Germany arrests Syrian on war crimes charges

Man accused of murdering seven civilians with rocket-propelled grenade

Issa al-Loubani, a 48-year-old Palestinian refugee, walks with his wife and daughter in a street in the Palestinian Yarmuk camp, on the southern outskirts of the Syrian capital Damascus, on November 25, 2020. When Syrian authorities said they would allow returns to the war-ravaged Yarmuk camp for Palestinian refugees in southern Damascus, Issa al-Loubani rushed to sign up and quickly started repairing his home. Loubani, who first left in 2012, is determined to join their ranks even if the windows of his wrecked apartment are still covered with plastic sheeting. / AFP / LOUAI BESHARA

Germany has arrested a Syrian man on war crime and murder charges after he allegedly attacked civilians collecting aid in the Yarmouk district of Damascus in March 2014.

The man, named as Moufak Al D, is accused of firing a rocket-propelled grenade into the crowd in an attack that killed at least seven people. At least another three were injured, some seriously, including a 6-year-old child.

At the time, he was a member of the pro-Syrian government Free Palestine Movement, German authorities alleged. They said he previously was part of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Palestine General Command.

The two groups exerted control over the Yarmouk camp, home to many Palestinian refugees, on behalf of the Syrian government between July 2013 and April 2015.

Vital aid including water and food was in short supply at that time.

German federal prosecutors said Moufak Al D was arrested at his Berlin apartment and will be brought before a judge on Wednesday morning.

ISIS took control of much of the Yarmouk area in April 2015.

It was only three years later that the group was pushed out of the camp by a Syrian government siege, backed by its Russian allies.

Updated: August 4th 2021, 9:12 AM