The Syrian government claims it executed 24 people convicted of deliberately setting deadly fires last year.
Eleven others were sentenced to life imprisonment and five minors were sentenced to prison terms of between 10 and 12 years, according to a statement by the justice ministry.
He described them as criminals who had committed “terrorist acts”.
They allegedly admitted to setting fires in the mountainous coastal regions of the war-torn country in September and October 2020 that killed three people.
Human rights groups believe that thousands of people have been executed by the government of President Bashar al-Assad since the start of the civil war in 2011.
United Nations war crimes investigators said in a recent report that they were informed by witnesses of the killing of detainees without trial or following unfair trials by anti-terrorism or military courts on the ground.
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When the fires broke out last year, they were attributed to an unusual heat wave for the time of year, as well as hot easterly winds and dry vegetation on the ground.
Local authorities documented a total of 187 forest fires around the provinces of Latakia, Tartous, Homs and Hama affecting 280 towns and villages, the Justice Ministry said. They devastated 13,000 hectares (32,000 acres) of agricultural land and 11,000 hectares of woodland, he added.
Fires in the Eastern Mediterranean region have become a recurring annual event due to climate change, which increases the risk of a hot, dry climate that could fuel them.
The world has already warmed about 1.2 ° C since the start of the industrial age, and temperatures will continue to rise unless governments around the world drastically cut emissions.
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- Forest fires
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