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.

Syria Newsroom



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 …

October 5, 2018 • Press Release

Nobel Peace Prize: Courageous work of Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad highlights need to fight impunity for rape in war

In response to news that Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege and Yezidi human rights activist Nadia Murad have jointly won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, Amnesty International’s Secretary General Kumi Naidoo said: “Warmest congratulations to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad for this recognition of their courageous work standing up for the victims of sexual violence in …

September 14, 2018 • Press Release

Syria: Unlawful attacks using cluster munitions and unguided barrel bombs intensify as Idlib offensive looms

The Syrian government, backed by Russia, has intensified unlawful attacks on civilians in Idlib using internationally banned cluster munitions and unguided barrel bombs in a prelude to a widely anticipated military offensive, Amnesty International said today.

August 21, 2018 • Press Release

Amnesty International USA Calls Upon Department of Defense to Investigate Civilian Casualties

The Department of Defense should investigate thoroughly all claims of civilian casualties caused by its Raqqa offensive as well as all US military operations going forward Amnesty International urged in a letter to Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis following the US-led Coalition’s acknowledgement of 77 civilian casualties as a result of military operations in Raqqa. …