A Franco-Syrian pursued in France for “complicity of crimes”

The indicting Salah Habib is the first in France in a survey of suspicions of support for the Syrian army and its chemical weapons program.


His arrest and incarceration in France, at the end of December, had gone relatively unnoticed, having not been communicated by the prosecution. But, according to a source close to the file, it is Salah Habib, a Franco-Syrian 59 years old. The case, she, is unpublished.

The man was indicted for “Agreement to commit crimes against humanity, complicity of crimes against humanity and complicity of war crimes”, and then placed in remand. He is criticized for providing material to the Syrian army, including components that can be used for the manufacture of chemical weapons. This is the first time that a commissioning comes in a survey in France on suspicions of support for the Syrian army and the Center for Scientific Studies and Research, the project manager of the Syrian clandestine chemical program.

Salah Habib is far from being an unknown of the French authorities, according to our information. Born in 1962 and married to a Frenchman, he owned a house in Aix-en-Provence. It is coming to spend the end of the year holidays that it was arrested.

Investigations in France began when he was placed in 2016 – as well as the maritime transport company he directs, Yona Star – on the list Black financial penalties established by the Office of Foreign Assets Control , a US Treasury-dependent organization. The company was suspected of having made merchandise to Damascus, in violation of the international embargo.

Used to bypass the sanctions

“Yona Star has long acted as a maritime agent for the Syrian Air Force, as well as for other government entities, including the Center for Scientific Studies and Research, Intelligence Services of the Air Force and the Army Supply Office, “says the US Treasury.

Salah Habib is accused of being part of the businessmen circle that the diet uses to circumvent the sanctions. A type of profile sought, to whom it is requested to settle abroad, to subcontract the contraband of oil and weapons. In this respect, the dual nationality of Salah Habib could only be seen as an asset. If only to open bank accounts.

Intermediate companies like Yona Star, established in particular in the United Arab Emirates or Lebanon, play the opacity that can reign it in commercial and legal matters. They import sensitive materials using “final certificates” (“End User Certificates”) that include a non-retransfer, non-export or non-re-export commitment. Salah Habib, whose company was registered in the United Arab Emirates, would officially import materials in the Gulf Country but would have shipped them to Damascus. On French request, the emirati authorities had ended up and invited him to leave their territory.

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/Media reports.