German authorities arrested two former officers of the Syrian intelligence on February 14 after accusing them of committing war crimes.
According to the German prosecutors, the suspects, who were arrested in Berlin and Rhineland-Palatinate, are Anwar R., a 56-year-old high-ranking member of Syria’s General Intelligence Directorate, and Eyad A., a 42-year-old member of a unit operating a checkpoint in the region around the Syrian capital of Damascus.
While Germany accused Anwar and Eyad of committing war crimes against Syrian opposition activists between 2011 and 2012, Syrian soources revealed that both men are actually supporters of the opposition.
The activists identified the first suspect as Colonel Anwar Ruslan, head of the investigation branch in the General Intelligence Directorate. The officer defected in December 2012 and headed to Jordan and than Egypt. Later, he held a key position in the Staff of the US-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA). Ruslan was even a member of the military committee of the Syrian opposition delegation that attended the peace talks in Geneva in 2014.
The second suspect was identified as Eyad al-Gharib, who was not even an officer, according to activists. Eyad defected in January of 2012 and he made a previous attempt to defect in the very first months of the crisis in mid-2011.
A third suspect was arrested in France. However, his identity was not revealed, likely in order to hide the fact that he was also an opposition supportern, just like the vast majority of former Syrian intelligence officers living in Europe.
If these persons are in factcommitted the aforementioned crimes, their clear political affiliation raises serious questions about the real motives behind such actions.