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Jul 18, 1:52 PM EDT

Syrian citizen sentenced to 3 years in prison in Germany


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BERLIN (AP) -- A German court has sentenced a 25-year-old Syrian citizen to three years in prison for membership in a foreign terrorist organization.

A higher regional court in Stuttgart sentenced the man, whose name was not released, on Tuesday for membership in the Nusra Front in Syria in 2013 and 2014 and for using machine guns in battles at different checkpoints of the extremist group.

The man's defense had claimed that as part of the Nusra Front he was fighting the IS extremist group, "which is being fought against by the entire free world," but the court said fighting in a terrorist group cannot be justified because it is battling another terrorist group.

The court's statement said the man arrived in Germany in 2015, but didn't provide any further details.

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