• Syria’s armed conflict escalated as the government intensified its attacks and began using increasingly deadly and indiscriminate weapons, culminating in a chemical weapons attack on the Damascus countryside on August 21, 2013. Government forces and pro-government militias also continued to torture detainees and commit executions. Armed opposition forces, including a growing number of pro-opposition foreign fighters, also carried out serious abuses including indiscriminate attacks on civilians, executions, kidnapping, and torture. The spread and intensification of fighting led to a dire humanitarian crisis with millions internally displaced or seeking refuge in neighboring countries.
  • Remnants of the turbofan engine of a US Tomahawk cruise missile reportedly found at the scene of strikes on Kafr Dryan village. Video shot on September 23.
    Apparent US missile strikes on Idlib in Syria that killed at least seven civilians should be investigated for possible violations of the laws of war. On September 25, 2014, in statements to the press, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the United States was looking into reports of civilian casualties in Syria from their strikes but that the US military had “no credible reporting from operational sources” of civilian deaths.

Reports

Syria

  • Sep 30, 2014

    The authorities in Lebanon are failing to take adequate steps to prevent and to prosecute increasing violence by private citizens against Syrians following the outbreak of clashes in Arsal in August 2014 between the Lebanese Army and extremist groups the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra and the subsequent executions of three Lebanese soldiers by extremists. The attacks against Syrians, most of them refugees, are being carried out in a climate of official indifference and discrimination, with the violence appearing in some cases to be attempts to expel Syrians from specific neighborhoods or to enforce curfews.

  • Sep 27, 2014
    Apparent US missile strikes on Idlib in Syria that killed at least seven civilians should be investigated for possible violations of the laws of war. On September 25, 2014, in statements to the press, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the United States was looking into reports of civilian casualties in Syria from their strikes but that the US military had “no credible reporting from operational sources” of civilian deaths.
  • Sep 24, 2014

    Tucked inside the continuing resolution the United States Congress passed late last week was a provision to authorize the training and equipping of “moderate, vetted” elements of the Syrian opposition. The CIA has been carrying out a covert, small-scale version of this program, according to media reports.

  • Sep 24, 2014
  • Sep 18, 2014
    Bulgarian border police have in the past month forced Syrian asylum seekers back to Turkey and beaten some of them.
  • Sep 16, 2014
  • Sep 5, 2014
    The Syrian government should immediately and unconditionally release the arbitrarily detained human rights defender Mazen Darwish and his colleagues Hani Al-Zitani and Hussein Ghareer, 79 organizations said today. The Syrian Anti-Terrorism Court is expected to issue its verdict on September 24, 2014 in their trial for “publicizing terrorist acts.”
  • Sep 5, 2014
    The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s gruesome staged-for-maximum-horror murders of the kidnapped American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff in northern Syria have underlined the high risk of reporting on the conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in Syria and Iraq. Their murders bring to 67 the number of journalists killed in Syria from work-related causes since 2011, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. In Iraq, 165 journalists have been killed since 2003.
  • Sep 2, 2014
    With the number of Syrian refugees in the Middle East hitting 3 million, it's worth examining how the United States and other countries not on the frontline of the conflict have stepped in to help countries like Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. These countries have the misfortune to be neighbors not only of Syria, but of Iraq and Israel/Palestine as well, other places that have been the source of millions of refugees.
  • Sep 1, 2014
    Credible evidence has emerged that Islamic State forces used ground-fired cluster munitions in at least one location in northern Syria in recent weeks, Human Rights Watch said today. The use of cluster munitions by non-state actors such as the Islamic State shows the urgent need for Syria and all nations that have not yet done so to join the ban on cluster munitions and destroy their stockpiles.