The Syrian Coalition mourned the death of the Free Syrian Army commander, the revolutionary leader and former athlete Ahmed Masto, also known by the nom de guerre Abu Aslan al-Kurdi who was assassinated by terrorists in Afrin on Friday.
The Syrian Coalition extended its heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Masto as well as to all families who lost loved ones on the path of freedom. It stressed that the Syrian people will always remain true to the sacrifices of their fallen heroes and will continue the struggle until the goals of the revolution for freedom and dignity are achieved.
“Abu Aslan will always be remembered as a fine example of the true rebel who, through both his words and deeds, remained faithful to the revolution and was the embodiment of its slogan ‘the Syrian people are one,” the Coalition said. “Masto worked avidly on building bridges among Syria’s sons and daughters and was acclaimed for speaking out against injustice.”
Activists accused militias of the terrorist Democratic Union Party (PYD) of being responsible for Masto’s assassination. They said that PYD sleeper cells shot Masto in front of his house in Afrin in rural Aleppo on Friday. Masto had already received several death threats for his participation in the Turkish-backed Operation Olive Branch which the Free Syrian Army launched to clear Afrin of the PYD militia.
A former athlete, Abu Aslan was a prominent FSA commander in northern Syria. He was born in the village of Aymeria, also known as Merka, which is part of the Mabtali sub-district in Afrin region.
Abu Aslan joined the anti-regime peaceful movement since its inception in Aleppo province. He was active in the areas of sports and relief work, and was at the forefront of the Kurdish rebels who liberated Afrin from the terrorist organizations, especially the PYD militia. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
German prosecutors have issued an international arrest warrant for the head of the Syrian Airforce Intelligence on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Friday, citing German security officials.
Jamil Hassan is one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s senior lieutenants. Der Spiegel said prosecutors accuse Hassan of overseeing some of the most horrific crimes committed by Assad’s intelligence agencies, including torture, rape and murder of “at least hundreds of people between 2011 and 2013.”
Syrian human rights lawyer based in Germany who works with the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) said the authorities had informed ECCHR of the arrest warrant.
Anwar al-Bunni helped the ECCHR file criminal complaints against Hassan and his forces on behalf of Syrians in Germany.
“This is a victory for justice. It is a victory for the German justice system,” said Anwar al-Bunni. “This is also a victory for Syrians, whose faith in justice will be restored. We can only hope that the next arrest warrant is for al-Assad.”
The warrant would be the first issued anywhere for senior members of Assad’s military and intelligence lieutenants since the rebellion against his rule erupted in spring of 2011.
Der Spiegel said other charges against Hassan include “summary executions of political detainees.”
Germany, Norway and Sweden are the only three European countries with universal jurisdiction over war crimes, meaning they can prosecute and try crimes committed abroad.
Efforts to prosecute members of the Assad regime have repeatedly failed because Syria is not a signatory of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague. Russia and China have also vetoed attempts to give the ICC a mandate to set up a special tribunal for Syria.
The Syrian Coalition said that the German prosecutors’ issuance of an arrest warrant for one of Assad regime’s most brutal figures is an important step towards achieving justice. The step will send a message to criminals that they will be no longer immune from punishment anywhere in the world.
The Coalition called on international organizations to prosecute all perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria, chiefly among them is by Bashar al-Assad who is responsible for thousands of crimes against Syrian civilians.
General Jamil Hassan is one of the most brutal officers of the Assad regime and is responsible for the bloody crackdown on peaceful demonstrations demanding the overthrow of Assad. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)