A Syrian refugee has been arrested in Austria for murdering of 20 unarmed and wounded soldiers during the Syrian war.
A 27-year-old Syrian refugee is on trial in Innsbruck city, located in Tyrol state, western Austria, for allegedly murdering at least 20 unarmed and injured soldiers during the Syrian civil war, the Kronen Zeitung newspaper reported. The trial was begun on Wednesday, but then was suspended due to the suspect’s health. It is expected to be resumed on March 28.
“The accused is not being prosecuted for his contribution to combat operations, nor for being a member of a terrorist organization,” the newspaper quoted the prosecutor’s words. “He is accused of shooting dead enemy soldiers on the ground.”
According to the report, the accused initially admitted to the crime, committed between 2013 and 2014, however, later, he recanted his confession. As one witness reported, the suspect had been seen by him in Syria as a fighter. Presumably, the arrested refugee was a member of the Farouq Brigades, which is a part of the Free Syrian Army, operating in the provinces of Aleppo and Homs.
The accused was arrested in June 2016 along with two Iraqi refugees, after he told about the killings of Syrian soldiers in Homs city and the near-by village of Al-Khalidiyah, to another migrant at a refugee center. The Iraqi refugees, one of whom also allegedly committed murders, were accused of being members of terrorist groups.
The authorities said that the Syrian had arrived to the country along with other refugees via the Balkan route in 2015, and Tyrol state’s governor, Gunther Platter, called for the full “severity of law” to fall on the refugees.
“We will not allow terrorists to come to our country and endanger our security,” Platter emphasized.