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Assad militants in Germany: Yahiya Zakariya Al-Zarzour

Zaman al-Wasl has obtained information that a war criminal called Yahiya Zakariya Al-Zarzour arrived in Germany.

Zaman’s investigative team for war criminals was able to confirm the accusations against Al-Zarzour of committing crimes against Syrians by cross-referencing several sources.

According to our sources, Yahiya Al-Zarzour, born in 1992 in Daraa, comes from a family known for its strong loyalty to the regime, with several of its members joining Assad's military and security forces and his sectarian militias.

Yahiya was accused by several activists of participating in suppression of and arrests during a number of peaceful protests against the regime in March 2011, in Daraa. One source, who preferred to remain anonymous, said that Yahiya joined Assad’s militias early on in the outbreak of revolution for sectarian motives.

The source added that Yahiya, who was a student in the Faculty of Law at Daraa University in 2011, participated in the direct killing of a number of demonstrators who were arrested. As part of  regime security forces, Yahiya along with his uncle and other militia members would afflict the most severe forms of torture on the detainees before killing them.

Another witness added that Yahiya not only participated in suppressing the peaceful protests in Daraa, but later joined the ranks of the Iranian-backed sectarian Shiite militias that entered Syria to kill with sectarian motives, committing war crimes and widespread violations against Syrians, most notable of which is Hezbollah, which Yahiya joined and was in the ranks of military operations in various parts of Syria, especially Qalmoun and Damascus countryside.

With the fighting in Syria subsiding and regime forces, supported by Russia and sectarian militias, regaining areas previously under opposition control, like Daraa, which was reclaimed after the “reconciliation” negotiations in 2018, it seems that Yahiya decide to leave Syria thinking he would elude being held accountable for his crimes. In 2019, he headed to Turkey, and from there to Germany, to seek asylum and start a new life, believing that he can erase his past as a fighter in the ranks of sectarian militias that are classified as terrorist organizations in Germany.

One source said that Yahiya has a younger brother called Ali Al-Zarzour, who was also part of those militias and who had fled towards Turkey with the intention to reach Europe.

Our investigation team was able to access Yahiya’s personal accounts on the Facebook, in one of which he uses the name “Kumit Al-Asadi”, a name he used when he was in the militias. The account has pictures of him with phrases bearing sectarian connotations.

While Zaman al-Wasl’s inquiry into the file of war criminals is receiving attention from several official, governmental, European, and human rights authorities, activists believe that Germany's interaction with the files on “refugees” who are suspected of war crimes is still the weakest among EU countries.

Our investigation team calls on all our followers and readers who were victims of Yahiya Al-Zarzour or any other suspected war criminal, not to hesitate to contact us via e-mail or on social media.

A few days ago, the State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of the Interior Hans Georg Engelke, declared that, starting next year, Germany would allow the deportation of Syrians to their country, which prompted some to question the fate of those accused of war crimes and had infiltrated the ranks of refugees to seek asylum and evade prosecution.

Zaman Al Wasl
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