Syria executes 24 people charged with igniting wildfires

Syria executes 24 people charged with igniting wildfires

October 22, 2021   10:13 am

Syria executed 24 people it said had set fires that swept swathes of forests mainly in the coastal province of Latakia, the ancestral home of Syrian President Bashar al Assad, the justice ministry said on Thursday.

Those executed on Wednesday were charged with committing “terrorist acts that led to death and damage to state infrastructure, public and private property,” the ministry said.

It said 11 others were sentenced to life in prison on the same charges from dozens arrested at the end of last year who confessed to igniting the fires that began in September 2020 and lasted until mid-October.

Although executions are common in the tightly-run country with a powerful security apparatus, it is rare to publicise such a large number of executions on a single day.

The justice ministry statement said tens of fires swept forests and farmland and burnt homes in dozens of villages and towns in Latakia and Tartous provinces and also the central province of Hama.

No details were provided on where and how the executions took place in a country where international human rights groups say many detainees are executed without trial and where security prisons have tens of thousands of detainees.

Assad visited the devastated rural areas near his ancestral home of Qardaha in Latakia, inhabited mainly by his minority Alawite sect that dominates the higher echelons of power in the security forces and army.

The huge fires caused tens of millions of dollars of losses in cultivated plots of mainly citrus, apples and olive trees that many poor Alawite farmers rely on to supplement meager low-paid state jobs.

It also damaged a main part of the state-owned tobacco company that is a mainstay of the coastal area’s economy.

State television showed alleged confessions of some of the culprits who said they were paid to set the deliberate fires.

The authorities had at the time blamed Syria’s foreign and internal enemies for igniting the fires as part of what it said was economic warfare. The country’s decade-old war has led to tens of thousands of deaths, displaced millions, and led to a refugee crisis.


Source: Reuters
-Agencies

Disclaimer: All the comments will be moderated by the AD editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or slanderous. Please avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment and avoid typing all capitalized comments. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by flagging them(mouse over a comment and click the flag icon on the right side). Do use these forums to voice your opinions and create healthy discourse.

Most Viewed Video Stories

LIVE🔴Derana Aruna | දෙරණ අරුණ

LIVE🔴Derana Aruna | දෙරණ අරුණ

Govt. urged not to close schools again (English)

President on how global economic challenges can be overcome (English)

Global concerns over Omicron COVID variant continue to mount (English)

NEWS IN BRIEF - 2021.11.27

Gayantha Karunatilleka says govt. can 'explode' just like gas cylinders

President on how global economic challenges can be overcome

State Minister's revelation on LP gas composition