria. The crimes were said to have taken place during an offensive by the Bashar al-Assad government in the period between late 2019 and early 2020.
Eastern Syria has once again witnessed an airstrike. AFP reported on Saturday that Lebanon had reported an airstrike on one of the positions of forces affiliated with Bashar al-Assad’s government in eastern Syria. The attack is said to have killed six members of the Syrian army and forces backed by the Islamic Republic of Iran.
A Syrian doctor, who was practicing his profession in Germany and entered the country as a refugee, was arrested on Friday. The suspect, known as Alaa M., is accused of involvement in torture and “crimes against humanity” he committed in his country against detainees in the prisons of the Assad regime.
On Tuesday, a spokesman for the UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs, David Swanson, reported that more than half a million people have been forced to flee their homes in Idlib over the last two months. “Since 1 December, some 520,000 people have been displaced from their homes, the vast majority – 80 percent – of them women and children,” he said. Swanson noted that their movement in winter exacerbated the already “terrible humanitarian situation in the region.”
The uncle of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Rifaat al-Assad, is on trial in France in a case of “unlawful enrichment.” The trial began Monday in the French capital, Paris. Assad is accused of building a real estate empire in France from Syrian public funds. Rifaat al-Assad was one of the former pillars of the Assad regime, and the commander of the “Defense Brigades,” a special force that was instrumental in the devastating attack on the city of Hama in central Syria in 1982.