- The declaration of “de-escalation” areas in certain parts of Syria, along with the Government of Syria having taken control over the most populated cities in Syria, including those from which significant numbers of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees originate, is one of the factors contributing to pressures in some quarters for return of refugees and IDPs despite overall conditions not being conducive for voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return.
Levels of violence throughout significant parts of Syria remain high, with ongoing reports of civilians being killed and injured as a result, as well as high levels of new displacement. Active fighting continues throughout Deir-ez-Zorand Ar-Raqqa governorates including in urban areas leading to large-scale displacements as well as the death and injury of civilians. Fighting also continues in the Eastern Ghouta area of Rural Damascus Governorate, while an uneasy truce is holding in Dar’a Governorate, and ongoing instability and infighting amongst armed opposition groups endures in Idleb Governorate. Attacks also continue in some cities firmly under the control of the Government of Syria, with suicide bombings and mortar fire still occurring in Damascus. While some displaced people inside and outside Syria have returned voluntarily, it remains unclear what mechanisms will be put in place by national or local authorities to ensure the safety and well-being of civilians, and/or to provide fair and appropriate systems for either the recovery of property and possessions, or provision of compensation.