Zaman al-Wasl obtained information proving the arrival of a Syrian army general accused of war crimes to Europe, where he resides between Holland and Germany.
The information and photos belong to Major General “Shawkat Saleh al-Ali”, 69, the former deputy commander of the naval forces, who was accused by a source of being responsible for the “southern sand massacre” in Lattakia, while another source confirmed that he is the godfather of “the sea mines that were dropped on civilians.”
Ali visited Switzerland several times after the military intelligence approved his travel, despite being placed on a travel ban list.
“Al-Raml al-Janoubi” massacre
Witnesses confirmed that Ali issued orders to bombard the southern neighbourhood in Latakia, as well as the “Masbah al-Shaab” neighbourhood. A former soldier said that he was serving under the command of Ali in the naval command, when the massacre of the “Al-Raml al-Janoubi” district occurred, in which dozens of civilians were killed.
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The source revealed that the massacre had another aspect of brutality, as the bodies of the victims that were buried under the rubble as a result of the regime’s bombing of the neighbourhood, remained in their place and were not recovered until several months later.
The published lists of those accused of war crimes in Syria did not include Ali’s name. Very little documentation has been done on the crimes committed by the navy.
Syrians killed with sea mines
For his part, the second witness, Aktham Younis, declaring his readiness to testify in international courts, said that Ali had a prominent role in using Soviet-era naval mines as lethal weapons, thrown from helicopters like barrel bombs.
The source, who is currently inside Syria, added that with the efforts of “Ali and before him, Maj. Gen Talib Berri, commander of the naval forces, the regime was able to turn outdated naval mines into “blind bombs.”
Ali and his wife have been in Europe for a year, where he sometimes goes to the house of his young daughter who lives in southwestern Germany, as well as the home of his two sons in Holland.
This raises the question: How did a high-ranking officer enter the countries of the European Union?
The naval forces participated in the killing of civilians in the coastal region, including the Jabal Turkman area, and were turned into a ground force to suppress demonstrations. Their headquarters were used as detention centers.
Ali is originally from the town of Hadidat Homs, his mother is Kurdish. He joined the navy in the 1970s, coinciding with Hafez al-Assad’s seizure of power.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.