INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL OF CONSCIENCE FOR THE MIDDLE EAST
(Tribunal was in session at Beirut, 19th and 20th May 2016)
Prosecutor General of the International Tribunal of Conscience For the Middle East …………………Complainant
– Versus –
- Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant / ISIS/Daesh, the AL Qaeda of the region, its offshoots and related organizations, their leaders and mercenary fighters in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
- Al Nusra Front, its offshoots and related organizations, the Al Qaeda of the region, their leaders and mercenary fighters in Syria and Lebanon.
- Salman bin Abdul Aziz, King of Saudi Arabia
- Mohammed bin Nayef, Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other civil and military officials involved in the Conspiracy. ………………Accused
CORAM : Judge Niloufer Bhagwat ( President )
Judge Mohamed Baccar
Judge Lilia Solano
Judge Ratiba Miladi
Prosecutor General: Professor (Dr.) Mohamed Tay
Counsel for the people of Iraq
Counsel for the people of Syria
Counsel for the people of Lebanon
Amicus Curiae: Mr. Said Alameh, Ms. Mirwat Harake, Ms. Nabhla Abdou
Judgment of Niloufer Bhagwat J, Dated 30th day of July 2016
1. The strategy of terrorist wars
The issues impugned in the present Complaint lodged with this Tribunal of Conscience by the Prosecutor General, supported by Counsels intervening on behalf of the people of Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon, relate to the wars waged by covert forces against Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, through “Deep State’ military operations, are required to be addressed against the backdrop of what has been an unusual criminal strategy for ongoing world wide warfare in multiple theatres; by recruiting, training and arming, a pool of mercenary fighters, using Islamist names, such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, otherwise known as ISIS/Daesh, and its other offshoots, avatars, and allied organizations and the Al Nusra Front and its offshoots and allied organizations, and with similar objectives, such as Ahrar Al Cham and Jaish Al Islam, among several others; with new organizations created from time to time from the same pool of mercenary fighters even as the earlier ones are exposed, with new names ,yet conceived for the same military and political objectives. Strategic experts have alleged that many of the mercenaries are prisoners charged with serious crimes, released from prison cells, and trained by special forces before induction into these organizations. From one military theatre to another, depending on the region and country to be destabilized or restructured through manipulated civil wars or for regime change; to install proxy governments or for re-colonization, new Islamist names are invented for the mercenary armies in this ‘unending war’ in multiple military theatres, which is a ‘war of terror’ waged by US, UK and France among other NATO governments, working closely with regional allies who serve NATO policies in different regions; in this case the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the governments of Turkey, Israel and Qatar among some other Gulf States. Iraq, Syria and Lebanon as a consequence have faced armed intervention and attacks by covert armies of several governments, deployed without the knowledge or consent of their citizens, indifferent to the strategies adopted by their leadership despite hemorrhaging national treasuries and budgets diverted towards war. The nature of these mercenary forces makes it possible for heads of states to violate with impunity Constitutional law.
1.2 A similar strategy was used in Libya, where the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group of mercenaries was hired and deployed on the ground, generously armed and supplied including with Toyota trucks, immediately prior to and after extensive bombing operations, with thousands of bombing sorties on a country not permitted air defense by the Security Council. The fighters and arms from the CIA Benghazi Centre established to assist covert operations to destroy a sovereign state, a member of the United Nations, were thereafter transferred to the region in and around Syria; publicly revealed following the murder of the US ambassador to Libya and others at Benghazi, by mercenary Islamist fighters deployed by NATO and its regional allies for covert operations in Libya.
1.3 The swift changing pattern of transformation of these mercenary terrorist organization sometimes as allies and interchangeably as enemies, wherever intervention and the positioning of US led NATO forces assisted by regional allies are necessary for restructuring of regions, or for regime change with a view to install in office proxy governments, can only be understood in the context of the public statement of Karl Rove, a ‘Neocon’ Deputy Chief of Staff of Policy, in the administration of former President George Bush :
“We’re an Empire now, and when we act we create our own reality, and while you’re studying that reality – judiciously as you will –we’ll act again and create other new realities which you can study too ……..we’re history’s actors ……and you, all of you will be left to just study what we do.”
1.4 While it is true that terrorists armed with sophisticated incendiary weapons after being deployed to destroy Libya, suddenly surfaced in Syria in or about the year 2011, declaring that their objective was the violent overthrow of the government of Syria; and the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant emerged in 2013 in an Iraq already subjected to sectarian warfare and death squads after the 2003 invasion and occupation; with stepped up activities and the bombing of civilians in public places and on religious congregations of both sects, after the government of Iraq insisted on the United States adhering to the deadline for withdrawal of US troops; yet documents and official statements in the public domain reveal that the strategy, tactics and objectives for regime change and restructuring of the entire region was a conspiracy which dates back to the First Gulf War.
1.5 The Arab homelands and the region in and around these countries were already targeted as one of the important military theatres, in an ‘ unending’ global war which was a political and economic project for the world, the ‘Project for a New American Century’ ( PNAC) publicized in or around September 2000, among other reports on defense policy and of key corporate funded think tanks, to control the oil spigot and pipelines, to perpetuate the petrodollar for trade in oil and gas, to continue the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, and to ensure political and economic hegemony for the United States of America by waging ‘endless war’ after a ‘ New Pearl Harbor’. Subsequently leading members of the PNAC held key positions in successive US administrations. Significantly ISIL/ISIS/Daesh and its allies and offshoots and Al Nusra Front and other allied organizations such as Ahrar al Cham and Jaish al Islam, were created by covert operations of the same Intelligence Agencies which had earlier collaborated to create the ‘al Qaeda’. Just as the al Qaeda and its offshoots served strategic objectives in Afghanistan and the ‘Afpak’ region and in South Asia, and was used as a front in false flag operations in various parts of the world to camouflage ‘deep state’ operations of some governments; similarly ISIS /ISIL/ Daesh and Al Nusra Front among other such organizations, are not only being deployed against the people and governments of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon and other countries sought to be destabilized; but are also being used in ‘ Deep State’ operations to terrorize the citizens of Europe and the United States and in other continents, for false flag operations throughout the world to divert attention from the systemic financial and economic crisis of the hitherto dominant banks and financial institutions.
1.6 We have statements in the public domain of General Wesley Clark, former NATO Commander, interviewed in the TV show by ‘Democracy Now’ in the United States on 2nd March 2007, in the aftermath of what is now widely believed as the false flag operation of 9/11(expert technical opinion of more than 2,500 pilots, engineers and architects rule out on the basis of scientific analysis any probability of the official version of events), that Paul Wolfowitz, a leading member of the ‘Project for a New America Century’, later Deputy Defense Secretary, then Under Secretary of Defense, in 1991 informed the General, that the strategy was to ‘ clear up old pro Soviet regimes in 5 to 10 years…. to turn the entire region upside down…… before the emergence of any global power’ could deter these events. The reference to ‘pro Soviet regimes’ in 1991 was a reference to the economic system of these countries resisting the plunder of the oil resources of their countries, and continuance of the exclusive use of the dollar for trade in hydrocarbons. General Wesley Clark also stated in widely televised interviews that immediately after 9/11 he was informed by a senior military official who had received a top secret document, that the objective was to ‘ take out’ seven countries in five years. Among the countries listed were Iraq and Syria. It is therefore difficult to accept the position that emergence of ISIL/ISIS/ Daesh etc and Al Nusra Front and its allies and offshoots were spontaneous and the consequence of demonstrations and protests in Iraq and Syria following the Arab Spring; though admittedly the mercenary fighters first surfaced in the region after the onset of the ‘ Arab Spring’, as the fractured political and economic space was to be manipulated for a grand design for the region, already conceived and operational several years earlier which commenced with the war on Iraq.
1.7 The former NATO Commander has also revealed that it was the administration of the United States which first used Islamist fighters to fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, and ‘begged Saudi Arabia to put up the money ’for this purpose. If the evidence was not so stark and disclosed by a general and former NATO commander, it would be difficult to believe that these governments and ruling elites, members of the Organization of Islamic States and members of the Arab League, were ready to commit blasphemy of their own faith and use it for criminal objectives to collaborate in the setting up of such organizations, taking initiatives, a reflection of the political misuse and distortion of religion across the world, ignoring the spiritual message and commandment of all religions :’Thou shall not Kill ‘ now a fundamental principle of criminal jurisprudence in all countries. What applies to individual acts of murder must be even more strictly applied when governments in conspiracies commit collective murders by waging wars of aggression.
1.8 It would be unsafe for the Tribunal to rely on one source alone for its findings. The statement of General Wesley Clark on the strategy to use such mercenary fighters, is corroborated by two leading figures of former US administrations. Robert Gates, former Secretary of State, and former head of the CIA and National Security Adviser in the administration of President Carter confirms the deployment of the ‘mujahideen’ fighters in his book ‘From the Shadows’, Zbigniew Brzezinski, widely known in strategic circles, admittedly played a key role, along with the ISI the Intelligence Agency of the government of Pakistan and the Intelligence Agency of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia among other Intelligence Agencies involved of NATO powers, including the CIA and MI6, in the strategy and tactics of using Islamist mercenary fighters; first deployed for regime change in Afghanistan as per the admission of Zbigniew Brzezinski in an interview to the French newspaper ‘Le Nouvel Observateur’, on 15th January 1998, that the ‘mujahideen’ fighters were inducted beginning 3rd July 1979 on the direction of President Carter, before the Soviet military was deployed six months later in December 1979, at the request of the government of Afghanistan. The role of a phantom figure who appeared and disappeared from the region, whose name continued to be used by the United States and the UK among other governments long after his demise, the late Osama Bin Laden, was the pivot of the Arab mercenary fighters, holding extensive properties in London and Saudi Arabia, in charge of the funding, logistics, and arming of the ‘al Qaeda’, Arabic for ‘data base’ of foreign Arab fighters financed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, trained by special forces of different governments including Pakistan, and launched from Pakistan into Afghanistan for regime change, along with other so called ‘Mujahideen’ fighters, grouped in different armed contingents, to establish a proxy government in Afghanistan in a strategic region; in the war for pipelines, and for laundering of the heroin trade into increasingly imperiled banks and leading financial institutions of NATO powers; and admittedly to discredit and draw in the former Soviet Union, aware that in view of the Treaty of Friendship of the PDP government with the former USSR, the then government of Afghanistan ringed round by hostile forces supplied with sophisticated equipment by NATO powers, would be constrained to request for Soviet military assistance.
1.9 Official statements and public records of the United States government, establish beyond a shadow of doubt, that Iraq and Syria were publicly targeted for regime change and the region for fragmentation. President George Bush (junior) in September 2011, the immediate aftermath of 9/11, singled out seven countries for attack as the ‘ Axis of Evil’, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Iran, Somalia and Sudan. All these countries were thereafter subjected to occupation or intervention or divided or had sanctions imposed, also a form of warfare. Whereas Lebanon, which is a country carved out of Syrian territory by the ‘Sykes- Picot’ pact, was attacked by Israel. Saudi Arabia, Israel and Pakistan, were not targeted by the US President as countries harboring terrorists, which had to be in his words ‘smoked out’, as these countries are close allies and conspirators of the United States and NATO in the region; though Israel has waged an endless ‘war of terror’ on Palestinian territory, against the people of Gaza and the West Bank, as per the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on the ‘Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in Occupied Palestinian Territory ( 9th July 2004 ICJ Cases), the reports of the Human Rights Council, and the decision of Peoples Tribunals, including the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal, among other reports of apartheid practiced by Israel, and though both Saudi Arabia and Pakistan had played key roles in conceiving, training, arming and deploying the so called ‘Mujahideen’ and the ‘al Qaeda’ for the terrorist war on Afghanistan.
1.10 That there was a already a wider conspiracy for the entire Middle East, is confirmed by the official statements of Condoleezza Rice, then National Security Adviser in the administration of President George Bush (junior), after the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq; clarifying that the objective of the United States and its allies was the creation of a ‘New Middle East’; expressing diplomatically that the balkanization and restructuring of the entire region into smaller countries or enclaves for better economic and political control was the strategic plan. The re-division of the region in revision of the earlier secret ‘Sykes-Picot’ pact, required new political players locked in internecine struggles based on religion or ethnicity or sectarian clashes. This explains the stationing of United States officials infamous for the creation of death squads in Central America, among them John Negroponte, as Ambassador to Iraq, to pacify Iraq, to resurrect a sectarian divide, to fragment the region, to disrupt and deflect the fierce and united resistance mounted by majority of the citizens of Iraq to the US and UK led alliance and its occupation, to secure the withdrawal of all US, UK led troops from the region. It is not possible for the Tribunal to ignore these facts, which have been publicly debated and discussed and have been the subject matter of so many inquiries and by organizations of public spirited citizens in different parts of the world. Significantly prior to the 2003 invasion, there was no such sectarian divide in Iraq, neither were there death squads operating. Iraqi citizens of every denomination had lived in the region in the same neighborhoods for centuries, without collectively killing each other, despite the historical theocratic schism, which is not confined to the religion of Islam alone, and exists in many religions. The Shia uprising against then President Saddam Hussain immediately after the first Gulf War, in the years before the 2003 US invasion and occupation, was never a sectarian uprising, it was based on perceived injustice; as the Shia community in different countries of the Arab world, have seen themselves as historically marginalized and discriminated against by institutions of the State, even in religious matters, due to the political and economic domination of the region historically by the politically more dominant group. The fact that the Shia community is more economically vulnerable in some of the countries of the Arab world, and therefore discriminated against and exploited, has led to their logical identification with more radical struggles of people in this region.
1.11 The knowledge of the involvement of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the governments of Turkey, Israel, Qatar, and some states of the Gulf Co-operation Council and of the special forces of US and UK led NATO powers in the planning, recruitment, training, arming, funding, intelligence support and deployment of these mercenary organizations are now all in the public domain in the region and beyond; ever since these terrorist organizations and their combatants were illegally infiltrated into Iraq, Syria and Lebanon by these governments and their special forces; and have been waging war on the governments of Iraq, Syria and even in Lebanon, with daily battles publicly announced in the media, including the overrunning of large parts of Iraq and Syria and the border regions of Lebanon. The involvement of Israel with ISIS among other terrorist organizations, first surfaced with International reports of wounded terrorist mercenaries being treated in hospitals in the Israeli occupied Golan Heights confirmed by official reports from Syria; reports of attacks by Israel on specified targets and frequent over flights of Israeli military aircraft over Lebanon and Syria, not denied or contradicted by Israel, and bombing missions by Israel in Syria and in the Syrian Golan Heights, including assassinations of leading members of Hezbollah in Syria, publicly announced and confirmed, including that of the Lebanese Druze Samir Kontar, detained for 30 years in Israeli prison as a young member of the PLO, who later joined the Hezbollah, the National Resistance Movement of Lebanon, on his release in 2008 as part of the Israeli-Lebanon prisoner exchange.
1.12 That the strategic interests of Israel was central to regime change and the fragmentation of the region, is supported by important official e mails of the then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. In an e mail communication sent in or about 2012, the Secretary of State emphasized, that the fall of the house of Assad could ignite war between Shia and Sunni in the region, which would be good for the West and Israel. In an e mail communication of 31st December 2013, the Secretary of State officially communicated, that” the best way to help Israel deal with Iran’s growing nuclear capability is to help the Syrian people overthrow the government of President Bashar Assad”. These e mails are being referred to by the Tribunal, as they are not personal e mails of the then Secretary of State, disclosure of which would violate the right of privacy and which no agency or journalist is entitled to disclose. These e mails relate to official conduct of policy in which citizens of the United States and other countries have a vital interest. This is not all, the contents of this e mail advocate the use of criminal force by the government of the United States against an elected head of state and his family, in the same manner in which President Qaddafi’s killing was justified by the Secretary of State.
1.13 Addressing the 16th Annual Herziliya Conference, the Israeli Intelligence Chief stated, that Israel ‘does not want the situation to end with the defeat of ISIS ‘(Report by Israeli NRG website). The only conclusion from this evidence is that Israel aids, assists and supports ISIS, and its offshoots and allies, demolishing its own public position as allegedly a State opposed to all forms of terrorism. This statement of the Israeli Intelligence Chief violates several Security Council Resolutions on ending all financial and other support to ISIL/ISIS / Daesh etc and the Al Nusra Front and their offshoots. The involvement of Israel is an integral part of the problem of the region, as is its covert alliance with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which has now been made public. The project to establish Israel on Palestinian territory, was conceived and promised to the banker Lord Rothschild by the British establishment then running an Empire, in the shadows of the First World War, with the ‘Sykes-Picot’ pact negotiated by Imperialist powers, as the best way to fracture and restructure the region, to secure their colonial interests. Israel arose as a colonial state in this region, a military and strategic pivot of US and UK led European powers in the Arab world, as a quid pro quo to the banking house of Rothschild funding the Western allies, from out of the wreckage of the Second World War, and directly benefited from the genocide by the Nazi fascist government of Germany, of the Slav people (approximately 27 million), and the Khazar Jews ( Israeli estimates as 6 million). The Khazar Jewish people had populated Europe over centuries, migrating into Europe from the East of Europe, where they had adopted the Jewish religion by conversion. They had no desire to leave Europe. Without their forced exodus from Europe assisted by Nazi policies and Zionist conspiracy, Israel could not have been established.
1.14 Logically the present provocations on multiple fronts and for an even wider war, coincide with the rise of ISIS and the Al Nusra Front and its offshoots, and the denouement of the monopoly banking and financial interests of Europe and North America, including of dominant Zionist Banking and financial interests, and the unfinished project of ‘Greater Israel’, with the clear and present danger of the use of nuclear weapons of mass destruction, used so far by only one power, the United States of America on Japan, after Japan had expressed the desire to surrender.
1.15 It is necessary for the Tribunal to set out the role of other governments, before examining the pivotal role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to ensure objectivity of findings and conclusions, as there are a complexity of reasons for this terrorist war waged on Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Major Rob Taylor an instructor at the US Army’s Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, in an assessment for the Armed Forces Journal of 21st March 2014 observes:
“Any review of the covert conflict in Syria that neglects the geopolitical economics of the region is incomplete……..Viewed through a geopolitical and economic lens the conflict in Syria is not a civil war. But the result of larger international players positioning themselves on the geopolitical chessboard in preparation for the opening of the pipeline ………….. Saudi Arabia and Qatar as well as al Qaeda and other groups are maneuvering to depose Assad and capitalize on their hoped for Sunni conquest of Damascus. By doing this they hope to gain control over the ’new Syrian’ government and to share in the pipeline wealth……”
1.16 The evidence that the two terrorist organizations being prosecuted, have been set up, trained, funded, armed and deployed by a number of governments with different objectives is difficult to ignore. However, since the leaders of the other governments and the oil and gas corporations involved in this war of pipelines which are destroying these countries, have not been charged in this trial, and since this Complaint seeks to indict only the leaders of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the leaders and recruits of ISIL /ISIS/Daesh and its other avatars, and the Al Nusra Front and its allies and offshoots, the Al Qaeda of the region, for their role in the conspiracy, the Tribunal will confine itself to the specific charges in the Complaint filed.
- The Charges Against the Accused :
The Following are the charges presented by the Prosecutor General against accused Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4, who in pursuance of a common plan and criminal conspiracy committed the following acts: –
a) Armed intervention and planning, preparing, initiating, waging and participating in a common plan and conspiracy to wage wars of aggression against Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, in violation of; Article VI ( a) (i) of the Nuremberg Principles; article 2 ( 4) of the Charter of the United Nations, an International Treaty; and customary International law; and for conspiracy and complicity in committing these crimes;
b) Financing, recruiting, training, arming, deploying, aiding and militarily assisting terrorist organizations in violation of Article 2 clauses 1 ( a) and I (b) and Article 5 (a),(b)(c) of the International Convention for the Suppression of Financing of Terrorism of 1999, General Assembly Resolution 49/60 of 9th December 1994 on the Declaration of Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism, and Resolutions1267(1999), 1371(2001), 1618(2005), 1624(2005), 2083(2012), 2129(2013), 2133(2014), 2161(2014), 2199(2015) and 2249 of 2015) of the Security Council on aiding, abetting and financing of terrorism and terrorist acts and for conspiracy and complicity in committing these crimes;
c) Genocide within the ambit of Article II (a) to (e) of the 1948 Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide read with Article III (a) to (e); and for conspiracy and complicity in committing these crimes;
d) War crimes namely the violation of the laws and customs of war including murder of civilians and soldiers, including surrendering soldiers; torture and ill treatment of the civilian population and captured soldiers; enslavement of women and children for sexual purposes; kidnapping and hostage taking of civilians, journalists and aid workers for ransom and their subsequent murder; plunder and pillaging of public and private property and places of religious worship; use of chemical weapons, Sarin gas and other weapons of mass destruction; wanton destruction of cities, towns and villages; among other war crimes committed, in violation of; Article VI (b) of the Nuremberg Principles, mandatory provisions of the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907,; Geneva Convention I on the treatment of wounded and sick soldiers 1949, Geneva Convention III on the treatment of prisoners of war and Geneva Convention IV on the protection of Civilians in times of War 1949; and Additional Protocol I of 1977 to the Geneva Conventions 1949 and customary principles of International law; and conspiracy and complicity in committing these crimes;
e) Crimes against Humanity namely enslavement, deportation and other inhuman acts committed on the civilian population; forced displacement of the population; persecution on political, religious and sectarian grounds; violation of human rights of women and children; deprivation of the freedom to worship and practice religion; denial of medical and food supplies and aid distributed by International Aid and other humanitarian organizations; in violation of; Article VI (a) of the Nuremberg Principles, the Hague Convention of 1907, Convention I, III and IV of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, the additional Protocol I of 1977 to the Geneva Convention 1949, and customary principles of International Law and International Humanitarian Law; and for conspiracy and complicity in committing these crimes;
f) Enslaving women and children in violation of Article 1 (c) and (d) of the 1956 Supplementary Convention on the abolition of Slavery the Slave Trade and Institutions and Practices similar to Slavery, and the 1926 Convention Prohibiting Slavery; and for conspiracy and complicity in committing these crimes ;
g) Trafficking in and raping women and children and for conspiracy and complicity in committing these crimes;
h) Torture in violation of Articles 1 and 2 of the 1984 International Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and customary principles of International Law; and for conspiracy and complicity in committing these crimes;
i) Taking of hostages in violation of, Article 1 and Article 2 the International Convention against the Taking of Hostages 1979 (With effect from 3rd June 1983 and for conspiracy and complicity in committing these crimes);
j) Terrorist bombings, in violation of Article 2 clause 1(b) and 1(c) and Article 3 (a), (b) and (c) of the International Convention for the suppression of terrorist bombing 1998 and for conspiracy and complicity in committing these crimes;
k) Destruction of ‘cultural property’ in violation of, the Hague Convention of 1907, Additional protocol I of 1977 to the Geneva Conventions 1949, of the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property During Armed Conflicts, 1954, and its Protocols of 1954 and 1999, and customary principles of International Law; and conspiracy and complicity in committing these crimes;
- Armed intervention and covert wars of aggression on Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
3.1 The Tribunal in accepting or rejecting evidence observes the precedence of the Nuremberg Trials of the major war criminals, as just as Europe faced devastation and chaos in the aftermath of the Second World War; this entire region is war-torn and the wars are ongoing. However since every accused person is entitled to a fair trial, this Tribunal cannot accept uncorroborated press reports submitted, which do not contain specific and detailed evidence on the vital issue of armed intervention and covert aggression by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in a conspiracy with other governments, planning, recruiting, training, financing, arming, equipping, supplying, supporting, deploying and directing the military operations of the mercenary terrorist organizations the ISIL/ISIS/Daesh and the Al Nusra Front and their allies and offshoots, known as the al Qaeda of the region, for the armed intervention and wars of aggression in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. In Nicaragua Vs the United States ( 1986 ICJ Reports) the International Court of Justice similarly did not rely on press reports which were not corroborated by other evidence and reliable public and official documents. In fact it is the public statements and documents of leading governments involved in this conspiracy to wage war on this region which have exposed the role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is an absolute monarchy, with the power to wage war or maintain the peace vesting absolutely in Accused No. 3, the Head of State and Accused No. 4., the Defense Minister of the Kingdom.
3.2 The most important public disclosure which constitutes prima facie evidence of the involvement of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its leaders in this conspiracy for armed intervention and waging an aggressive war on the region, is the statement made by Vice President Joe Biden at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Mass. 2nd October 2014. In reply to a question by a student whether the United States should have intervened earlier in Syria against these organizations, Vice President Joe Biden stated that there was “ no moderate middle” in the Syrian war, and explained the role of Saudi Arabia, Turkey and some governments of the Gulf Co-operation Council such as Qatar, among others, stating that:
“Our allies in the region were our largest problem in Syria. The Turks were good friends ……..the Saudis, Emirates etcetera, what were they doing? They were so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni- Shia war, what did they do? They poured hundreds of millions and dollars and tens, thousand of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight Assad – except that the people who were being supplied were al Nusra and al Qaeda and the extremist Jehadis coming from all parts of the world …………………
“Now you think I’m exaggerating? Take a look, where did this all go? So now what’s happening, all of a sudden, everybody is awakened because the outfit called ISIL, which was al Qaeda in Iraq when they were essentially thrown out in Iraq, found open space and territory in Syria and worked with Jabhat ul Nusra, whom we declared terrorist groups early on ………and we could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them ….. So what happened …..? President Erdogan told me, he is an old friend, and he said you were right, we let too many people through, now we are trying to seal the border …….”
According to Vice President Joe Biden it was only in the summer of 2014, that some of these governments involved in recruiting, training, arming and deploying these terrorist organizations, realized that ISIS was a threat to them as well as to President Assad. Vice President Joe Biden however concealed that the entire covert strategy for armed intervention and aggression into Syria, Iraq and Lebanon using mercenary fighters was sanctioned and supervised under the leadership of US, UK, France among other NATO powers and Israel, in conspiracy with the governments of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and some of the Emirates and to a lesser extent Jordan, where some of the training camps were located.
3.3 Admittedly the Al Nusra Front or Jabhat ul Nusra as it is also known and its offshoots and allies, continue to be recruited, directed, trained, armed, supplied and financed till date by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which as has been stated in the complaint lodged, is no longer supporting ISIS/ISIS/Daesh etc which it supported until 2014, when some of the worst atrocities had already taken place; the terrorist attacks continue through the Al Nusra Front and its offshoots, allies and other organizations, with these terrorist organizations meeting in Riyadh prior to the Geneva negotiations, to take direction and advice from accused Nos. 3 and 4, co-operating with the US, UK, France and other NATO powers, and Turkey, Israel and Qatar among others.
3.4 Public disclosures of Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, are supported by a declassified secret government document, obtained by the Public Interest Law firm ‘Judicial Watch’, through a Federal Law suit, a Defense Intelligence Agency ( DIA ) document dated 12th August 2012.This document exposes how the that US led NATO governments, consciously allied with al Qaeda and other Islamist groups, in co-ordination with the Gulf States and Turkey, and intentionally sponsored a sectarian and al Qaeda driven rebellion through violent Islamist groups to topple the government of President Bashar- al -Assad, with knowledge that this would lead to the emergence of ISIS. This strategy also served as a justification for lucrative arms deals for the United States supplying sophisticated weapons to Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iraq. The DIA report asserts that “the rise of such an extremist Salafist political entity in the region ‘……offers a tool for regime change”. This DIA report is of critical importance for this trial, and corroborates other evidence on the issue, as the DIA prepares military intelligence in support of plans, policy makers and operations for the US Department of Defense, the US National Security Agency and US Intelligence organizations, and its Intelligence Reports are vetted before distribution and circulation to various US departments and organizations.
3.5 This DIA document confirms that the West Alliance System of the US led NATO powers saw ISIL as a strategic asset and its assessment was, that the “Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood and the al Qaeda in Iraq, are the major forces driving the insurgency in Iraq” and that “the al Qaeda supported the Syrian opposition from the beginning, ideologically and materially”. The DIA report observes that “while the Assad regime will survive retaining control over Syrian territory, the crisis will continue to escalate into a proxy war”. This report recommends the creation of safe havens under International protection in Syria, similar to what transpired in Libya with the “ NO FLY ZONE’, and just as Benghazi was chosen as the command centre for the temporary government which was installed with the backing of NATO and the Gulf countries and other regional allies. This report explicitly anticipates the declaration of an Islamic State through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria and emphasizes that the “ Western countries, the Gulf countries and Turkey are supporting the Syrian opposition forces fighting to control the Eastern areas ( Al Hasaka and Dayr Az Zowr ) adjacent to Western Iraq provinces of ( Mosul and Anbar)”
3.6 The DIA document confirms that the United States led coalition in the region, which includes the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other Gulf states ( which now claim that they are fighting ISIS ),had three years ago, welcomed the emergence of an extremist “ Salafist Principality” in the region as a way to undermine the government of President Assad. The document also states that “the establishment of such a Salafist Principality in Eastern Syria would create the ideal atmosphere for the al Qaeda of Iraq to return to the old pockets of Mosul and Ramadi.”
3.7 Confirming the activities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in financing such ‘ Salafist’ organizations is another e mail of the then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, disclosed by Wikileaks, dated 30th December 2009, communicating :
“……donors in Saudi Arabia continue to be the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide ……..more needs to be done since Saudi Arabia remains a critical support base of al Qaeda …….and other terrorist groups”.
Though the e mail of the Secretary of State refers to private donors, and the Tribunal is of the opinion that private individuals in any country will find it difficult to finance the waging of wars through such mercenary organizations without the complicity of their governments; this e mail of the former Secretary of State is relevant for this trial as it discloses that Saudi Arabia had become a critical support base for the ‘ al Qaeda ‘. Both ISIL/ISIS/Daesh and the Al Nusra Front are admittedly ‘Salafist’ organizations, ideologically close to ‘Wahhabism’, which is both the political and religious ideology of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , due to the historical alliance between the house of Saud and the religious preacher Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhb, who placed his services and ideology at the service of what was a tiny principality in the Arabian peninsula; ‘Wahhabism’ became a zealous ideology used for the justification of the military expansion of the Kingdom from the Emirate of Diriyah to the whole of the Arabian peninsula, assisted by British Imperialism which used colonially subjected India as its pivot, and supported the Al Saud tribe, one of the tribes in the Arabian peninsula, as an instrument of its strategic objectives to destroy the Ottoman Empire and to colonize the entire region.
3.9 General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States Armed Forces in his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, when asked by Senator Lindsey Graham whether he knew of any major ally of the United States ‘ that embraces ISIL?’ General Dempsey unequivocally replied “I know of major Arab allies who fund the ISIL …..Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE and Kuwait…”
3.10 The Saban Centre for Middle East Policy, a Brookings Project on ‘United States Relations with the Islamic World’ based in the United States of America, a study by Elizabeth Dickenson titled ‘ Playing with Fire: Why Private Gulf Financing for Syria’s Extremist Rebels Risks Igniting Sectarian Conflict’; estimates that there are several rebel brigades fighting in Syria, all being extensively funded by the Gulf States; and quotes a former ICM Kuwaiti Member of Parliament, Hamad al Matar interviewed in or about 2013, who had participated in raising of funds for funding the brigades in Syria, stating:
“When I was a member of the foreign policy committee within our National Assembly we went to see the Crown Prince Salman bins Abdulaziz al Saud in Saudi Arabia. He said clearly, “We are supporting Syria and we should support Syria, because we cannot stand the regime of Bashar. We have taken the decision to help the people to get rid of him. So we have to do that a) Very quickly and b) Very strongly. The same message we heard from Qatar and ……….Bahrain.”
3.11 Evidence was led of ISIL and Al Nusra Front led terrorist attacks on civilians in Lebanon, killing and maiming citizens of Lebanon. It is widely known that Lebanon has been used by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as one of the bridgeheads for infiltrating ISIS terrorist fighters into Syria and for providing these organizations with material support and weapons. This has led to clashes within Lebanon itself, with terrorist fighters of ISIS etc and the Al Nusra Front and its offshoots and allies attacking the Hezbollah and the Lebanese Army who are resisting the use of Lebanon for logistic supply and as a forward base for attacks on Syria through the border areas and villages and towns of Lebanon. The Head of state of Saudi Arabia and Defense Minister are aware that Lebanon’s fragile political balance would automatically be under threat with the deployment of Salafist terrorists in Lebanon, and that sectarian terrorism is to the advantage of the government of Israel. Not only have mercenary extremist groups been used on the territory of Lebanon and on its international border with Syria to launch attacks into Syria which have taken place almost continuously since the armed intervention into Syria began, several bomb blasts have also killed innocent civilians in crowded market places in Lebanon, intended to provoke sectarian strife through armed intervention into Lebanon.
3.12 The operations of these mercenary terrorist organizations in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, are in some ways similar to the operation of the Contras and the death squads deployed by the United States in Nicaragua and Central America. In the Psychological Operations Manual prepared for the Contras by the CIA, which was produced as evidence before the International Court of Justice in the case Concerning the Military and Paramilitary Activities in and Against Nicaragua, Nicaragua Vs United States of America (judgment 27th June 1986, International Court of Justice Reports of Judgments, Advisory Opinions and Orders ) the instructions to the mercenary terrorist organizations were:
“If possible professional criminals will be hired to carry out specific selective jobs …………………”
“Specific tasks will be assigned to others, in order to create a
‘Martyr’ for the cause, taking the demonstrations to
A confrontation with the authorities, in order to bring
About uprisings and shootings, which will cause the death of one
Or more persons who would become the martyrs, a situation which
Should be made use of immediately against the regime in order to
Create greater conflicts…..”
This strategy and tactics were similar to the killing fields of Iraq and Syria, and the overrunning of Afghanistan for regime change by similar terrorist organizations in 1979 launched from Pakistan. The difference being that in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, it is sectarian warfare which is the basis and the camouflage, to secure political fracture of the entire region, between Sunnis and Shias, Christians and Kurds, to establish the “ New Middle East”; whereas in Central America ‘communism’ was the enemy and the justification for intervention, and in Afghanistan the camouflage justifying the use of mercenary fighters was religion, as against the PDP government termed an anti Islamic government allied with the former Soviet Union.
3.13 The Tribunal is required to address the global propaganda and justification for armed intervention in Syria by the United States, UK, France and other NATO governments and its allies including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel and Qatar among others. These governments have attempted to justify this covert war, on the ground that during the ‘ Arab Spring’, there were demonstrations in Syria against the government of President Assad in some regions, consequently these US led NATO governments and their regional allies including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, and Qatar among others, extended aid and assistance to the Syrian opposition, after the crackdown by the Syrian government, as these were democratic opposition forces poised to overthrow the government of President Assad. Whereas the rise of ISIL /ISIS/ Daesh etcetera in Iraq and the aid and assistance to ISIL was justified by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and others, citing the widespread and serious disaffection in Iraq against the openly sectarian policies of President Maliki‘s government in the aftermath of the extensive and intensive de-Bathification policies instituted by the United States, UK and its allies, post invasion and occupation, when death squads first made their appearance for covert operations organized by the occupying powers, to divide the widespread resistance to foreign occupation which had destroyed Iraq.
3.14 The issue for determination is whether demonstrations in a country small or large, or disaffection of a section of the population of a country, justify armed intervention and covert war by a government of another State, on this country and its people, to force regime change.
3.15 Apart from the absolute prohibition against using force, or the threat of force, which is strictly prohibited by Article 2 (4) of the Charter of the United Nations and the mandatory provisions of the Charter of the United Nations providing for mediation, conciliation and negotiation of disputes between member States; the International Court of Justice held in Nicaragua Versus United States of America ( International Court of Justice Reports, 1986 ), in a case where the government of Nicaragua had claimed that the United States had violated Article 2( 4) of the Charter of the United Nations, using force in violation of its obligation under International Law, in as much the United States had engaged in “recruiting, training, arming, equipping, financing, supplying and otherwise encouraging, supporting, aiding and directing military and paramilitary actions in and against Nicaragua”; that the principle of non- intervention is also derived from customary International Law and “ the principle forbids all States or groups of States to intervene directly or indirectly in internal or external affairs of other States. A prohibited intervention must accordingly be one bearing on matters in which each State is permitted by the principle of State sovereignty to decide freely. One of them is the choice of a political, economic, social and cultural system, and the formulation of foreign policy. Intervention is wrongful when a State uses methods of coercion on another state in regard to such choices, which must remain free ones. The element of coercion, which defines and indeed forms the very essence of prohibited intervention is particularly obvious in the case of an intervention which uses force, either in the direct form of military action, or in the indirect form of support for subversive and armed activity within another state….. General Assembly Resolution 2625 (xxv) equates assistance of this kind with the use of force by the assisting State when the acts committed in another State involve the threat or use of forces. These forms of action are therefore unlawful in the light of both the principle of non –use of force and that of non-intervention……”
3.16 The International Court of Justice further held that “it was clearly established that the United States intended by its support of the Contras to coerce the Government of Nicaragua in respect of matters in which each State is permitted by the principle of Sovereignty to decide freely its policies, and second it was the intention of the Contras to overthrow the present government of Nicaragua ……The Court considers that in International Law, if one state with a view to coerce another State, supports and assists armed bands in that State whose purpose it is to overthrow the government of that State, that amounts to intervention by the State in the internal affairs of the other, whether or not the political objective of that State giving such support and assistance is equally far reaching ……”
3.17 This decision of the International Court of Justice is directly applicable to the facts and circumstances of this case, as it is established beyond doubt from documentary evidence in the public domain that accused Nos. 3 and 4, the Head of State and Defense Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia respectively, in conspiracy with other concerned governments, which this Tribunal has been constrained to earlier name as they appear in documents of the government of the United States including reports of their Intelligence Agencies; recruited trained , armed , equipped, financed, supplied and otherwise encouraged, supported, aided and directed the hired mercenary leaders and fighters of the terrorist organizations ISIL/ISIS/ Daesh and the Al Nusra Front and their different avatars and offshoots for armed intervention in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon; to wage a covert war of aggression, to destroy, fragment and overrun these countries, to inter alia secure regime change, and through sectarian war, to establish a‘ New Middle East”, collaborating with other governments and companies seeking strategic oil and gas pipelines in these countries.
- Genocide, sectarian warfare and displacement of minorities
4.1 It is not within man’s nature to collectively kill his own specie, conditions have to be politically and socially engineered to make this possible, and this has been done in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, by the governments involved in the conspiracy to wage war including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, by deploying death squads and mercenary terrorist organizations such as ISIL/ISIS/Daesh and the Al Nusra Front among others; a project which began in the region on the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003. The Chilcot Inquiry, though concealing more than it has revealed, has in diplomatic phraseology and understatements held this war on Iraq to be wholly unjustified. The issue is not the late President Saddam Hussein, the issue is the conditions in which the Iraqi people have been living as a consequence of that occupation.
4.2 If the propaganda of organizations such as ISIL and the AL Nusra Front is scrutinized by those with knowledge of Islam and there are many wise and learned people in our world; the conclusion would be that the statements being publicly and internationally orchestrated as the voice and policies of the ‘Caliphate’ as ISIS calls itself and of the Al Nusra Front are insane perversions not even remotely linked to ‘Islam’ whose cardinal principle derived from the word itself is ‘ PEACE ‘; directly related to the original mission to peacefully unite the then fractious and warring tribes of the Arabian peninsula, and revolutionize their ways of life and living; a civilizing mission with no hostility to any of then religions practiced in the Arabian Peninsula or elsewhere, acknowledging that Prophets of different religions had been sent to different regions of the world. Another significant fact is that though the largest contingents of mercenary terrorist fighters are from Saudi Arabia and from Libya; the reality is that thousands are also from different countries and continents, from Europe including from UK, other countries of the European Union, from Russia, China, Afghanistan and from North America, that is from regions where Islam is not the state religion or the only religion.
4.3 The Tribunal is required to determine whether genocide has been committed on certain minority communities in Iraq and Syria. The word ‘genocide’ was first used in a study by Raphael Lemkin, the first jurist to study fascism in Europe “ from the standpoint of jurisprudence”, subsequently appointed legal advisor to the US Chief Prosecutor at Nuremberg, former Justice of the US Supreme Court, Robert Jackson; apart from his heart rending experience, having 40 members of his family killed by fascism in Europe. Raphael Lemkin investigating and analyzing the policies of Nazism in Europe in the study published in 1944, titled ‘ Axis Rule in Occupied Europe: Laws of Occupation –Analysis of Government – Proposals for Redress”, described ‘ genocide’, a word used for the first time and included as a charge at the Nuremberg Trials of leading members of the Nazi fascist party, as “ a coordinated plan of different actions aimed at the destruction of the essential foundation of life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. The objectives of such a plan would be the disintegration of the political and social institutions, of culture, language, national feelings, religion and the economic existence of national groups and the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even the lives of individuals belonging to such groups. Genocide is directed against the national group as an entity, and the actions involved are directed against individuals not in their individual capacity but as members of the national group’. Raphael Lemkin concluded that the objective of genocide was destruction, with a view to re-order and alter existing conditions in society, from which conditions the group and the political society could never be restored to its original condition; that objective of Nazi fascism in Europe was to win the peace, even if they lost the war by engineering devastation and destruction of the Slavs, the Jewish people and others; the Slav regions were targeted for genocide among those of other racial groups for occupation, pillaging of resources, extermination and depopulation of their regions. In observing the strategy of ‘endless war’ of terror being waged, from country to country, we find the same fascistic Nazi objectives being implemented by the governments involved, of destroying national groups and entities, to fragment and destroy nations and societies, making them even more vulnerable now and in the future.
4.4 To determine this important issue, it is necessary to raise the critical question in criminal jurisprudence and law, “Who benefits? The answer is, those planning and implementing the strategy of creating such terrorist organizations, and recruiting, arming, funding, training and deploying mercenaries to create a divide between Sunnis and Yezidi, between Sunnis and Christians, between Sunni and Shia, between Sunnis and Kurds etc. a strategy of fostering fratricidal divides in the region, to control nations through death squads or hired mercenaries, and wherever possible to deliberately use genocide and the threat of genocide and conversion, to forcibly displace populations making them into refugees; a strategy to prepare for the further balkanization of the region, to retain the dollar as the world reserve currency, the petrodollar for hydrocarbon trade, and facilitate the new pipelines in which many of the regional, financial and political ‘hegemons’, like Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar among others, have an abiding interest along with the companies of the United States, UK, France and other NATO powers. The public pronouncement of a new “ Middle East”, is evidence that the fragmentation and restructuring of countries and regions by the Imperial powers was not restricted to the era of colonization, as correctly analyzed by outstanding revolutionaries of the 20th Century, but continues in new forms, as long as the Imperialistic financial and economic system in the countries of its heartlands among other regions continues, irrespective of the political leadership of these countries; and new strategies were formulated , even after formal de-colonization, which left few areas of the world, notably Palestine under occupation; for the carving up of regions, countries and territories targeted by special financial and commercial interests of the former colonial powers. The legal justification advanced for fragmentation and restructuring of countries by NATO powers and its regional allies is always religious, tribal, ethnicity, sectarian schisms, since the fracture of once united countries requires some justification, however contrived; therefore genocide, and religious and sectarian or tribal clashes, to incite civil war, earlier used during colonization for better political control. A recent example is the breaking up of Yugoslavia into small states for better economic penetration; and an earlier case study is the partition of the Indian Subcontinent , to defeat the economic impact of de-colonization in South Asia. Religious strife in pre-partition India was ignited, accompanied by collective killings of a million people on both sides, while the British Governor – General still controlled India, leading to one of the largest displacements of people. Partition created two countries, dividing resources, increasing dependency of both countries on the former colonial power. In countries and regions where the religious, tribal or sectarian divide is not available due to the homogenous nature of the population, a different political ideology such as ‘ communism’ was used by the imperial powers as the basis for partition, as in Korea and Vietnam, again through war and genocide.
4.5 The Tribunal is not in doubt that the objective for the region was fragmentation, the creation of new states, the ‘New Middle East’ as announced by Condoleezza Rice former National Security Advisor in the administration of President Bush. Therefore covert masked death squads were unleashed on the population after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, attacking and killing alternatively the Shia and Sunni population in pogroms; followed by the recruitment, training, arming and deploying of ISIS and the Al Nusra Front and offshoots, to continue to incite Sunni and Shia against each other and against the Kurdish people; for mass displacement of minorities to trigger migrations into Europe of particular ethnic groups and racial stock to create another divide in Europe. In the region of the Arab world for centuries despite the theological schism, both Sunnis and Shias have lived in the same neighborhood, worked politically together and intermarried.
4.6 Since the Tribunal cannot rely on press reports submitted to the Tribunal, which do not give all the details, as some of the incidents in these press reports are inadequately researched; it is reports of the United Nations agencies and organizations, supported by reports and resolutions of legislative bodies and institutions, other humanitarian organizations and reports of the governments of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon which corroborate UN agency reports, which the Tribunal will rely on for its finding that Yezidis and Christians have been victims of the genocidal attacks of ISIL and the Al Nusra Front, and on the nature of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed. It is necessary to clarify that not every conclusion in a report of a UN body or agency is being accepted by the Tribunal, only those facts and conclusions which are corroborated by other independent bodies, and which are not biased or influenced by the strategic objectives of influential powers in the Security Council known to have dominated the UN system and its institutions.
4.7 The Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the Human Rights Situation in Iraq in the Light of Abuses committed by the so called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and Associated Groups for the period June 2014- February 2015 submitted to the Human Rights Council in March 2015, highlights that the ethnic and religious groups, the Yezidis, Christians including Chaldo-Assyrians, the Shia communities including the Turkomen and Shabak Shias, the Sabean Mandeans and the Kurds were brutally threatened and attacked in Iraq and Syria by ISIL. However the reference to genocidal attacks having taken place is with reference specifically to the Yezidis and Christians, which include the Chaldo-Assyrian Christians, targeted for elimination and forced displacement on a mass scale; at the receiving end of systematic threats, collective killings, and confiscation of property; kidnapping for ransom; torture, rape, sexual enslavement and trafficking in women and children; threats of conversion and forced conversion; levy of the jiziya tax; and the forcible induction of the children of these communities for recruitment and training as ISIL and AL Nusra Front fighters. Both these communities belong to rare cultures in this region, a part of world religious and cultural heritage, were singled out for these attacks, with the objective of ethnic cleansing in regions of religious diversity, by creating conditions of life making it impossible for these communities to survive as a national group in Iraq and in Syria, that is in regions where they had lived from time immemorial, to compel them to flee the region, in an attempt to stamp out traces of these early Christian communities and the Yezidis, to perpetuate the myth of ‘Salafism’ and ‘Wahhabism’ as the dominant narrative of the region, for better fragmentation and restructuring.
4.8 Some curious facts have emerged from the statements and testimonies of Yezidis attacked at Sinjar where thousands of Yezidis were massacred by the ISIS in an attack which began on 3rd August 2014. The complaint made including to international organizations and institutions by Yezidi leaders is that the local militia in the area from the Peshmerga Kurdish forces refused to give the Yezidis the necessary assistance to defend themselves, and even denied them weapons for self defense; as a consequence when the local Peshmerga militia which controlled the region withdrew, and the ISIL advanced in Iraq, there was a massacre by the ISIL, with thousands of Yezidis killed; the estimate is at least five thousand Yezidi men were collectively killed in Sinjar alone, whereas another massacre took place in the Nineva governarate killing thousands of Yezidi men who had not escaped in the mass displacement which took place from the Ninewa governorate as the ISIL advanced. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has reported that thousands of Yezidi women and children were separated from the men including the wives and daughters of those killed and were abducted raped and enslaved by ISIL and other fighters, and constantly shifted from one site to another in Iraq and Syria, almost 14 times, to increase their insecurity so that they do not attempt to escape, and handed over as sex slaves to foreign terrorist mercenaries from around the world and from the region, apart from being trafficked in open slave markets in Mosul, Aleppo, Ar Raqqa and other places. The Yezidi women and girls according to this report were divided into three categories; those married with children; those married without children; and young women not married and young girls. Each group was separated from the other and transported from Iraq to Syria for the fighters. Women who attempted to escape were often killed or tortured. The estimate of the number of women and children kidnapped, raped and in sexual slavery is estimated at between five thousand to seven thousand, this does not include women from other minority communities who were also kidnapped, enslaved and raped. Some Yezidi women committed suicide and others have been rescued with unborn children and fathers unknown, as the consequence of the brutality to which they have been subjected including multiple rapes. These are the Iraqi and Syrian ‘opposition’ forces whom the world’s leading governments of the NATO powers were recruiting, training, arming, financing , supporting and deploying along with their regional allies the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the governments of Israel Turkey, Qatar among others. The Arab League and the Organization of Islamic States have not expelled a single government which has perpetrated such heinous acts on the Yezidi and Christian communities and on women and children and on Shia minorities. In contrast, the Arab League had earlier unjustifiably expelled Syria. It is reported that approximately 3,500 women still remain in captivity. Of considerable significance is the report by the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights, that witnesses informed the inquiry committee that during the genocidal attacks at Sinjar in Iraq on the Yezidis , ISIS/ISIL fighters were seen and heard seeking directions from their handlers on cell phones. This is evidence that what were happening were not spontaneous acts of ISIL mercenaries; this was a pre-planned conspiracy against the entire region, an operation carefully directed and monitored by the governments involved.
4.9 The report of the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights records that attacks took place on 5th August 2014 in one of the most culturally diverse areas of Iraq, in the Nineveh Plain, thousands of Yezidis, Christians including Chaldo -Assyrians and Shia sects were killed and hundreds of thousands displaced as refugees by the ISIL and women and children who had not escaped were enslaved. Christians as a community were threatened at Mosul by ISIL, churches attacked, and 50,000 Christians expelled from Mosul city alone, a forced mass exodus after their lives and religious beliefs were threatened. Christians were also attacked in the Ninewa Governorate and other regions of Iraq and Syria subjugated by ISIL and the AL Nusra Front, with forced displacement of the Christian communities fleeing for safety and pauperized, as their homes, properties were looted. The Christian community was also threatened with the imposition of the Jiziya tax and all valuables confiscated at Aleppo, Homs, Hasskeh among other places in Syria by both ISILand the Al Nusra Front.
4.10 The pronouncements of ISIS/ISIL/ Daesh and the AL Nusra Front in respect Yezidi women and girls describing them as ‘spoils of war ‘, with open threats that the Yezidis, due to their modes of worship were infidels, to be killed or converted, were genocidal. The report of the special commission appointed by the Human Rights Council titled: “They came to Destroy; ISIS crimes against the Yezidis” describes the genocide of the Yezidis, in the following words:
“ISIS has sought to erase the Yazidis through killing, sexual slavery, enslavement, torture and inhuman and degrading treatment and forcible transfer causing serious bodily and mental harm; the infliction of conditions of life that bring about slow death; the imposition of means to prevent Yazidi children from being born ….. Separation of Yazidi men and women, mental trauma, and the transfer of Yazidi children from their own families and placing them with ISIS fighters, thereby cutting them off from their beliefs and practices and their own religious community …….”
4.11 It is tragic irony, the parliaments of NATO countries equally responsible for the conspiracy in the region along with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel and Qatar,have acknowledged that the ISIL and AL Nusra Front are responsible for the genocide against the Yezidis and the Christians in Iraq and Syria.The European Union Parliament in a resolution on 3rd February 2016 and the United States House of Congress in its Resolution on March 15,2016, condemned the genocide against these two communities. The resolution of the United States Congress also refers to the genocidal attacks against the Shia community. Pope Francis issued an impassioned plea in respect of the genocide being committed against the Christian community of the region. As a consequence of these policies there has been a mass exodus of Yezidis from Sinjar and from the Nineva governorate in Iraq, where thousands were killed and thousands of Yezidi women taken into sexual enslavement by the fighters. Today 500,000 Yezidis are scattered in refugee camps in the region and in Turkey, trekking to Europe in one of the larges waves of refugees, which includes the Christians of the region, forcibly displaced.
4.12 In Syria ISIL and Al Nusra Front controlled areas, it is reported by Ambassador Albert Fernandez, former counterterrorism coordinator for the State Department of the US administration, that Christian books were burnt,churches destroyed, priests among other Christians kidnapped in Raqqa and other areas in Syria, and held for ransom, and a new jiziya tax imposed on Christians; that in ISIL controlled territories there are no functioning churches, monasteries, working priests or Christian schools which had existed in the region of Iraq and Syria throughout Islamic history.
The Christian community of the region is of special significance to world religious and cultural heritage, and for the region, as the Christians in this region of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, have a direct religious, cultural and historic linkage to the earliest Christian communities which followed Christ in and around the region of Palestine. The practices, customs and ways of life of these Christian communities, including of the Chaldo –Assyrians, the Catholic, the Greek Catholic, the Greek Orthodox, Armenians and Syrian Christians among others, are distinct and different from Christians in Europe and in the West, where Christianity spread after it was adopted as the State religion by the Roman Empire. Christian Churches including the heritage monasteries and churches in the caves of the early Christian communities of the region, and elsewhere, whether Catholic or Greek Orthodox or of the Syrian Christians or Armenians were looted with altars and icons ransacked for sale in the antique markets of Turkey and Europe; many Churches in Iraq and Syria have been destroyed. In this context it is ironical that Europe provides the second largest contingent of fighters after the Arab world, and the country which has supplied the largest contingent of fighters is Saudi Arabia followed by Libya.
4.14 Today the Yezidis are scattered in refugee camps absolutely pauperized and emotionally devastated; one third of Syria’s Christians have fled, and out of the 1.5 million Iraqi Christians only one third still remain. The United Nations Human Rights Council has condemned the genocidal attacks on Yezidis and Christians and the brutal treatment and attacks on Shias including Turkmen and Shabak Shias, and on Sabean Mandaeans, Kakaiyahan, and Kurds; yet nothing has been done to assist the countries of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon facing the consequences of millions internally displaced and vulnerable communities.
- Extensive War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity in Iraq.
5.1 An analysis of the nature of the war being waged in the region, reveals that in fact ISIL/ISIS/Daesh and Al Nusra Front are irregular mercenary armies and though there is an international pool of fighters trained by special forces of NATO and their regional allies, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in different regions; there are also contingents of mercenary fighters who owe loyalties to different governments and consequently are directed by the special and military forces of these governments. These loyalties spark fractious and extensive infighting and internecine killing among these armed contingents. The task which appears to have been entrusted to these mercenaries of ISIL and the Al Nusra Front their offshoots and allied organizations, by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in conspiracy with the other governments, visible from their on the ground activities in cities, towns and villages and in border areas of these countries; was to terrorize the civilian population and government forces in Iraq and Syria; to create anarchic and unstable conditions in Iraq; to effect regime change in Syria; to destabilize Lebanon with the objective of rolling back resistance to Israel; and to create conditions for re-deployment of US and NATO forces which had been withdrawn from Iraq, once again in the entire region. The deployment of conventional forces including bombing sorties were postponed by the United States and other NATO powers and regional governments involved, until terror had adequately spread and government forces in Iraq and Syria were pinned down in various operations. In both Iraq and Syria there are now bombing sorties by the United States and even by France, and on the ground presence of US troops, though the government of Syria has never requested for any assistance from NATO governments.
5.2 To assess the reasons for the criminal, deliberate and widespread violations of all laws of war by the ISIS/ISIL/Daesh etc and the Al Nusra Front and its offshoots, it is necessary to dissect the strange and criminal strategy of the use of a mercenary pool of fighters, to avoid governments deploying these terrorists from being publicly responsible for successive wars of aggression in the region and for the barbaric nature of the preplanned operations against the civilian population, which included directions and orders to murder, torture, terrorize, sexually enslave and assault, and for displacement of the civilian population, in particular minorities on a large scale, to restructure and fragment the region.
5.3 It was after the Vietnam war and the massive defeat of US conventional military operations and strategy , including of its extensive bombing sorties, and despite the use of chemical warfare using Napalm and Agent Orange; that new strategies for warfare were adopted by the United States, UK, France and NATO allies, in close consultation with their traditional regional allies in different parts of the world; it was decided to share the burden of the financial outlay of future military operations and the responsibility for the conduct of operations, to avoid the ignominy of defeat in a conventional war, which exposed vulnerabilities of the United States military and that of the other NATO governments, to countries which the US and NATO sought to intimidate and threaten, that is the former colonized countries. The policy thereafter was to forge military alliances, and obtain military, financial, logistic and other support from other governments, including regional allies. The first war after Vietnam with the combined new US, UK, France and NATO strategy of deploying covertly irregular mercenary fighters recruited, financed and armed by allies, in which Pakistan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia played major roles was in Afghanistan, which began in 1979 with the deployment of the ‘Mujahideen’ fighters from 3rd July 1979, several months before Soviet military assistance was given to Afghanistan at the request of the government of Afghanistan. The Al Qaeda was created with the same purpose. This war using terrorist mercenaries was waged on the PDP government of Afghanistan for almost a decade. The mercenary irregular fighters deployed were instructed to claim that they were ‘holy warriors’, to conceal the ignominy of being mercenary fighters, from the population; though they were recruited, trained and directed by Intelligence Agencies of a number of governments in alliance, to commit extensive war crimes and crimes against humanity against the civilian population, including against women and children, and Afghan army and government personnel; this was a war of terror for regime change, without the governments involved accepting responsibility for violation of the Hague Convention of 1907, and Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 1949; though they were waging an international armed conflict against the legitimate government of Afghanistan with sophisticated arms supplied to the mercenaries and special forces deployed alongside, including Stringer missiles. These fact have been extensively documented, including the printing of books for the religious schools or ‘madrassas’ on the Afpak border regions for indoctrination, in Nebraska, in the United States.
5.4 In the present war being waged on Iraq, Syria and on Lebanon, from cities, towns and regions occupied by ISIL / ISIS/ Daesh and the Al Nusra front and its offshoots and allied organizations, there are official reports of United Nations agencies reporting, torture, executions, amputations of limbs, public lashings and extra judicial killings of the civilian population by orders of so called ISIS and Al Nusra Front appointed summary courts, which are Kangaroo Courts. In villages, towns and cities occupied by ISIL there have been thousands of individual executions and collective killings of the civilian population; crucifixions and bombings of civilians in undefended cities, towns, villages and buildings, with extensive and deliberate targeting and destruction of civilian infrastructure by armed attacks, explosives and in bombing operations. The slaughter of soldiers taken as prisoners of war is widespread, as is the decapitation of the heads of soldiers and civilians killed in so called executions, and of other personnel on duty, with decapitated heads and bodies publicly displayed on squares and grounds. There have been scores of case of kidnappings of civilians including foreigners for ransom, including members of minority communities; cars and trucks rigged with explosives are used for bombings in areas inhabited by Shia minorities and other communities, including Sunni tribes supporting the governments; in areas occupied by ISIL there have been forced conversions of minority populations, destruction of their religious places, and recruitment of child soldiers from children kidnapped from minority communities or abducted from other families in Iraq and Syria; keeping civilians hostages and prevent them from fleeing areas controlled by the ISIL and the Al Nusra Front and its offshoots and allies is widespread, to prevent and delay the retaking of areas by government forces to clear the areas.
5.5 The pattern of atrocities establish that the preplanned objective was to terrorize and demoralize government forces and civilian personnel and civilian population, to prevent the them from providing information to or co-operating with government forces from areas controlled by ISIL and other terrorist organizations. Minorities namely Yezidis, Christians, among others, and different sects of Shias as the Tribunal has already referred to, were particularly targeted, to compel them to flee in large numbers into refugee camps in the region, to Turkey and beyond to Europe, as a part of the strategy of using the refugee issue to create tensions in Europe, significantly immediately after the invited influx of refugees into Europe welcomed at the highest level of the Federal Republic of Germany, false flag events commenced in Europe with ‘Deep State’ agencies using migrant communities settled in Europe for several decades as agent provocateurs for the attacks. Propaganda resorted to by ISIS and the Al Nusra Front on instructions of ‘ Deep State’ agencies of governments handling these terrorist organizations, and relayed to the world through the corporate press, was to create a revulsion in Europe against immigrants, useful for fostering a divide in Europe, as a diversion from the serious financial crisis of Banks and collapsing financial institutions. ISIL and Al Nusra among other fighters have been infiltrated illegally into Iraq, Syria and Lebanon and do not have the status of soldiers as per the Hague Convention of 1907 and the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Addition Protocol I of 1977 to the Geneva Conventions, though they are bound to conduct operations in accordance with Article 3 which is common to all Geneva Conventions; whereas the belligerent governments involved, the heads of states, and others who have deployed their special forces alongside these fighters, including CIA Special forces and US military soldiers and airmen admittedly operating, are bound by the Hague Convention of 1899 and 1907 and Convention I, III and IV of Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol I of 1977 to the Geneva Conventions of 1949. The governments of Iraq, Syria and Libya are in no way required to recognize these mercenary fighters or even the special forces deployed by different governments, as they have been illegally infiltrated and covertly deployed along with the mercenaries; whereas in respect of US military forces the governments attacked are required to adhere to the Hague and Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocol.
5.6 The United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights have jointly reported that “the so called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant continue to commit systematic and widespread violence and abuses in violation of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law”; and that ISIL had killed scores of civilians in a targeted manner in Iraq. Victims include those perceived to be opposed to the ideology and rule of ISIL, persons affiliated with the government, such as former Iraqi security forces, police officers, former public officials, employees of the election commission, journalists, doctors and lawyers and tribal heads and all those religious leaders who dissent from ISIL ideology, even if they are Muslim. Many civilians have been abducted and killed as government informers and spies. Self appointed ISIL courts without following legal procedures have imposed wholly unjustified sentences of capital punishment, ordering the murder of countless people and imposed other cruel and barbaric punishments such as stoning to death of women allegedly committing adultery. The nature of sentencing of ISIL courts, as reported by UN agencies, is significantly similar to the punishments awarded by Courts in Saudi Arabia for similar offences. The report documents the number of executions carried out through beheading in public places and by shooting, crucifixions, bull dozing and burning alive of civilian victims, including of Iraqi children, recruited by ISIL, who fled the fighting in the Anbar province of Iraq and invited the wrath of ISIL.
5.7 The reports of UN agencies confirm that approximately 800 -900 children were forcibly abducted from Mosul alone, not including children kidnapped from other areas in Iraq and Syria, for religious education and military training; and that children under the age of 18 were being trained and recruited as suicide bombers, informants and human shields to protect ISIL facilities. The member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child reported that ISIS has crucified and burned alive some members of the Christian and Shiite minorities; and that children were being tortured, sexually abused and murdered by ISIL, apart from adults; several children including those with mental disabilities were being recruited as suicide bombers and as soldiers, and that child sexual slavery and trafficking of children was taking place in ISIL controlled areas of Iraq, with price tags attached to children in slave markets.
5.8 The Tribunal is unable to refer to every atrocity and incident that has taken place which constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon as reported by reports of UN agencies, due to limitations. However the serious crimes committed as reported by United Nations and other agencies need focus, to establish the broad pattern. The UN OHCHR reports executions of citizens pronounced by self styled illegal courts of ISIL functioning in violation of any principles of natural justice, evidence and procedure, using brutal methods. Massacres of large groups of people by ISIL/ISIS/Daesh were committed all over Iraq. The Tribunal has already referred to the genocide of Yezidis at Sinjar and in the Nineva province among other areas; the genocide of Christians, and the armed attacks on Shia of all sects, and other minorities at Mosul and other areas of the Nineva and other governorates of Iraq. Apart from these massacres, the European Union mission confirmed that ISIL/ISIS/Daesh killed 1,700 students abducted from a military school in the Speicher Base, at Tikrit, which was invaded on or about 11 Th June 2015, with ISIS itself publicizing this massacre. On 26th June 2015, the Supreme Council for Accountability and Justice in Iraq confirmed this massacre. Individuals irrespective of their religious or sectarian denomination have been killed by ISIL for spying for government forces, in the governorates of Anbar, Diyala, Mosul, Ninewa, Salah al -din governorates and at Kirkuk. In these areas of Iraq, cars trapped with explosives have been used by ISIL to kill and maim members of the Shia community among others, in public and religious places, where large numbers of citizens congregate. In one incident alone, where IED explosives were used by ISIL, at Khan Bani Saadi, approximately 108 civilians were killed and 167 injured. ISIL has systematically targeted employees and former employees of the Independent High Electoral Commission with approximately 53 employees abducted from Mosul, Ninewa and executed at al Ghizlani military base to the South of Mosul. Imams of the Sunni community opposed to ISIL have also not been spared and summarily executed. Police officials and former members of the Iraqi Security Force have been targeted and murdered by ISIL. In the governorate of Anbar, 700 members of the Albu Nimr Sunni tribe, north of Ramadi whose relatives had joined the ISF and Sahwa group supporting the government were executed in different incidents, including reportedly 150 women of this tribe for refusing to have sexual relations with these ISIL fighters. All those captured as prisoners, whether Iraqi civilian officials or captured soldiers of Iraqi government forces have been summarily executed. At Bardoush Prison out of 3000 Iraqi prisoners who were already in jail, 600 Shia prisoners were separated from the others and shot in a mass grave. ISIL has collectively killed 32 of its fighters in Ramadi, for disobeying orders. Foreign fighters deserting ISIL have also been executed in hundreds. Homes belonging to Yezidis, Christians and Shia among other minority groups have been blown up in several governorates. Churches, Yezidi places of worship and Shiite and Sunni mosques have been looted and blown up with explosives. Women in different governorates including in Mosul, Fallujah and other places have also been summarily executed for refusing sexual relationships with ISIL fighters. 87% of civilians displaced by the fighting in Iraq, are from the governorates of Anbar, Ninewa, and Salah -al Din and Kirkuk which are regions of some of the worst attacks by ISIS. Educated women have been particularly targeted, including those participating in elections. In Mosul three women lawyers were shot, one of them the Deputy Attorney General of the Mosul Court of Appeal. Two women candidates for parliamentary seats were also executed and several doctors. ISIL carries out its killings, crucifixions, lashings and amputations in public squares with members of the public forced to watch these crimes.
- War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity committed in Syria.
6.1 The UN Human Rights Council had initially taken a partisan stand on Syria, in keeping with its earlier distorted reporting on Libya, which subsequently led to the unjust suspension of Libya from the UN Human Rights Council; subsequently in view of the outcry from the region and globally, the Commission constituted by the UN Human Rights Council for the Syrian Arab Republic was finally constrained to focus on the serious nature of ISIL atrocities in Syria. In its report ‘ Rule of Terror: Living under ISIS in Syria ‘ the UN Human Rights Council Commission has disclosed that conditions for those residing under ISIS/ISIL/ Daesh controlled areas in Syria, are as cruel, barbaric and devastating as in Iraq. Executions routinely take place of civilians opposing ISIL, with crucifixions routinely resorted to, and bodies and decapitated heads publicly displayed in squares, traumatizing people, including children. Sentences of amputations are pronounced by Kangaroo Courts of ISIL for smoking or theft and public lashings for petty offences. Hundreds are detained in ISIS prisons in substandard conditions and denied medical assistance. Women are completely excluded from public and social life, with their movements severely restricted, as they cannot be seen in the company of any man who is not a father, husband, or son; some women have been stoned to death for adultery. On the other hand the morality of the ISIL is to be seen in the existence of slave markets for captured Yezidi women and children transported from Iraq to Syria; forced marriages of girl children as young as 13 to ISIL fighters have been reported in areas of ISIL control, and rest houses exist for ISIL fighters in Syria where captive Yazidi women and girls are kept suffering horrific abuse as sex slaves, conveniently categorized as ‘spoils of war’, with forced pregnancies, though the father is unknown; as these women have been sexually assaulted by several terrorists.
6.2 This Commission reports that ISIS has attacked social and religious practices of minorities under its control and obstructed the exercise of religious freedom and freedom of expression and assembly in violation of the Human Rights Charter of the United Nations. This report of the UN Commission describes the same pattern of violence against minority groups in Syria, as in Iraq, including the policy of forced conversion and threats against Christians, Alewites and Shias of various sects, and the Druze people and Kurds in ISIL controlled areas. Villages of all these aforesaid communities have been attacked, their houses and properties seized, other groups resettled in some of the houses and some homes have been taken over by ISIL fighter. These communities face the threat of forced assimilation, with some members converted, and the Christians and other non Muslim communities, with payment of the Jiziya tax. As a consequence of the atrocities on minorities, mass displacement has taken place from ISIL controlled regions in Syria, with hundreds of thousands terrorized into fleeing to refugee camps in the region, or to Turkey, and onwards to Europe. There are several cases of hostage taking of civilians, with ransom being paid sometimes by other governments. Forcible eviction of the Kurdish people in the Ar Raqqah governorate began in July 2013. ISIL fighters demanded that the Kurds and other minorities leave their villages or in the alternative they would be killed. Consequently Thousands of Assyrian Christians, Shia including Shia Turkmen and Kurds fled from their villages, towns and cities. After the exodus, their homes and property were extensively looted by ISIS fighters. The displacement of minorities in Syria was intended to forcibly alter the demographics of North Eastern Syria.
6.3 In Syria highly publicized attacks have taken place in important cities in an attempt to demoralize government forces. Attacks have taken place at Aleppo, known as the Al –Ittisam raid on Aleppo with rockets and missiles killing, injuring many civilians in the Al Hamadania neighborhood and the Abdullah Al Jabri Square. In the governorates of Deir ez- Zor and Ar Raqqah, ISIL prevented essential supplies and humanitarian aid from reaching the people. In the Al Hasakeh governorate ISIS prevents medical supplies from being bought by doctors from other parts of Syria as a consequence, doctors have ceased to practice and have left the region.In areas under ISIL control, Christians can no longer worship and churches have been closed down including the Greek Catholic Church at al Shuhade in Iraq, and in Syria the Armenian Christian Church at al Raqqah, the Armenian Church at Tal Abyad, and the Armenian Church at Deir ez –Zor.
6.4 ISIL attacks on Syrian soldiers and government employees without provocation began from 2011. Syrian soldiers were collectively killed and taken as prisoners, tortured before being murdered with their bodies being desecrated and their decapitated heads and bodies hung on roads and public squares. From the nature of these incidents it would appear that Syrian soldiers were deliberately provoked to retaliate, after which the defensive firings by Syrian troops were alleged to be excessive. All these incidents of torture and killings of Syrian soldiers were widely publicized through videos posted on websites by ISIL and the Al Nusra Front; even as all over Syria unprovoked brutal attacks and bombings were taking place in undefended cities, towns and villages, on civilians, soldiers and at military check posts by the ISIL the Al Nusra Front and their cells of mercenary fighters, waging a war on the Syrian government. The suburbs of Damascus and Palestinian refugee camps in Damascus were also subjected to bombings and attacks. Cars were rigged with explosives by mercenaries hiring local youth to trigger explosions in crowded roads and squares, and in schools, universities and hospitals. Family members of these Syrian youth hired by foreign fighters, have publicly exposed on Syrian Television that some of their relatives were influenced by and recruited into joining these terrorist organizations controlled by foreign fighters and expressed their apologies for the deaths of innocent civilians and the harm caused to their country. A few of these videos were submitted to the Tribunal as evidence.
6.5 The Report of the UN Human Rights appointed Commission confirms that some of the worst atrocities of ISIL have been directed against soldiers and government personnel in Syria. In the armed attacks by ISIL on the 17th District Headquarters at the Taquba Air Base in Raqqa city, ISIL murdered captured soldiers inside the base. It is reported by the UN Human Rights constituted Commission on the Syrian Arab Republic; those 200 soldiers were stripped and made to walk in the desert and later shot. The mutilated bodies of soldiers killed from Taquba Air Base were later displayed at Taquba and Raqqa. There are scores of incidents of capture and murder of Syrian soldiers though they are prisoners of war; and their torture and murder throughout Syria has been confirmed by ISIL posting videos showing the torture, killings and decapitation of the heads of soldiers and desecration of their bodies by ISIL and Al Nusra Front fighters. Civilian officials were similarly tortured and killed. In July 2014 ISIS captured the Shaan gas field in Eastern Homs killing 350 people. Among those killed were technicians and other staff working in the gas field at various sites, their family members and children. The body of a doctor killed in the attack was found in his medical clinic with his hands tied behind his back, the doctor had been shot at close range. Oil and gas fields were targeted in Iraq and Syria for capture by the ISIL to pillage these resources and transport them to syndicates established in Turkey including by family members of the ruling party of Turkey, who organized consortiums and companies, to sell stolen Iraqi and Syrian oil for dishonest gain, causing dishonest loss to the governments of Iraq and Syria, to pauperize them through seizure and dislocation of oil fields and their commercial operations. The convoy of oil trucks extending over several kilometers, heading towards Turkey, were seen on aerial photographs and by satellite imagery, immediately before bombing operations by the Russian air force of ISIL and Al Nusra Front camps and convoys, during press briefings held by the spokesmen of the government of the Russian Federation responding to the request of the Syrian government for assistance in rolling back these marauding mercenary armies. The seizure of Syrian oil and gas fields was aimed at capturing the natural resources of Northeast Syria, to economically weaken the government of Syria, to create disaffection and disorder and to paralyze the government. Enforced disappearance, kidnapping for ransom and hostage taking, have been the strategy of ISIL to control the areas of Syria under ISIL occupation in Allepo, Ar Raqqa, Al Hasake, Deir ez Zor governorates and at Homs, Ayn Al Arabi among other governorates. These attacks were not spontaneous, they were deliberate and pre-planned, based on strategy planned outside Syria, as though there were local youth recruited into these terrorist organizations from Syria, it is the foreign fighters who were the dominant elements and those in control of operations.
6.6 The dominant tribal communities of the Ar Raqqa, Deir ez- Zor and Al Hasake governorates posed a challenge to ISIL, and to keep these tribal communities pacified and controlled, extreme violence was resorted to by ISIL fighter. The Sunni Al – Shaitat tribe at Deir ez –Zor was massacred ISIL in a fierce struggle over oil resources. It is estimated that 900 fighting age male members were killed. In early 2014 in another major assault on the civilian population of Syria, ISIL besieged the predominantly Kurdish region, of Ayn al Arabi ( Kobane), cutting off of food and electricity supply. A multi faceted attack took place in Kobane, with heavy weapons, artillery tanks and thousands of fighters of ISIL; 400 villages were emptied of its residents and 200,000 people displaced from this region. Those female residents who had not escaped were raped and abducted. Some of the villagers too old and infirm to escape and those who stayed behind to protect property were executed by ISIL fighters, while others were taken to Ar Raqqa. Rehana, the Kurdish women fighter taken prisoner at Kobane by ISIL, was cruelly tortured and murdered. 400 children abducted by ISIS fighters and given military training, were deployed by ISIL in the attack on Kobane, 150 of these children were reportedly killed in this attack. The commission appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to inquire into ISIL crimes in Syria has reported that ISIL mass killings of civilians and captured soldiers were war crimes committed in Syria on a mass scale. Several cities, towns and villages in Syria have been destroyed with millions displaced, including from the city of Aleppo.
6.7 The Al Nusra Front known as the al Qaeda of Syria has been no less brutal than ISIS, earning substantial sums from hostage taking for ransom, with payments being made to this organization by the government of Qatar for the release of foreign hostages the mercenary fighters captured, widely criticized as an indirect funding operation. In 2014 fighters the Al Nusra Front kidnapped 300 Kurds in northern Syria, in the area between Idlib and Aleppo, releasing women and children and keeping the men. In the Golan Heights 43 soldiers of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) were also kidnapped from a region under Israeli occupation. The government of Qatar obliged the mercenaries, by paying a ransom of $ 24 million to ISIL to release these soldiers. The government of Italy paid 12 million Euros to the Al Nusra Front as ransom for two kidnapped Italian aid workers, this was immediately after alleged Islamist terrorists attacked and killed people in Paris in France, and the Belgian police killed allegedly two such terrorists during a raid in Verviers. ISIL and the Al Nusra Front, the al Qaeda of the region are offshoots of what at one time was one organization and have collaborated with each other, fought in internecine conflict, and thereafter separated into two organizations though collaborating in some regions. The Al Nusra Front has also from time to time posted videos of its atrocities. One such video showed the execution of 8 prisoners of ISIL in the city of Ohbur in the countryside east of Deir ez- Zor, who are seen being slaughtered with a knife and their decapitated heads after the killings placed on sticks. Irrespective of what names are given to these mercenary fighters in any part of the world, they are from the same pool of fighters maintained on informal rolls of the US led NATO governments and their regional allies, for waging wars in different regions.
6.8 The government of Saudi Arabia claims to have withdrawn support to ISIL in 2014; however it admittedly continues to support the Al Nusra Front and its offshoots, despite the fact that this organization has openly called for genocidal attacks and actually kills and kidnaps Alewites. At Idlib in North West Syria, 20 villagers which included the elderly and a child were killed by the Al Nusra Front. This organization has equally reduced women in territories occupied by its fighters into sex slaves for fighters, in particular women of the minority communities, raping them, as spoils of war. Trafficking in women is common among foreign fighters of the Al Nusra Front, apart from forced temporary marriages including with under age young girls by threatening families in areas under their control. Several massacres have been committed by the Al Nusra front in Syria and Lebanon. This organization has also used cars rigged with explosives in Syria and Lebanon to murder people in public squares in areas where the Shia community predominantly resides, among other areas, and in suicide bombings at Tripoli. On 11th July 2013 the Al Nusra Front mercenary fighters invaded the suburb of Adra killing 40 Alewite civilian,taking away their women as captives to Duma and detaining the remaining men in the neighborhood at Jobar. In October 2014, the Al Nusra Front committed a public massacre at Homs, killing 48 civilians including children, and injuring 115 people. The Al Nusra Front in public interviews have threatened the Alewites with genocide and killed and kidnapped members of this community and called for the conversion of the Druze among other minorities to Islam, and announced the religious necessity of imposing a religious or jiziya tax on Christians, apart from having shot and killed hundreds of Syrians including at Deir ez Zor where 63 civilians were executed.
- Chemical weapons and Sarin gas used by ISIL and the Al Nusra Front.
7.1 Shrill international propaganda was mounted in 2013 alleging that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons and Sarin gas. On careful investigation it was found that ISIS and the Al Nusra Front and its offshoots, had been supplied these noxious materials by regional allies of NATO waging this war on Syria with the knowledge of agencies of the United States and other NATO governments; yet these governments were falsely blaming the government of Syria and using it as the “ Red Line” to urge an even wider war and attack on Syria by US led NATO bombing sorties; a situation which was diffused by the government of the Russian Federation proposing that the government of Syria had agreed to destroy all its chemical weapons, which the Government of Syria proceeded to do. In fact the first complaint that the mercenary fighters of ISIS and Al Nusra Front and its offshoots and allies had used chemical weapons in and around the governorate of Khan al Asal, in a village near Aleppo, was made by the government of Syria, reporting to the United Nations on the same day, that is on 19th March 2013, that the government controlled areas of Khan al Asal was struck by a rocket containing nerve gas Sarin, and that one soldier and 19 civilians had died in the attack and 17 soldiers and 107 civilians were injured. Doctors at the local hospital confirmed this attack and stated that they had seen soldiers assisting the wounded and dealing with the fatalities. Thereafter two attacks using chemical weapons took place on al Ghouta, a densely populated suburb of Damascus in the early hours of 21st August 2013. Estimates of people killed were approximately 1,338. Forensic examination reports by a UN Commission disclosed that the chemical agent in the Khan al Assal attack and at al Ghouta was the same and that there was no evidence that the government of Syria had used Sarin gas.
7.2 Seymour Hersh, the eminent American journalist, in his book,’ The Red Line and the Rat Line’, confirms that American and British Intelligence Agencies were aware from the spring of 2013 that ISIS and the Al Nusra Front among other organizations were developing chemical weapons capabilities. The Portran Down Defense Laboratory of the UK in Wittshire examined a sample of the chemical weapons used in Syria and concluded that it did not match with the batches that existed in the Syrian Army’s arsenal. The fact finding mission of the United Nations report confirmed that the surface to surface rocket attacks contained the nerve agent Sarin, and that the mission did not find sufficient or credible evidence to support the allegation that the government of Syria had carried out the attack. Evidence has now emerged that these criminal organizations such as ISIL and the Al Nusra Front among others, which were launched to wage war on Syria were supplied Sarin gas and other ingredients to make chemical weapons by the governments in the region waging a criminal war on Syria. Seymour Hersh known for his access to special sources, has recorded that Intelligence Agencies of the United States, UK and other NATO powers had obtained intelligence that the government of Syria was not responsible for the use of Sarin gas and that in or about 20th June 2013, the analysts for the Defense Intelligence Agency issued a highly classified briefing for the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Deputy Director David Shedd, which stated that al Nusra maintained a Sarin production cell; its program , the DIA paper said was the ‘ most advanced Sarin plot since al Qaeda’s pre 9/11 efforts’. This paper drew its classified intelligence from numerous agencies. The report said that Turkey and Saudi based chemical facilitators were attempting to obtain Sarin precursors in bulk, likely tens of kilograms, for the anticipated large scale production in Syria.
7.3 More than 10 members of the al Nusra Front receiving financial and other assistance from the government of Qatar and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia among other governments involved in the conspiracy, were arrested by the local Turkish police from Southern Turkey. The police reported that these terrorists had two kilos of Sarin gas. This report was prior to the Sarin gas attack which took place and was wrongly blamed by a false global corporate media campaign on the Syrian government. In a 130 page indictment drawn up by Turkish prosecutors, this group and its leaders were charged with attempting to purchase fuses, piping for the construction of mortars and precursors for Sarin gas. The investigation by the Turkish Prosecutors exposed that one of the accused, Maythem Qassab, worked with Halit Unalkaya, an employee of the Turkish firm “Zirve Exports’ providing price quotas for bulk quantities of Sarin precursors.
7.4 A case of treason has been filed by the government of Turkey, against the journalists in Turkey who have reported the criminal activities of these organizations operating in Southern Turkey and across the Turkish- Syrian border and against members of the Turkish police force who intercepted these illegal acts. A case of ‘treason’ against the Turkish State and for ‘espionage’ has also been filed against those members of the Turkish border police for intercepting and exposing a large haul of sophisticated arms being supplied by several governments including the US and Turkey among others paid for by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the ISIL and Al Nusra Front, among other governments and terrorist organizations waging war against the government of Iraq and the government of President Assad. Inquiries by the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet exposed that Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization( MIT) was smuggling weapons in trucks into Syria, and these trucks were stopped by the Turkish police at the border and searched by the police who while seizing the trucks, took photos and videos of the arms haul. The trucks were carrying six steel containers with 1000 artillery shells, 50, 000 machine gun rounds, 30,000 heavy machine gun rounds and 1,000 mortar shells. The arms were intended for terrorist organizations waging war on the government of President Assad. The fact that the Turkish police have been charged for treason and espionage for intercepting this arms haul intended for these terrorist organizations confirms the truth of the supply of arms and is evidence of the complicity of these governments.
7.5 Veteran American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has also exposed that a “ Rat line” was established to fuel weapons and ammunition from Libya via Southern Turkey into Syria, which he corroborates relying on the highly classified annex to the Benghazi report, available only to the staff and eight members of the House Inquiry Committee, which refers to the agreement between the US President and the Turkish President. By t he terms of this agreement funding for the ‘Rat line “came from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey among some other members of the Gulf Co-operation Council, and the CIA with the support of the MI6 were entrusted with the task of getting arms from Qaddafi’s arsenal into Syria through Turkey, as the Turkish border was the only front from which large quantities of arms and heavy equipment could get across, with a number of Front Companies set up for this purpose.
8 Armed attacks on Lebanon against civilians, the Lebanese Army and the national resistance movement Hezbollah.
8.1 Evidence was submitted that Lebanon which was carved out by the Sykes-Picot pact from the region of Surya or Syria, has been used as one of the bridgeheads in the undeclared war on Syria to infiltrate terrorists of ISIS and the Al Nusra Front into the villages in the border areas of Lebanon with Syria and from there into the heart of Syria; to destabilize Lebanon and trigger a sectarian war in Lebanon to weaken the national resistance against Israel. Suicide and car bomb attacks have taken place reported in the local and International press and confirmed by the government, in a café in Tripoli, and a double suicide attack killing nine people and wounding 37 others in the Alawite neighborhood of Jabel Mohsin in Tripoli, sparking fears of sectarian violence in the largest city in Lebanon close to Syria. The Al Nusra Front, the Syrian branch of the al Qaeda claimed credit for the attack on its tweets on social media sites and did not deny their involvement. In the southern suburb of Beirut populated by Shiites, vehicles rigged with explosives were used for bomb attacks in public places on 9 th July 2013 and on 8th September 2013, at Haret Hreik, with 20 dead and 58 seriously injured in the murderous attack against civilians. On 19th November 2013 a bomb attack took place at Bir Hassan in front of the Iranian embassy with 23 dead and 180 wounded. All these massacres of innocent civilians were committed by the al Nusra Front. From the border areas of Lebanon and Syria, these terrorist organizations of the ISIS and the Al Nusra Front have admittedly infiltrated and attacked border villages and the regions on the Lebanese side, and infiltrated into Syria, kidnapping and killing a Lebanese soldier, fiercely attacking Hezbollah, the national resistance movement of Lebanon opposing these terrorist organizations and their infiltration into Lebanon using Lebanese territory for the attack on Syria. In view of the extensive infiltration of ISIS and Al Nusra Front fighters into Lebanon, and then into Syria, the security of Lebanon and Syria have become interdependent; consequently the Hezbollah has extended assistance to the government of Syria, on the request of the Syrian government. Similarly the Russian Federation and the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran have also been requested by the government of Syria for assistance, as Syria is facing not one army, but the armed mercenary’s armies of several governments of NATO and its regional allies. Murderous attacks by ISIL and the Al Nusra Front on Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria, on the soldiers and airmen of the Federation of the Russian Republic and on the armed forces of Iran, including torturing and killing of the soldiers and airmen of these countries when captured as prisoners; are equally war crimes, as these countries have officially extended assistance at the request of a government which is legitimate; whereas ISIL and the Al Nusra front are infiltrators and terrorists, and cannot be recognized as soldiers in International Law, even though there is a duty cast on them under Article 3 which is common to the Geneva Conventions 1949.
- Journalists and Aid Workers kidnapped and killed by ISIL and the AL Nusra Front.
9.1 The murder and torture of scores of journalists by ISIL and the AL Nusra Front have been condoned and acquiesced in by the governments of the United Stated, UK and France leading the NATO coalition in the region, and by their regional allies,t he Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the governments of Israel, Turkey, Qatar, and some of the emirates for inexplicable reasons, though the decapitations and murders of journalists and aid workers were brutal and widely publicized. On 19th August 2014 James Foley an American journalist was executed (murdered) by ISIS/ISIL/ Daesh; on September 2nd 2014 another American journalist Steven Satloff was executed (murdered by the same organization; on September 13 2014 British Aid worker David Hitz was also executed (murdered) by ISIL; On September 24, 2014 the Soldiers of the Caliphate executed (murdered) French hostage, Herve Gourdel. On October 3, 2014 ISIL executed (murdered) British Aid worker Alan Henning; on November 16, 2014 the ISIS executed (murdered) Peter Kassig a US Aid worker who had allegedly converted to Islam. On January 8, the Libyan Branch of the Islamic State executed (murdered) the Tunisian journalists, Shaaban Shawarby and Nazir Kathiri; on January 24 the ISIL executed (murdered) the Japanese hostage Haruna Yukawa and on January 31 the investigations of some Japanese networks revealed that ISIL executed the Japanese journalist Keniji Goto. The executions of these journalists have been acknowledged and accepted by ISIL in videos posted on websites. There was no outcry from international and national organizations of journalists against these killings or from Aid agencies and organizations. It is suspicious that none of the governments of the murdered journalists and hostages had any strategic plan to move against or destroy ISIS and the Al Nusra Front and its offshoots and allies when these executions which were murders of civilians and journalists protected by the laws of war took place even in the first phase of ISIS and Al Nusra Front operations.
- Looting of oil fields and factories and machine plants, and destruction and of world heritage and archeological sites.
10.1 The extensive nature of what is a major global criminalized enterprise supported by several governments, was publicly exposed to the International community by President Vladimir Putin while addressing the Valdai Conference at Sochi, on 24th October 2014. In the presence of representatives, journalists and the strategic experts of various countries present at the conference, President Putin highlighted that these were dangerous mercenary fighters creating serious instability and chaos in the region, moving from one group to another depending on which organization was willing to pay a higher price. Russian Intelligence even knew the price being paid to each hired fighter. Thereafter the intelligence that the government of Russia had obtained on the financing of these fighters was presented by the Russian President attending a conference of the G 20 in Turkey, in full view of heads of states and the international press at Istanbul, on 16th November 2016; exposing that 40 governments despite the Resolutions of the Security Council against the financing of terrorist operations were doing so, and that the government of the Russian Federation had the entire list. The motorcade and convoy of trucks extending over dozens of kilometers and used by mercenary fighters collaborating with companies in Turkey among other places, for the sale of oil stolen from Iraq and Syria, and the routes followed, were revealed in detailed briefings by the spokesman for the Russian forces with satellite images and aerial photographs exposing the extensive nature of the pillaging and looting operations, bombed by the Russian air force on the request of the government of Syria. Significantly the illegal US bombing raids into Syria without permission from the government of Syria did not destroy or disrupt any of these looting operations from Syria and Iraq. The United States of America’s bombing sorties destroyed infrastructure, including electricity plants and installations in Aleppo, taking a heavy toll of civilian lives including of women and children. After Aleppo was occupied by terrorists, it was reported by the government of Syria and journalists that hundred factories and machinery were being pillaged from Aleppo after its capture by ISIL and from other Syrian towns and cities nearer the Turkish border, and being sold in Turkey. In this context it is necessary to refer to three important trials of leading German industrialists at Nuremberg, known as the other Nuremberg trials of CEOs, Directors and managers of the Krupps Industry, the Chemical Company I.G Farben and the Flick trial, before the United States military court at Nuremberg; the defendants who were prominent German Industrialists were charged with involvement in the conspiracy to wage wars of aggression, membership of criminal organizations such as the SS and the ‘ Friends of Himmler’, for contributing substantial and regular sums to these criminal organizations; for the pillaging of factories and machinery from occupied countries and the economic spoliation of countries occupied by Nazi Germany; and the use, torture and killing of slave labor. Whereas some defendants were indicted in these significant trials, those defendants against whom there was no evidence were acquitted.
10.2 That ISIS/ISIL/Daesh and the Al Nusra Front and its offshoots were systematically trained, indoctrinated and deliberately criminalized, by special forces of all the governments involved in this criminal conspiracy against several countries is reflected in the extensive looting, pillaging and destructive operations of these mercenaries acting as a group, including the looting of oil fields, homes and factories and the looting and destruction of ancient historic sites such as Nimrud and Harat in Iraq and Palmyra in Syria among other sites; to destroy memories of earlier civilizations which flourished; to change the historical narrative and resurrect the myth of a region dominated exclusively by the distorted ideology of ‘Salafism’ and ‘Wahhabism’, in a region which has seen flourishing civilizations, and diverse religious beliefs and cultures, with rare archeological sites which have existed from time immemorial, protected even after the advent of Islam, which are ‘world heritage’ and national heritages sites of the people of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Several religions were inspired by the theological, spiritual, philosophical and cultural dialogues and discourses of the cities of Iraq and Syria.
10.3 In the attack and occupation of Palmyra an oasis city on the ancient Silk route, a caravan stop, which once linked the Roman Empire with Iran, India and China, an ancient city with some of the best preserved archeological sites, an extraordinary fusion of Classical, Iranian and ancient Arab influences, ISIS murdered Khaled al Assad, an 82 old Armaic scholar ( the lingua franca of the area before Arabic and language of Christ). A university Professor and former General Manager for antiquities and museums at Palmyra, Khaled al Assad had worked for 50 years as keeper of this ancient city and head of the antiquities department of Palmyra, refusing to be evacuated from Palmyra, informing concerned persons from Damascus when he was warned that an attack on Palmyra was imminent that “ my conscience does not permit me to leave Palmyra.’ One of the reasons for his brutal torture and murder was that Khaled al Assad refused to reveal the whereabouts of valuable objects of antiquity which had been hidden to prevent them from being looted and sold by these criminal mercenary gangs. Khaled al Assad‘s head was publicly decapitated and his body suspended from a traffic light in Palmyra, with his decapitated head placed between his legs. The Deputy Director of the DGAM laboratories at Palmyra Qassam Abdulaha Yehye was also brutally murdered at Palmyra. The murder of these men, who had dedicated their lives to world civilization, archeology and culture, and were not men of war, will be forever remembered along with the memories of other victims, when it is recalled what was sought to be done to the region, by the best and brightest of the Western world and their regional allies, cloaking their dark deeds in the name of religion, masquerading as governments, in fact operating as a criminal enterprise for the world, while claiming to be at the forefront of economic, industrial and scientific progress; taking their oath on holy scriptures of different religions, yet destroying human lives in country after country. These dark deeds will awaken humanity, to rebel and roll back of some of the most criminal forces that the world has ever seen operating across international frontiers, killing, looting and pillaging everywhere what is most precious to humanity, a reflection on the political and economic systems of our times.
10.4 Palmyra was not the only archeological site attacked by ISIS /ISIL/ Daesh. In the region; ISIL targeted ancient archeological sites near its stronghold at Mosul; ransacking museums and ruins of once renowned cities such as Nimrud and Hatra; desecrating Christian churches and Shiite and Sunni mosques, shrines and mausoleums. Nimrud an Ancient Assyrian city in the Nineva plains of what was former Mesopotamia, estimated to be founded somewhere between 1250 BC and 610 BC, located on the Tigris river, 30 kilometers south east of Mosul, was stormed by ISIL, whose fighters looted all movable cultural property, and thereafter destroying the site with bulldozers in an attempt to wipe out history and culture. A video was posted of the destruction of the old city of Hatra also called Al Haidar in Iraq, by ISIL. UNESCO and ISESCO issued a joint statement on the extensive destruction of Hatra saying that: “this latest act of barbarism against Hatra shows the contempt in which it holds the history and heritage of the Arab people”. The statement applies equally to the governments which launched the operations of ISIL and the Al Nusra Front.In self acknowledged propaganda of its barbarism, ISIS posted a video showing the destruction of the statues and arts work at the museum at Mosul; the winged bull with five legs is seen falling to the ground, the statutes from the Hellenistic period are thrown to the ground and broken by fighters; the inscriptions and the collection of sculptures dating back to the seventh century BC destroyed by using a jackhammer. Several holy sites revered by Iraqis at Mosul were destroyed, including the mosque of Prophet Jonah.The Mosul library was vandalized and ransacked, thousands of books looted and burnt. At Palmyra in Syria, ISIS destroyed the Temple of Baal Shamin built in the first Century AD, a house of worship dedicated to the Phoenician god of storms and sky, major deity worshipped during the time of the famous Queen of Palmyra, Zenobia. The columns of this temple carried Greek and Palmyrian inscriptions. several statues and the Athens Lion, a unique piece from the first century AD were broken into smithereens. At Maloula in Syria, early Christian churches constructed in caves and in the nearby centers of early Christian settlements, which are world heritage and national heritage sites were vandalized by mercenary fighters of the Al Nusra Front, extensively looted, after which altars were burnt and rare icons from the churches and chapels, each worth a million or more have been plundered along with the altar artifacts.
10.5 Irina Bokova, the UNESCO Chief in a reaction to the destruction and vandalism said:
“This destruction is a new war crime and immense loss for the Syrian people and for humanity. Daesh is killing people and destroying sites, but it cannot silence history and will ultimately fail to erase the great culture from the memory of the world.”
10.6 According to a survey by the BBC, ISIL is charging a fee amounting to 20% or one –fifth of the sales of objects trafficked in by smugglers, for the antique pieces permitted to be taken away from territories controlled by ISIL, transported for sale to markets in Turkey and Europe. Some of these pieces are estimated to have fetched approximately a million dollars. Given the scale of extensive looting, UNESCO and the International Council of Museums created red lists of items such as Cuneiform tablets in order to counter trafficking. A spokesperson of these institutions Annie Sartre-Fauriat disclosed that “we are fighting as much as we can, but the old Syrian heritage, which dates back to the third millennium BC, is quickly disappearing, as a consequence of the looting and the ideological war. The West should be aware of that, but I believe that there is a deliberate intention not to do anything.” The destruction of archeological sites and pillaging of treasures of antiquity of countries occupied is the same strategy which was used by the Nazi and fascist powers of Europe pillaging valuable art and cultural objects from occupied countries. The conclusion is inescapable that the policies of the leading NATO powers and their regional allies are fascistic; there is also envy of this region; its ancient cities and historical past, with cities like Damascus and Aleppo continuously inhabited for seven and five thousands of years respectively, a daily reminder of the superiority of these cultures and civilizations; repositories of rare knowledge, culture and philosophy, with no equivalent in the countries waging these wars of occupation.
10.7 Other sites which constitute the cultural and religious property of Iraq and Syria were also looted and destroyed, including historic and architecturally unique buildings and sites in Aleppo. Nothing was spared in Aleppo, a city which once rivaled Damascus, not the world famous old market of Aleppo, the ancient synagogues, churches and mosques of the Shiites and those Sunni mosques seen as opposed to Salafism and Wahhabism. Nothing was spared, not even the mausoleums and shrines of the saints and the saintly, revered for centuries. The 22 year old son of the Grand Mufti of Syria, Sheikh Dr. Ahmed Baddruddin Hassoun ( of the Sunni religious congregation ) was brutally ambushed and assassinated by ISIS on a road between Idlib and Aleppo, as the Grand Mufti was seen as a religious head standing by his country and people irrespective of religious denomination, as the Grand Mufti regards himself as the religious mentor of all the Syrian people of whatever faith and those who do not believe. Addressing the European Parliament on January 15, 2008 on the subject of intercultural dialogue, the Grand Mufti declared: “there is no holy war, because war can never be holy, it is peace which is holy’. The assassins later admitted: “We got a direct order from Saudi Arabia and from Turkey to attack Grand Mufti himself, or one of his family or his son, and they paid us individually $ 1000 for it.” The Grand Mufti forgave the assassins of his son. These are the spiritual traditions of religious heads of Syria whether Shiite or Sunni, whether Catholic, Chaldo Syrian or Greek Orthodox, or Syrian Christian or Armenian, whether Alawite, Kurdish, Druze or Armenian among others; a precious mosaic of world civilization, which the ‘unholy warriors’ sought to destroy, with little understanding that the spiritual path to Mecca became possible, because of Damascus and the cities of Iraq, and the theological and spiritual discourses of both Syria and Iraq.
10.8 In an attempt to wipe out the religious practices and culture of the region, the ISIL and the Al Nusra Front, the al Qaeda for Syria, destroyed the mausoleum of revered saints of the region, to whom the people of Syria pay homage. The tomb of Imam al– Nawawi dating back to the 13th Century located in the City of Nawa, in the countryside of Daraa, in Southern Syria, near the Jordan border, was blown up. The tomb of Hujr ibn Adi, ‘Benaddi’, the companion of the Prophet of Islam in rural Damascus, was also blown up with explosives. Historic shrines in Bayada, one of the oldest archeological sites in ancient Aleppo, including the tomb of Sheikh Mohammed al Atat were dug up along with other tombs. The tomb of Sheikh Abdullah Sirajuddin al Husseini, the famous mystic scholar inside the historical school of “Al Shabaniah” from the Ottoman era was blown up and the tomb of Sheikh Mohammed Nabhan and his family and a number of tombs of the saintly, in the ‘ Masjid As- Salihin, the ‘mosque of the righteous’. A number of tombs in this mosque dating back to the 14th Century and an earlier period were destroyed, including a famous rock associated with the ancient Prophet Abraham. The revered tombs of Alladdin Abu Bakr al Kashani Al Hanafi and his wife Fatimah, the daughter of Sheikh Alladin Al Samarqand were also not spared.
10.9 The objective of this destruction and looting was to replace the narrative of the rich and diverse civilization of Syria and its diverse faiths. The Grand Mufti of Syria in an interview has stressed that there are 25 different sects and communities with different cultures and religious practices in Syria, who regard themselves as first and foremost Syrians, and that Syria is a secular State, with no favored religions or sects. There is till date a small Jewish community which resides in Syria. This was to be replaced with the artificial construct of the ‘Salafist’ and ‘Wahhabi’ narrative for the conquest and subjugation of the region, to secure the religious and cultural desertification of Syria, its fragmentation and division for oil and gas pipelines and in the image of those countries where shopping malls and hotels have replaced valuable historical and archeological monuments, with ancient mausoleums, mosques, churches, synagogues and public squares bulldozed to assist in the commercialization of culture all over the world, as an offering to the deity of ‘ fiat currencies’.
- United Nations Security Council Resolutions on terrorism
11.1 The covert conspiracy to use terrorism to wage covert wars to fragment countries and regions and for regime change, to destabilize governments with false flag attacks and to install proxy governments; or by governments within their countries as a diversion from financial collapse and for a policy of divide and rule among other objectives, is not an overnight construct; this has been plotted, planned and put into operation in different strategies in different regions of the world by those controlling ‘ Deep State” and global financial operations. The use of this strategy now is widespread globally, from the United States, to Europe, to Asia and to Africa; from the Middle East, to South Asia, to South East Asia; from Chechnya to Xingjian, to Kashmir, where fractures created by grievances against local and regional administrations, were utilized to recruit local and foreign mercenaries for terrorist acts to fragment these countries in a covert conspiracy ; terrorist strategies have also been used by Israelis against the Palestinians, and by many other states and governments against their own people. The conclusion is inescapable that for the success of this strategy, Intelligence agencies of more than one country have collaborated in planning and executing operations, as in the case of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
11.2 Not a single one of the numerous Security Council Resolutions passed 1267(1999), 1373(2001), 1618(2005), 1624(2005), 2083(2012), 2129(2013), 2133(2014), 2161(2014),2170(2014),2199(2015) and 2249( 2015) among others, declaring that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security; paying lip service to the unity and integrity of the states of Iraq and Syria; declaring that States shall prevent and suppress the financing of terrorist attacks and refrain from providing any support, active or passive to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts; have been enforced or implemented against leading States of NATO powers and their non NATO regional allies who recruited fighters from several countries and set up, ISIL/ISIS. Daesh and the Al Nusra Front among other such organizations with a view to attack, occupy and effect regime change or destabilize in countries in Asia, Africa or Eurasia, or against those governments terrorizing their citizens through false flag operations as presently seen in Europe. In fact Security Council Resolution 2249 ( 2015) permitting governments to take “all necessary measures”, has scope for immense misuse by the very governments involved in international armed conflict in Iraq and Syria, who may use this resolution against their own citizens, under the pretext of moving against the very terrorism they are backing and controlling. In this context it is significant that the United States, UK and France among other NATO powers have unilaterally, without being requested by the government of Syria, positioned troops in Syria and launched bombing operations not on ISIS or the Al Nusra Front, but on the infrastructure of Syria, including electricity power plants. Civilians have been killed as a consequence of the bombing sorties, and women and children.
11.3 The Security Council and/ or US led NATO governments have imposed sanctions on Cuba, Iraq, Iran, on North Korea, on Russia, among other countries, but on none of the governments actually recruiting, training, financing, arming and deploying the mercenary pool of terrorist fighters across the world in violation of Resolutions of the Security Council, wherever countries have to be overrun, re-colonized, destabilized or for regime change to install proxy governments, or when governments have used terrorism in their own countries as a divide and rule policy, to divert attention from their political and economic policies.
In accordance with the Nuremberg Charter heads of states, leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices participants in the common plan or conspiracy to commit any of the Crimes against Peace which include planning, preparing, initiating a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaty, or the participation in a common plan or conspiracy to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity are liable along with those executing the war plans.
The Tribunal having considered the entire evidence in respect of all charges presented by the Prosecutor General and Counsel for the people of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon and the submissions of Amicus Curiae appointed by the Tribunal for and on behalf of the accused Nos. 3 and 4, who though notified, did not appear directly or through Advocate/Counsel, is satisfied beyond all doubt that accused No.1 the Islamic State for Iraq and the Levant, its leaders and mercenary fighters and offshoots; Accused No.2, the Al Nusra Front and its leaders and fighters and all allied organizations; Accused No.3 Salman bin Abdul Aziz, King of Saudi Arabia; and Accused No.4, Mohammed bin Nayef, the Minister for Defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, participated in a common plan and conspiracy with the governments of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, France and other governments of the NATO pact and allied regional governments, including Turkey, Israel, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait; in planning, preparing and participating in the wars of aggression waged against Iraq, Syria and Lebanon and committing pre –meditated war crimes and crimes against humanity against the people and soldiers of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, and against members of the national resistance movement of Lebanon, Hezbollah, resisting the aggression in the region and on airmen and soldiers of the governments of Russia and Iran responding to the request for assistance from the legitimate government of Syria, under siege by the mercenary forces of more than one government, as per the charge;
Accused Nos.3 and 4 are also guilty of violating the International Convention for the Suppression of Financing of Terrorism of 1999 and of having violated the Resolution of the General Assembly on the Declaration of Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism and the Resolutions of the Security Council against aiding, abetting and financing of terrorism, as charged;
Accused Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 conspiring with other governments waging war on the region, are guilty of planning and committing genocide of the Yezidi and Christian communities, and in furtherance of this conspiracy created conditions of life for these communities deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction ,and by their genocidal acts imposed a forced exodus of these communities from the cities, towns and villages of Iraq and Syria from regions in which these communities resided, from time immemorial; accused Nos. 3 and 4 are complicit in these crimes as charged;
Accused Nos. 1 and 2 acting in conspiracy with Accused Nos. 3 and 4 and aided and abetted by them, enslaved and trafficked in women and children, raping and abusing them as sex slaves and selling them to foreign fighters and other mercenaries and in slave markets in Iraq and Syria; in violation of the 1956 supplementary International Convention Prohibiting Slavery in any form read with the 1926 Convention Prohibiting Slavery; Accused Nos. 3 and 4 are complicit in these crimes as charged;
Accused Nos. 1 and 2 in conspiracy with Accused Nos. 3 and 4 tortured civilians; men, women and children, soldiers and government personnel of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, in violation of the specific provisions of the 1984 International Convention on Torture and other Cruel and Degrading Treatment; Accused Nos. 3 and 4 are complicit in these crimes as charged;
Accused Nos. 1 and 2 in conspiracy with Accused Nos. 3 and 4 are guilty of taking hostages in violation of the International Convention against Taking of Hostages 1979 ( wef from 1983) and have bombed civilians, men, women and children,armed forces personnel and civilian officials in violation of the International Convention for the suppression of Terrorist Bombing, 1998; Accused Nos. 2 and 4 are complicit in these crimes as charged;
Accused Nos. 1 and 2 in conspiracy with Accused Nos. 3 and 4 and other concerned governments, are guilty of looting oil fields and refineries, factories and machinery and antiquities and the cultural property of the people of Iraq and Syria for sale to companies and individuals in Turkey and Europe; crimes against humanity, violating the Hague Convention of 1907,Geneva Conventions 1949 and additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Hague Convention for the protection of Cultural Property During Armed Conflicts,1954 and its Protocols of 1954 and 1999 and customary International Law. Accused Nos. 3 and 4 are complicit in the crimes as charged;
In awarding sentence the Tribunal is of the opinion that there are no mitigating circumstances to award a lesser sentence to Accused Nos.1, 2, 3 and 4; taking into consideration the brutal terrorist wars being waged by governments and heads of states acting in conspiracy in the Arab world and in other parts of Africa and Asia using mercenary fighters; including the war in Libya in which the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has also been involved and the war in Yemen among other such overt and covert wars being waged in the Arab homelands; a deterrent sentence therefore is called for as people and countries are sought to be ripped apart and destroyed; the Tribunal in the facts and circumstances of this case which has affected the lives of millions in the Arab world, pronounces, that Accused Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 shall receive the sentence which would have been imposed in similar cases in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia within whose jurisdiction( among other regions ) the conspiracy for waging a war of aggression was plotted and planned and the strategy and tactics of this terrorist war; this sentence will be in keeping with the sentiments of Accused Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 in respect of the legal and justice system of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The Tribunal requests the United Nations General Assembly to proceed to adopt procedures for the expulsion the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other governments involved in this conspiracy from the United Nations and all its bodies and agencies, until the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and these governments are ready to submit a solemn undertaking that reparations and compensation will be paid the governments of Iraq, Syria and Libya with quantum to be determined by an independent body of experts on the broad lines of the compensation paid by the government of Iraq for the destruction caused in the first Gulf War; and a written undertaking is given to the United Nations General Assembly by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other governments involved in this conspiracy that they will not wage wars of aggression, overt or covert on member states of the United Nations. These countries may not be permitted to become members of the United Nations till the payment of reparations is complete and they have atoned for their crimes to the people of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
13.1 The Tribunal has already observed that the Security Council Resolutions on terrorism were supported by US, UK and France among other NATO powers and its regional allies, to camouflage their ‘grand design’ of using terrorism to revive an old Imperial strategy for the monopoly control of resources of Asia, Eurasia and Africa, to perpetuate the petrodollar and to divide their own societies using ‘terrorism’ for false flag operations; the final test of whether these Security Resolutions were bona fide, would be if the Security Council were to proceed to take immediate steps by every means against the heads of state and other leaders and ‘ Deep State’ covert agencies and their members, who have planned and conspired to wage a war of terror on Iraq, Syria and Lebanon and Yemen and on other countries and regions pursuing these organizations including their new avatars and offshoots.
13.2 The Nuremberg trials were path breaking in jurisprudence and for the decision that the crime of waging a war of aggression was the ‘Supreme International crime differing from other crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulation of the whole’; yet several decades later, many countries find themselves facing absolute insecurity in many regions targeted for destabilization, occupation or regime change, as a direct consequence of a ‘unipolar’ world order sought to be imposed on the world from in or around 1990, operating by diktat across continents, on the capitulation of alternative political systems. The protection extended in the post Second World period by the security system established under the framework of the United Nations and the military-strategic balance in the world has collapsed, with smaller nations among its worst victims; every country not in the aggressive NATO military alliance or in its regional alliances is now equally threatened. Whereas the foremost political analysts and leaders of the 20th Century believed, that it is Imperialist financial, economic and political systems which are responsible for colonization and the fierce wars of aggression of the 20th Century and that these systems were required to be overturned; in the interregnum people and nations targeted, urgently need security and financial alternatives. The harsh reality is that in Afghanistan and Libya it is the United Nations Security Council which assisted in the installation of proxy governments under ‘ UN plans’; and the Security Council was responsible for the ‘ No Fly Zone’ imposed on Libya; similarly the people of Iraq faced unjust Security Council imposed sanctions for more than a decade and UN troops in Haiti were not seen as friendly assistance troops maintaining the peace, but as instruments of perpetuating corrupt and arbitrary rule. The immediate priority is to re-establish a strategic and military balance and a system of ‘checks and balance “ in the world, to oppose and resist the Axis for war and its financial hegemony, by counterpoising an alternative broad alliance in every region and continent of those nations supporting peace, fair and just terms for trade and development, seeking to retain their political, social and cultural diversity.
13.3 Unless citizens dismantle their own ‘Corporate’ States, described as ‘Fascist’, by those who implemented fascist systems in Europe, targeting militarily economically vulnerable peoples and nations for elimination; to prey on their resources and economic space; it will be difficult for the world to evolve a more democratic international order securing peace for production, trade, development and just distribution of resources; we are regressing into primitive and criminalized conditions of life in many parts of the world, with barbaric political, economic and social systems, anarchy, widespread criminality, and ‘structured’ chaos in many different regions; conditions which people in Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, Haiti, Congo, the Afpak region and Syria among other countries have already faced; and Venezuela, among those countries on whom economic warfare has been declared, through price fixing of commodities on which they are dependent and arbitrary sanctions imposed, among other measures to destroy the economies of countries targeted.
13.4 The continuance of political systems based on the rule of law, require strict regulation of Banks, Companies and Corporations, including Arms Corporations, politically, economically and environmentally. As financial institutions and Corporations become monopolies they assume political power, destroying democratic processes and institutions, and wage wars for the capture of resources and regions. Developments in the world since the Charter of incorporation was given to the East India Company for monopoly trade cannot be forgotten, nor the reasons for the colonial wars and the First and Second World War. This is the single most important issue facing every political system. To retain the corporation’s ability to pool financial resources for investment and production; while eliminating the capacity of these private financial institutions to monopolize, dominate and control financial and political systems and the distribution of resources within and across nations.
13.5 Governments waging wars, conventional or through terrorist organizations, destroying the infrastructure of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, resulting in forced the displacement of millions of people, are liable to pay reparations under the concept of State responsibility. Several legal precedents exist in support of payment reparations, including the payment of reparations imposed on the Axis powers in the Second World War and earlier by the Treaty of Versailles; though the Tribunal does not recommend extreme financial and other impositions as imposed by the Treaty of Versailles, influenced by the Bankers of Europe and North America funding the First World War, which led them to wage another war for recovery. An immediate strategy which can be adopted while pursuing the issue of payment of reparations and which should have been the approach of Vietnam denied reparations for the use of Agent Orange; is to include directly or indirectly in every contract signed with a Company or Agency or individual of the belligerent powers waging these wars of aggression; a clause specifying contribution to be paid towards reconstruction of the war ravaged country, as a percentage of the total financial value of the contract or agreement to be deposited in a special account/fund for‘ Reconstruction’ of war ravaged regions. This can be done by governments of the war torn regions now and in the future; other governments who have assisted these countries and opposed this criminal aggression on the ground and provided material and financial assistance; may also stipulate that corporations, agencies or individuals of the belligerent powers, seeking contracts in their countries, be willing to contribute to the war ravaged countries destroyed by policies of their belligerent governments, a specific sum for the rehabilitation of the infrastructure of the countries destroyed and similarly credited into a fund/account for “ Reconstruction’.
13.6 Peoples and governments opposing war as policy, need to immediately enforce in their economic system overtly or by implication, measures by which corporations, agencies and individuals of belligerent governments involved in conspiracies to wage wars of covert or overt aggression, are not awarded contracts and do not benefit in any way from trade, development activities or from armament contracts; to send out the message that peace will yield better dividends than war. It is a matter of utmost priority to expose and isolate corporations, including armament corporations, agencies and individuals involved in planning wars of aggression or providing any kind of training and logistic support in such wars. Details of such Corporations, including armament companies, agencies and individuals involved in conspiracies to wage wars of aggression must be circulated and these entities and individuals held accountable. Citizens and journalists have a vital role to play in maintaining these records on permanent websites.
14. Judge Mohamed Baccar and Judge Ratiba Miladi dictated the operative order on 20th May 2016, reserving detailed judgment. This judgment gives my reasons for the conviction and sentence.
15.The Tribunal places on record the assistance of the Prosecutor General, Defense Counsels and Amicus Curiae and the assistance of the interpreters.
16. The judgment is directed to be forwarded by the Secretariat to concerned organizations, to the Secretary General of the United Nations, the Secretary General of the Arab League and the Secretariat of the OIC, for their record and action.
Niloufer Bhagwat J.