Syria executes 24 people for ‘plotting forest fires’

Reuters/Willy Sanjuan A Syrian man sits on the roadside after a wildfire to feed the deadly winds raged through Kobani, Syria September 9, 2015. (CNN) – Syria executed 24 people from northern Syria’s Hama…

Syria executes 24 people for ‘plotting forest fires’

Reuters/Willy Sanjuan A Syrian man sits on the roadside after a wildfire to feed the deadly winds raged through Kobani, Syria September 9, 2015.

(CNN) – Syria executed 24 people from northern Syria’s Hama province for “plotting forest fires,” state media reported Wednesday.

The daily Arabiya news network had previously reported the news, though a police report was not the source.

Four Syrian soldiers and 18 Al Qaeda-linked rebel fighters, all reportedly from Al Nusra Front, were executed Tuesday for lighting forest fires in the eastern parts of Hama in late June, state media reported.

Conflicting reports emerged about whether the convicts were killed by firing squad or by hanging.

The government accused the convicts of “plots to burn vegetation in the region” and committing “a criminal act,” according to state-run Tishrin Radio.

Syria’s Duma national news channel, which shares an owner with Al Nusra Front, aired footage Wednesday of eight people confessing to setting a fire, and 10 others believed to be convicts were filmed being interrogated.

State media and the prison in Deir Ezzor province said those sentenced were killed in jail.

CNN has not been able to independently verify the charge of forest fires.

Syria is locked in a brutal civil war, which began in 2011, in which at least half a million people have been killed and hundreds of thousands left injured or homeless.

This is the latest in a string of mass executions to take place in the country.

In May, authorities executed four people and court sentences were handed down to 50 others for going on a riot after police killed a man during clashes in the city of Douma.

Leave a Comment