Syria


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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.

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.

Syria Newsroom



May 31, 2019 • Press Release

U.S.-led Coalition admission of 1,300 civilian deaths in Iraq and Syria

Responding to today’s announcement by the U.S.-led Coalition that at least 1,302 civilians have been unintentionally killed by Coalition strikes in Syria and Iraq between August 2014 and the end of April 2019, Amnesty International’s Senior Crisis Response Adviser Donatella Rovera said: “While all admissions of responsibility by the U.S.-led Coalition for civilian casualties are …

May 17, 2019 • Press Release

Security Council must address crimes against humanity in Idlib, Syria

The Syrian government, supported by Russia, is carrying out a deliberate and systematic assault on hospitals and other medical facilities in Idlib and Hama, Amnesty International said today, as it shared harrowing new testimony from shattered medical workers in the region. With the UN Security Council (UNSC) set to discuss northwest Syria today Amnesty International …

April 25, 2019 • Press Release

Unprecedented investigation reveals US-led Coalition killed more than 1,600 civilians in Raqqa ‘death trap’

The US-led military Coalition must end almost two years of denial about the massive civilian death toll and destruction it unleashed in the Syrian city of Raqqa, Amnesty International and Airwars said today as they launched a new data project on the offensive to oust the armed group calling itself “Islamic State” (IS). The interactive …

March 6, 2019 • Press Release

Trump Administration Makes Shameful Decision to Shroud Civilian Casualties in Secrecy

Reacting to news that the Trump administration has revoked a part of an Obama executive order requiring reporting on civilian casualties, Daphne Eviatar, Amnesty International USA’s Director of Security with Human Rights stated: “This is a shameful decision that will shroud this administration’s actions in even more secrecy with little accountability for its victims. “The public deserves to know how many …

February 26, 2019 • Report

Human rights in the Middle East and North Africa: A review of 2018

The international community’s chilling complacency towards wide-scale human rights violations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has emboldened governments to commit appalling violations during 2018 by giving them the sense that they need never fear facing justice, said Amnesty International as it published a review of human rights in the region last year. …

January 11, 2019 • Press Release

Syria: US withdrawal does not erase Coalition’s duty towards Raqqa’s devastated civilians

UPDATE: This statement has been modified to reflect a clarification by US forces that the early stages of the withdrawal involve military equipment, but not troops, leaving Syria. Reacting to today’s statement by the US-led Coalition that it has begun “the process of deliberate withdrawal” from Syria, Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director, …

December 12, 2018 • Report

Islamic State’s destructive legacy decimates Yezidi farming in Iraq

As part of its brutal campaign against northern Iraq’s Yezidi minority, the armed group calling itself Islamic State (IS) committed war crimes and crimes against humanity when it sabotaged irrigation wells and destroyed other farming infrastructure, Amnesty International said in a new report today. A year after Iraq’s government declared military victory over IS, Dead …

November 20, 2018 • Press Release

Syria: Thousands of digital activists to track how US-led air strikes destroyed Raqqa

Thousands of digital activists around the world will take part in an innovative new crowdsourcing data project Amnesty International is launching today, which uses satellite imagery to help plot how the US-led military coalition’s bombings destroyed almost 80% of the Syrian city of Raqqa. “Strike Tracker” is the next phase of an in-depth Amnesty International …

November 5, 2018 • Press Release

Arrest warrants for Syrian officials in France an important step towards justice

Responding to the news that French prosecutors have issued arrest warrants for three senior Syrian government and intelligence officials on charges of torture, enforced disappearances, crimes against humanity and war crimes, Amnesty International’s Senior Director for Research Anna Neistat said: “These arrest warrants for three senior officials, including a top adviser to President Bashar al-Assad, …

October 14, 2018 • Press Release

A year after Raqqa, US-led Coalition’s ongoing denials an insult to survivors

The US-led Coalition’s ongoing failure to admit to, let alone adequately investigate, the shocking scale of civilian deaths and destruction it caused in Raqqa is a slap in the face for survivors trying to rebuild their lives and their city, said Amnesty International a year after the offensive to oust the armed group calling itself …