In the nearly two decades Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been in power, he has long been linked to atrocities in his country.
In the past six years, the Syrian president’s regime has ruled during an extremely brutal and violent civil war, which doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon. Assad has been consistently accused of alarmingly barbaric actions which has drawn attention and condemnation on a global scale.
You may ask, is Assad a war criminal?
What Is a War Criminal?
What exactly is the definition of a war criminal? What makes an individual in power guilty of being a war criminal?
A war criminal is a violator of the laws of war, created by NATO and its member nations, which is a significant part of international law that enumerates legal justifications of declaration and engagement in wars of an individual or of a sovereign state.
A war criminal deliberately orders massacres, bombings and uses torture of innocent civilians and prisoners of war. He intentionally inflicts destruction to properties to excessive degrees. A war criminal condones and perpetuates rampant pillage of communities, rape of women, child abuse and exploitation in that he uses these children as foot soldiers.
Basically, a war criminal is an offender of the laws of the state and the international human rights laws. In this sense, he is a betrayer of his own country just as much as he commits treachery against the international community. A war criminal masquerades and justifies his atrocities and aggressions as actions performed to restore discipline amongst his country’s constituents for the common good.
This is the typical makeup of a war criminal. This definition again calls to mind the question, is Assad a war criminal?
These are the most infamous atrocities and blatant inhumane treatments committed against the Syrian people which are directly associated with the commands of Assad.
Rife Repression Through Deprivation of Sustenance to the Syrian People
Particularly in rebel-held areas in Syria, which is in point of fact a very large part of the country, Syrian armed forces have been depriving the residents of basic needs such as food, water and medicines. They organize complete obstruction of any sustenance to reach these starving and ailing Syrian residents. Their military forces participate in bombing and murdering humanitarian aid workers sent to help the military hostages.
Deliberate Destruction of Communities and Cities
While many Syrian nationals have made international headlines for having escaped their ruinous country, millions of their countrymen remain in Syria and continue to be kept from their homes which military forces have inflicted excessive damage, all at the behest of Syrian President Assad.
Rampant Torture of Revolutionaries
Torture of revolutionaries, young and old, has been reportedly going on since the civil war began in 2011.
Those who have endured to survive the torture are held prisoner, and have been captured and kept in despicable conditions.
Massacre by Fatal Chemical Attacks
Syrian President Assad allegedly stashes and continues to amass chemical weapons which he has reportedly used against his own people on numerous occasions.
His loyal military forces utilize chlorine gas to launch wide scale attacks in various Syrian communities resulting in a disturbing number of casualties.
Evidence continues to pile up as reports by international governing bodies, such as the United Nations Human Rights Council, has accused President Assad of ordering these chemical attacks.
Having ordered these atrocities and large scale criminal actions against his own citizens, is Assad a war criminal?
Logically, by definition, Syrian President Assad bears all features that make up an out-and-out war criminal.