France issues arrest warrant for Bashar al-Assad over war crimes

France has issued an international arrest warrant for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, alleging the use of illegal chemical weapons against civilians. 

This is the first international arrest warrant being issued for the Syrian president, who has been accused of responding to the 2011 protests with a brutal crackdown that, according to UN experts, constitutes war crimes.

Arrest warrants have also been issued for Maher al-Assad, president’s brother and commander of the 4th Armored Division, along with two Syrian army generals, Ghassan Abbas and Bassam al Hassan.

While it’s unlikely that Assad will stand trial in France, the issuance of international arrest warrants against a currently serving leader is rare, and sends a message at a time when he is being welcomed back into diplomatic circles by some nations.

While Syria denies the use of chemical weapons, a previous joint investigation by the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons found that the Syrian government used the nerve agent sarin in an attack in April 2017 and has used chlorine as a weapon on multiple occasions.

The question here is: Why aren’t similar warrants issued against Israel, for committing numerous war crimes, recorded by international organizations, against the Palestinian civilians?

It is worth noting that Israel has used weapons classified as weapons of mass destruction and prohibited for use internationally, such as white phosphorus, the use of which has been proven with evidence.

Why does the international community often overlook Israel’s actions?

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