A district court judge ruled the Syrian regime — and specifically its ruler, President Bashar al-Assad — are liable for the murders of three Americans by al-Qaeda because of the regime’s massive support for the terrorist group’s branch in Iraq.
In addition to those three Americans, tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers, Iraqis and others have been killed or injured due to Assad’s sponsorship of al-Qaeda and other jihadists.
The lawsuit was filed by the families of Laurence Michael Foley, a U.S. diplomat in Jordan assassinated by al-Qaeda in 2002; Staff Sgt. Keith Matthew Maupin, killed in Iraq in 2004 and Pvt. Kristian Menchacha, who was killed in Iraq in 2006.
The evidence blaming Assad for the death of Foley is particularly strong. Foley was assassinated by al-Qaeda terrorists operating under the leadership of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, then-leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq. While in his safe haven in Syria, Zarqawi met with the perpetrators to plan the attack and equip them with weaponry and money.
After killing Foley in Jordan, one of the perpetrators escaped back into Syria. Jordan demanded his extradition. Assad refused to comply and told the world that the terrorist was imprisoned. Then, an Arab newspaper discovered that he wasn’t in jail at all. He was running an al-Qaeda training camp in Syria.
As explained in the ruling, the Assad regime’s support was critical to the development of al-Qaeda in Iraq under the leadership of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. It states, “individuals associated with the Syrian regime played more direct roles in providing resources to, and even helping to create, the Zarqawi Terrorist Organization” (my emphasis)…