Syria Executes 24 People Charged with Starting 2020 Wildfires

The Syrian government executed 24 people charged with terrorism for deliberately igniting deadly wildfires last year, the Justice Ministry said in a statement on Oct. 21.

According to the statement, the 24 people executed on Oct. 20 were “criminals” who committed “terrorist acts” that led to deaths and damage to public and private properties.

The government also handed down life sentences of hard labor to 11 others involved in setting the wildfires, with four others sentenced to temporary hard labor “for interfering with terrorist acts,” the Justice Ministry said.

Five minors also received prison sentences for a period ranging from 10 to 12 years for their involvement in the fires.

According to the Justice Ministry, the perpetrators confessed to planning to set the fires at the end of August 2020 and carried out the crimes “intermittently” from September to October 2020.

A total of 187 fires last year affected the governorates of Lattakia, Tartous, Homs, and Hama, damaging over 370 homes in 280 villages and towns, the Justice Ministry said.

The Justice Ministry also said that the fires devoured over 13,000 of agricultural crops and caused “significant damage” to livestock and agricultural equipment, resulting in direct losses of nearly 30 billion Syrian pounds ($24 billion) to farmers.

The fires also destroyed 11,000 hectares of forests.


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