In the south of France, a 59-year-old man has been arrested who allegedly supplied chemical weapons materials to the Syrian dictator Assads regime. The French news agency AFP reports that. The man is now stuck in Paris. Among other things, he is suspected of complicity in crimes against humanity and war crimes.
According to AFP, its a French-Syrian man. He lives outside France, but where exactly is unclear. During a vacation in the south of France, he was arrested. The investigation into the man has been running for years. Through companies in France and the United Arab Emirates, he is said to have supplied materials to the Syrian regime that also allows chemical weapons to be made.
Since 2016, the man and his company are said to have been blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury Department, for violating the arms embargo against Assad. In 2018, an official investigation into the man was opened in France.
In chemical weapons attacks during the Syrian Civil War by the Assad regime, several countries, human rights organizations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) may have killed thousands of people.
One of the most notorious attacks, with the poison gas sarin, took place in Khan Sheikhoun in April 2017. 83 people were killed. According to the OPCW and the UN, Assad was behind the attack. In retaliation for that attack, then US President Trump had dozens of cruise missiles fired at a Syrian air base.
Assad denies the use of chemical weapons and says the entire Syrian arsenal has been under international supervision since 2013. The OPCW has said several times that Assads regime does not cooperate well with controls and keeps chemical weapons hidden. In April this year, Syria was deprived of voting rights in the OPCW because of the repeated use of chemical weapons.