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Syrian High-Ranking Military Officer Found Innocent of War Crimes

A court in Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, has acquitted a high-ranking Syrian military official of war crimes charges to be tried in Europe, stating that the prosecution did not prove his alleged involvement.

The 65-year-old brigadier general, Mohammed Hamo, was pronounced innocent of “aiding and abetting” war crimes in 2012, according to the court. 

The NATO-Gulf backed regime-change war against Syria – aimed at toppling the President Bashar-Al Assad government – including through the use of ISIS and routine Israeli air bombardments on the country, has led to severe consequences which have killed more than half a million people, displaced millions, and destroyed Syria’s economy and infrastructure. 

According to the charges, Hamo contributed — through “advice and action” — to the Syrian army’s warfare, which “systematically included attacks carried out in violation of the principles of distinction, caution and proportionality.”

“The warfare was thus indiscriminate,” prosecutor Karolina Wieslander told the court when the trial opened in April 2024.

Wieslander claimed that the Syrian army’s “widespread air and ground attacks” caused damage “at a scale that was disproportionate in view of the concrete and immediate general military advantages that could be expected to be achieved.”

In his role as brigadier general and head of an armament division, Hamo reportedly assisted to coordinate the supply of arms and ammunition to units.

Aida Samani, senior legal advisor at rights group Civil Rights Defenders — which has been monitoring the trial — told AFP that “strong evidence” had been presented at the trial.

“We will now see what the court makes of that information and evidence,” Samani said.

“What is noteworthy about this case is that this is the first trial concerning the Syrian military’s warfare. That is, how the warfare was carried out,”  said Aida Samani, a senior legal advisor at rights group Civil Rights Defenders. 

Hamo is the highest-ranking Syrian military official to go on trial in Europe in person.

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