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

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:

October 24, 2019 • Press Release

Turkey Illegally Deported Syrians Into War Ahead of Anticipated ‘Safe Zone’

Turkey spent the months leading up to its military incursion into northeast Syria forcibly deporting refugees to the war-torn country, in advance of attempting to create a so-called “safe zone” on the Syrian side of the border, new Amnesty International research has revealed.

October 11, 2019 • Press Release

Turkish Military Offensive Risks a Humanitarian Catastrophe in Syria

The military offensive by Turkey in northeast Syria risks devastating humanitarian consequences and a further destabilization of the region, warned Amnesty International’s Europe Director, Marie Struthers, reiterating the call on Turkey to respect international law.

October 9, 2019 • Press Release

Civilians at risk in Syria as Turkish military offensive looms

Responding to the Turkish government’s statements that its forces are set to cross into northeast Syria “shortly” as part of an offensive to move US-backed Kurdish forces away from its border, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director Lynn Maalouf said: “As the Turkish military gears up to attack Kurdish forces in northeast Syria, it is …

August 29, 2019 • Press Release

Syrian Families Left Alone to Find Answers About Disappeared Relatives

The families of tens of thousands of people who have been forcibly disappeared or abducted since the onset of the crisis in Syria in 2011have suffered years of agony in the face of government denials and insufficient support from the international community, Amnesty International said today.

August 1, 2019 • Press Release

UN Secretary General Orders Investigation Into Atrocities in Idlib, Syria

The plans for a UN investigation into attacks targeting hospitals in Idlib, and other buildings clearly identified as civilian objects by the UN, offer hope that perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity can be identified and held accountable.

June 17, 2019 • Press Release

Report: Over Two Years Later, Families Still Left in Limbo After Trump’s Muslim Ban Face Impossible Circumstances

When President Trump signed what has become known as the Muslim ban during his first week in office, he set into motion a series of events that continue to leave families in uncertainty and danger to this day, according to a new report by Amnesty International USA. In some cases, these families were cleared to …

June 17, 2019 • Report

The Mountain is in Front of Us and the Sea is Behind Us: The Impact of US Policies on Refugees in Lebanon and Jordan

When President Trump signed what has become known as the Muslim ban during his first week in office, he set into motion a series of events that continue to leave families in uncertainty and danger to this day, according to a new report by Amnesty International USA. In some cases, these families were cleared to …

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