The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said that the Assad regime appointed military leaders involved in war crimes and crimes against humanity to the highest levels of civilian leadership in the state.
In a report issued on Friday, the rights group indicated that the Assad regime with its various institutions are involved in widespread, systematic violations against Syrian civilians, including most notably the armed forces and security agencies. It noted that at least 14,737 individuals were involved in these violations.
The Network added that among the names that were appointed to receive new senior positions is Major General Ghassan Khalil who was appointed governor of Al-Hasakah province. Khalil worked as Head of the State Security services’ infamous 255 Information Branch during the period between 2010-2013. He is also one of the individuals on the European, Canadian and the UK sanctions lists.
The report noted that in 2013, Khalil was appointed Head of the External Branch 279, and in 2017 was appointed as an assistant director of the State Security Department. He also supervised the regime’s so-called ‘Syrian Electronic Army’, which carries out hacking operations and sabotage against websites and pages opposing the Assad regime, and tracks journalists and activists with the aim of arresting and torturing them.
The Network stressed that the Assad regime “works to keep all military and civilian leadership positions in the hands of its accomplices in crimes against humanity and war crimes so that their fate is always linked to the regime’s fate in an organic, interconnected manner, meaning that defending it becomes an essential part of defending themselves.”
The Network recommended that United Nations should step up its efforts to accomplish the political transition process within a strict timetable not exceeding six months in order to prevent the Assad regime and its allies from practicing more encroachment into all state organs and institutions.
The rights group also urged the United Nations to exert serious pressure on the Assad regime to stop appointing individuals involved in crimes against humanity and war crimes to leadership positions in the state. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)