Syria executes 24 people charged with lighting wildfires that devastated the country last year
On Thursday of last week, the Syrian Ministry of Justice confirmed that it had executed 24 individuals convicted of terrorism charges for lighting fires that would devastate the country. The fires killed three others and destroyed thousands of acres of forests, according to the ministry. The individuals confessed to setting fire to several locations in the three governorates and were arrested last year. Eleven others involved in the wildfires were served sentences including hard labor and temporary hard labor. Five minors were also allegedly given jail sentences for their involvement, ranging from 10 to 12 years.
The fires affected 280 towns and damaged more than 370 homes. Damage was also caused to livestock, agricultural equipment, and infrastructure, according to the Ministry of Justice. Last year, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad made a rare visit to areas hit by the wildfires after his hometown in the Latakia province was deeply affected by the blaze. Capital punishment is permissible in Syria in the case of crimes such as treason, espionage, murder, and arson.