Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic (A/HRC/42/51) (Advance Edited Version) [EN/AR]
9–27 September 2019
Agenda item 4
Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention
The conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic has now entered its eighth year, as civilians countrywide continue to withstand the brunt of ongoing hostilities. Syrian women, men and children in the east of the country, for example, witnessed large-scale operations by the international coalition led by the United States of America, and the Syrian Democratic Forces, which led to near complete destruction of towns and villages in and around Hajin and Baghuz (Dayr al-Zawr). Waves of displacements from these areas ensued, in which tens of thousands of fleeing civilians were taken to makeshift settlements, including Al-Hol camp, straining the already severely overstretched humanitarian resources.
Meanwhile, beginning in February, aerial and ground offensives by pro-government forces to oust Levant Liberation Organization (Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham) terrorists and affiliated armed groups from Idlib, northern Hama, Ladhiqiyah and western Aleppo escalated dramatically, destroying infrastructure essential to the survival of the civilian population, including hospitals, markets, educational facilities and agricultural resources, and forcing hundreds of thousands to flee.
In areas controlled by the Government, civilians, including recent returnees, were arbitrarily arrested and detained. Service provision in Dar‘a and Duma, eastern Ghutah (Rif Dimashq) is, moreover, ineffective, depriving hundreds of thousands of civilians of adequate access to water, electricity and education.
In order to mitigate the most urgent protection gaps, the Commission proposes a series of pragmatic recommendations to Member States and, in particular, to those that provide support to the warring parties. The international community as a whole bears a shared responsibility for the myriad crimes committed against millions of Syrian women, men and children.