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On Monday 16 October 2017 the Council adopted the EU Annual Report on Human Rights And Democracy in the World in 2016.
2016 was a challenging year for human rights and democracy, with a shrinking space for civil society and complex humanitarian and political crises emerging. In this context, the European Union showed leadership and remained strongly committed to promote and protect human rights and democracy across the world.
A Message From Assistant Secretary Puneet Talwar
Snapshot 12 – 19 August
In Syria, fighting between governmental forces and opposition groups has been concentrated in Aleppo, Deir-ez-Zor, Homs, Lattakia and Rural Damascus this week. Meanwhile, infighting is ongoing within the opposition. As during previous weeks, FSA forces have clashed with Islamist opposition groups on multiple occasions while Kurdish groups continued to fight with Islamist groups in the north of the country. The mass influx of Syrian refugees to neighbouring countries is ongoing. As of 19 August, over 1.9 million Syrians had fled the country.
In Syria, large-scale fighting between opposition and Government forces has been reported across Al-Hassakeh, Ar-Raqqa, Homs, Aleppo, and especially Lattakia and Damascus governorates. Increasing strife between combatants of the FSA and al-Qaeda affiliated Islamic fighters continue to also be reported, especially around Aleppo and its countryside. In addition, as clashes increased between Kurdish armed groups and fighters of the ISIS, the President of Iraqi Kurdistan openly floated the idea of staging an intervention in Syria to support fellow Kurds.
In Syria, Government forces are advancing in Homs and expected to retake opposition-held districts in the short-term, while operations have been ongoing in other major cities, including Aleppo and Damascus. Meanwhile, infighting within opposition forces is spreading between various armed groups. Clashes are continuously reported between Kurdish fighters and al-Qaeda affiliated Islamists near the border with Turkey in Al-Hassakeh and Ar-Raqqa governorates.