Parties to the Syrian armed conflict continued to commit with impunity serious violations of international humanitarian law, including war crimes, and gross human rights abuses. Government and allied forces carried out indiscriminate attacks and direct attacks on civilians and civilian objects using aerial and artillery bombing, including with internationally banned weapons, killing and injuring hundreds of people.

Government forces maintained lengthy sieges on densely populated areas, restricting access to humanitarian and medical aid to thousands of civilians. Government forces lifted the siege of Eastern Ghouta in April; this was followed by restrictions that impeded some of the displaced civilians from returning to the formerly besieged areas. Security forces arrested and continued to detain tens of thousands of people, including peaceful activists, humanitarian workers, lawyers and journalists, subjecting many to enforced disappearance and torture or other ill-treatment, and causing deaths in detention.

Government forces disclosed the fate of some of the disappeared but failed to provide the families with remains or information around the circumstances of the disappearances. The government violated the right to housing.

Armed opposition groups with the support of Turkey subjected civilians in Afrin to a wide range of abuses, including confiscation and looting of property, and arbitrary detention, torture and other ill-treatment. The US-led coalition failed to acknowledge or investigate the large scale of civilian deaths and destruction caused by their 2017 bombing campaign on Raqqa against the armed group calling itself Islamic State (IS). By the end of 2018, the conflict had caused the deaths of more than 400,000 people and displaced more than 11 million people within and outside Syria.

In July, a United Nations resolution that would have renewed the provision of critical cross-border humanitarian aid to civilians in Syria was vetoed by Russia and China. The veto put at risk food aid and health and educational materials necessary to assist millions of internally displaced Syrians.

An interactive website, “War in Raqqa: Rhetoric versus Reality,” is the most comprehensive investigation into civilian deaths in a modern conflict and calls upon the US-led coalition to end almost two years of denial about the massive civilian death toll and destruction it unleashed in the Syrian city of Raqqa.

Message to Denmark: Syria is Not Safe to Return Refugees

The Danish government should immediately stop plans to withdraw Syrian residence permits.

Hundreds of Syrian refugees, including children, have been told by the Danish Immigration Service to return to Syria, assessing that Damascus and the surrounding areas are safe to return to. At least 39 Syrians have received their final assessment in the Refugee Board – and are now in a deportation position.

But Syria is far from a safe country. Although military hostilities have diminished in most of the country, Syrian citizens continue to risk persecution and human rights abuses – including in Damascus and the surrounding area.

“In Damascus, the Assad regime has consolidated its power now, not with bombs, but with horrific human rights violations, extremely arbitrary arrests and extensive torture laboratories. Can our Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen guarantee the lives of Syrian refugees when they cross the border when the UN and the United States cannot? ” said activist, Dr Haifaa Awad.


Syria Newsroom

July 9, 2021 • Press Release

UN Security Council’s compromise resolution on Syria falls short of humanitarian needs

Responding to the UN Security Council vote passing a resolution renewing authorization of the Bab al-Hawa crossing point for the delivery of UN cross-border humanitarian aid from Turkey to north-west …

July 9, 2021 • Press Release

Biden Must Step Up Support for Critical Humanitarian Aid into Syria as Russia Threatens Crossing Closure

The Biden Administration must use every tool at its disposal to prevent this blocking of lifesaving aid – and COVID-19 vaccines – to millions of Syrians, Amnesty International USA said …

July 28, 2020 • Press Release

Yezidi child survivors of ‘Islamic State’ facing unprecedented health crisis

Almost 2,000 Yezidi children who have returned to their families after being held captive by the armed group calling itself Islamic State (IS) are facing a physical and mental health …

May 10, 2020 • Press Release

UN must not cut vital aid lifeline to north-west Syria amid Russian and Syrian war crimes

A new Amnesty International report, 'Nowhere is safe for us': Unlawful attacks and mass displacement in north-west Syria, details 18 cases – the majority in January and February 2020 – where Syrian and/or Russian government forces targeted medical facilities and schools in Idlib, western Aleppo and north-western Hama governorates.

May 6, 2020 • Press Release

Defense Department undercounts civilian casualties in new reporting

Responding to the Pentagon’s report on U.S. civilian casualties to Congress, Daphne Eviatar, the director of the Security with Human Rights program at Amnesty International USA stated: “The Department of …

April 22, 2020 • Press Release

Torture Trial in Germany a ‘Historic Step’ Towards Justice in Syria

The first trial of two former officials of the Syrian government’s security service charged with crimes against humanity marks an important step towards justice, Amnesty International said.

April 7, 2020 • Press Release

Workshop for media featuring Nazanin Boniadi and the Middle East Institute will examine COVID-19 impact on the Middle East and North Africa

As part of a series of workshops exploring human rights concerns related to the COVID-19 response, Amnesty International USA will be holding a workshop titled “The impact of COVID-19 on …

March 31, 2020 • Press Release

Prisoners in Syria Should be Released to Prevent Spread of COVID-19

The Syrian authorities must cooperate fully with UN agencies and humanitarian organizations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country’s prisons, detention centers and military hospitals, Amnesty International has warned.

March 4, 2020 • Press Release

Moscow Summit Must Prioritize Ending Renewed Attacks on Civilians in Idlib

Ahead of a summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Moscow tomorrow (Thursday, March 5) to discuss the escalating military conflict in Idlib in Syria, Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director, said: “The Moscow summit represents an opportunity for Russia and Turkey to prioritize the safety of civilians."

February 25, 2020 • Press Release

Targeting Schools Being Properly Used for Educational Purposes in Idlib, Syria is a War Crime

Following reports that 10 schools were hit by shelling in Idlib and Aleppo countryside, Heba Morayef, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Regional Director, said:

URGENT: Children seeking asylum in the U.S. are being denied their human rights based on their nationality — help ensure that all girls and boys fleeing violence can seek safety.