Parties in Syria continue to disregard human rights and humanitarian law protections. While the Syrian government, with its allies’ support, has regained significant territory using tactics that violate the laws of war, areas under its control also are rife with abuse. Security services arbitrarily arrest and torture hundreds, and millions are going hungry due to the government’s diversion of aid and failure to equitably address the economic crisis. In Idlib, the last anti-government territory, the Syrian-Russian military alliance still poses a threat to over 3 million civilians trapped there, while the dominant anti-government armed group restricts their freedoms. The UN Security Council’s gutting of a cross-border aid mechanism has exacerbated humanitarian crises in non-government areas. In Turkish-occupied territories, Turkey and local factions are abusing civilians’ rights with impunity. Following ISIS’s territorial defeat in northeast Syria, Kurdish-led authorities and the US-led coalition have yet to provide compensation for civilian casualties, offer support for identifying the fate of those kidnapped by ISIS, or justly address the tens of thousands that are trapped in camps and prisons. 

  • Europe/Central Asia
    A boy flies a homemade kite in the foreigners’ section of al-Hol camp.
  • Europe/Central Asia
    Human Rights Watch writes to call on your government to bring home or help repatriate, as a matter of urgent priority, the estimated 40 Ukrainian women, and children arbitrarily and indefinitely held in camps in northeast Syria (NES) as Islamic State (ISIS) suspects and family members. These citizens, a majority of them children, some as young as 2.5, are among nearly 14,000 non-Iraqi foreigners who have been detained by the armed forces of the Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration of NES since the fall of ISIS self-declared caliphate on March 23, 2019, and in some cases longer.
  • Middle East/North Africa
    Syrian farmers harvest olives in Idlib, Syria on November 21, 2020. Despite the negative effects of fertilization, tree pruning and transportation costs as well as the increase in fuel prices, farmers started to harvest olives, their main source of their income. The land pictured is not representative of the cases investigated by Human Rights Watch.

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