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Unlawful Syrian-Russian Alliance Attack Strikes Civilians

Update December 13, 2021: After publication, Human Rights Watch interviewed a knowledgeable source who said he observed at least seven large-caliber artillery shells being fired into Ariha on October 20 at 8 a.m.. He said they had been fired from a…
A man stands amongst rubble in an apartment building
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(Beirut) – Syrian refugees who returned to Syria between 2017 and 2021 from Lebanon and Jordan faced grave human rights abuses and persecution at the hands of the Syrian government and affiliated militias, Human Rights Watch…
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UN Should Reauthorize Crucial Help from Neighboring Countries

Millions of Syrians risk losing access to lifesaving aid, including during the Covid-19 pandemic, if Russia vetoes reauthorizing the only remaining UN aid corridor from Turkey into opposition-held northwest Syria, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
UN humanitarian aid trucks enter northwest Syria through the Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey on June 1, 2021
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Millions of Syrians risk losing access to lifesaving aid, including during the Covid-19 pandemic, if Russia vetoes reauthorizing the only remaining UN aid corridor from Turkey into opposition-held northwest Syria, Human Rights Watch…
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Potential Complicity in Unlawful Detention of ISIS Suspects, Children

Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden should promptly repatriate their nationals unlawfully held in life-threatening conditions in northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the four governments today.…
Children fly a kite at al-Hol camp in northeast Syria. 
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Biden’s U-Turn on Pledge Heightens Risks to Civilians in Yemen, Libya

United States President Joe Biden called in early February for “ending all American support for offensive operations in Yemen, including relevant arms sales.” At the time, I, like many human rights advocates who have been documenting abuses committed…
Southern Transitional Council forces backed by the United Arab Emirates prepare to storm the presidential palace in the southern port city of Aden, Yemen on August 9, 2019.
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Set Principled Framework for Aid, Protection, Justice

(Brussels) – The European Union-United Nations sponsored aid conference for Syria on March 29-30, 2021, should prioritize a rights-respecting aid framework that advances urgent protection, humanitarian, and accountability needs, Human Rights Watch…
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Countries should bring Citizens Home; Ensure Due Process for ISIS Suspects

Nearly 43,000 foreign men, women, and children linked to ISIS remain detained in inhuman or degrading conditions by regional authorities in northeast Syria, two years after they were rounded up during the fall of the Islamic State “caliphate,” often…
A boy flies a home-made kite in the foreigners’ section of al-Hol camp in northeast Syria on March 15, 2021.
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Unlawful Shelling in Marib Spurs Displacement, Humanitarian Crisis

(Beirut) – Houthi forces have indiscriminately fired artillery and missiles into heavily populated areas in Yemen’s Marib governorate since February 2021, causing mass displacement and exacerbating the humanitarian crisis, Human Rights Watch said…
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All Countries Should Urgently Repatriate Citizens

On the surface, it seems like a happy ending: a 4-year-old Canadian girl is flown home to Canada on Sunday after living the first half of her life under the Islamic State (ISIS) and the second in a squalid detention camp in northeast Syria. But her…
A 4-year-old Canadian girl after her rescue from a detention camp
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Adel al-Hasani Apparently Detained for Critical Reporting

(Sanaa) – The United Arab Emirates (UAE)-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) security forces in southern Yemen have arbitrarily detained a Yemeni journalist since September 17, 2020, apparently for his critical news reporting, Human Rights…
Members of UAE-backed southern Yemeni separatist forces stand by a tank during clashes with government forces in Aden, Yemen August 10, 2019.
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When history reflects on the Syrian conflict, a defining hallmark will be the Syrian government’s deliberate targeting of civilians. Backed by Russian forces, the government has rained bombs on markets, hospitals, schools, and homes. In 2019 and 2020,…
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Pandemic, Obstruction of Aid Expose Devastated Healthcare System

(Beirut) – The parties to Yemen’s armed conflict continued to violate the laws of war over the past year, including with new apparent war crimes, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2021. In 2020, the United Nations Group of Eminent…
Women and children are pictured at a camp for people recently displaced by fighting in Yemen's northern province of al-Jawf between government forces and Houthis, in Marib, Yemen March 8, 2020.
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The Russian military marked the fifth anniversary of its intervention in the armed conflict in Syria on September 30. The consequences have been devastating for many Syrian civilians, with hundreds of thousands killed and millions more forced to flee…
Woman and child in rubble in Idlib
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Unlawful Attacks on Hospitals, Schools, Markets Forced Idlib Population Out

The Syrian and Russian armed forces’ repeated attacks on civilian infrastructure in Idlib in northwest Syria were apparent war crimes and may amount to crimes against humanity, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Dozens of unlawful air…
A woman in a black niqab and face mask walks through a deserted street with a child
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Ottawa Should Repatriate 46 Others Held in Northeast Syria

After months of inaction, the Canadian government announced Monday that it had repatriated a 5-year-old orphan, Amira, who was trapped in a camp for Islamic State (ISIS) suspects and family members in northeast Syria. Amira’s overdue rescue should not…
A girl stands in front of a chainlink fence
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Foreign Donor Funding Critical Amid Houthi, Government Interference

The Houthi armed group and other authorities are severely restricting the delivery of desperately needed aid in Yemen, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The situation is exacerbating the country’s dire humanitarian situation and…
A uniformed soldier walks through aid packages