Germany convicts 4, calls US-backed Syrian group Ahrar al-Sham a “terrorist organisation“

EPA/MOHAMMED BADRA

A Jaysh al-Islam fighter (Army of Islam) communicates through a radio with other fighters at Tal al-Siwan area in the rebel-held city of Douma, outskirts of Damascus, Syria, 05 September 2016.

Germany convicts 4, calls US-backed Syrian group Ahrar al-Sham a “terrorist organisation“


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A German court has convicted four men who procured tens of thousands of euros worth of supplies for the ultraconservative Ahrar al-Sham group in Syria of supporting a terrorist organisation.

Lebanese citizen Kassem El-R., 33, was sentenced to 3 ½ years in prison Thursday by the Stuttgart state court. Hassan A.S., 30, also Lebanese, 32-year-old German-Lebanese dual citizen Ali F., and 50-year old German Nuran B. received suspended sentences.

Their last names weren’t given in accordance with German privacy rules.

In 2013 and 2014, they provided the group with 7,500 boots and 6,000 jackets and other goods worth 130,000 euros, procured through B.’s army-surplus company in Amstetten and in a delivery organised by El-R. — who also provided five ambulances.

The US-backed “moderate” Ahrar al-Sham militia is known for taking hostages, for suicide acts, the execution of a prisoner and attacks on villages of Alawis. The judge, Hartmut Schnelle, said during the verdict that “violence against civilians cannot be justified”.

It is the first time that Ahrar al-Sham militia is called a terrorist organisation. In addition to the Nusra front, the grouping is the most important force of the Syrian rebel alliance Jaish al-Fatah. The organisation is one of the most active opponent of the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad. It fights for a Sharia-led Islamic state.

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