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Write an assignment regarding terrorist attacks on syria and the compensatory actions taken by several governments. Minimum of 4500 words.


Write an assignment regarding terrorist attacks on syria and the compensatory actions taken by several governments. Minimum of 4500 words.


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In 2018, the Syrian government, supported by Russia and Iran, recaptured areas in Eastern Ghouta in Damascus countryside and Daraa governorate. Government forces used a combination of unlawful tactics, including prohibited weapons, indiscriminate strikes, and restrictions on humanitarian aid, to force anti-government groups to surrender in these areas, resulting in mass displacement. Anti-government armed groups indiscriminately attacked neighboring government-held areas and restricted civilians’ ability to flee hostilities.

At the time of writing, a tenuous ceasefire was holding in Idlib between the Syrian-Russian military alliance and anti-government armed groups. Anti-government groups in Idlib detained individuals attempting reconciliation with the government, media activists, and restricted humanitarian aid. After several reported chemical attacks during the first half of the year, in an unprecedented step, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was authorized to attribute responsibility for attacks in Syria.

In areas re-taken from the Islamic State (also known as ISIS), the high toll of the war in civilian casualties and damaged infrastructure became clearer. Landmines planted by ISIS before fleeing continued to kill and maim civilians. Little progress has been made in providing the necessary resources for recovery, and/or compensation for civilian victims of attacks. ISIS and Al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria continued to perpetrate abuses, ranging from summary executions and kidnappings to interference in aid delivery.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a monitoring group based in the UK, estimated the death toll since the start of the war to be as high as 511,000 as of March 2018. Years of relentless fighting left 6.6 million displaced internally and 5.6 million around the world, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

At the end of the year, the Geneva-led political process remained at a standstill, and a new UN special envoy was appointed.

As active conflict partially decreases, Russia and Syria called for refugees to return and Syria passed laws to facilitate reconstruction. Despite this, government forces continued to violate human rights and international humanitarian law, arbitrarily detaining and mistreating people, and imposing onerous restrictions on freedom of movement.

Syrian-Russian Indiscriminate Attacks

Indiscriminate attacks on civilians and civilian objects by the Syrian-Russian military alliance persisted in 2018. In February, government forces launched a military campaign to retake Eastern Ghouta, an urban suburb of Damascus. Over 1,600 civilians were reportedly killed between February 18 until March 21. The Syrian-Russian military alliance struck at least 25 medical facilities, 11 schools, and countless civilian residences.

Similarly, on June 16, the alliance led an offensive in Daraa and Quneitra governorates, southwest of Syria, triggering massive displacement towards Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Use of Unlawful Weapons, including Chemical Weapons

Parties to the conflict continued to use unlawful weapons. The Syrian-Russian military alliance used internationally banned cluster munitions and chemical weapons in re-taking areas. Human Rights Watch investigated 36 cluster munition attacks between July 2017 and June 2018 and another two-dozen more possible cluster munition attacks. Evidence suggests the alliance used incendiary weapons in Ghouta and Daraa.

Between 2013 and 2018, Human Rights Watch and seven other independent, international organizations investigated and confirmed at least 85 chemical weapons attacks – the majority perpetrated by Syrian government forces. The actual number of chemical attacks is likely higher.

After a chemical attack on Douma in Eastern Ghouta, there were renewed international efforts to deter use of chemical weapons. Russia used its veto in the Security Council in February and April, preventing the creation of a UN-led investigatory mechanism. However, in June, states parties to the Chemical Weapons Conventions granted the OPCW permanent authorization to investigate and assign responsibility for chemical weapons attacks.

Abuses by Non-State Armed Groups

Between February and April, anti-government groups based in Ghouta – including Jaysh al-Islam, Ahrar al-Sham, and Faylaq al-Rahmane – killed and maimed hundreds of civilians in indiscriminate attacks on Damascus. According to the UN Commission of Inquiry, the armed groups regularly arbitrarily arrested and tortured civilians in Douma, including members of religious minority groups.

Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), an Al-Qaeda affiliate present in Idlib, carried out arbitrary arrests and kidnappings that targeted local political opponents and journalists. Infighting left civilians dead, as did recurring assassinations and car bombings. The group continued to interfere with humanitarian access and aid distribution in areas under its control.

On July 25, ISIS led simultaneous incursions in al-Suweida governorate, killing at least 200 individuals and kidnapping 27 people. ISIS unlawfully executed one of the hostages in August. In November, all the remaining hostages were freed according to the state news agency. In the meantime, the fate of thousands of those kidnapped by ISIS in the east of Syria before they lost the territory remains unknown, with little effort by the Syrian Democratic Forces and US-led coalition to uncover their whereabouts.

Though the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the US-led coalition pushed ISIS out of Raqqa in October 2017, homemade landmines and explosive devices planted by ISIS before fleeing continued to kill and maim civilians. Between October 2017 and April 2018, more than 1,000 people have been injured or killed by mines, according to local medical workers.

Turkish Offensive on Afrin

On January 20, Turkey launched a military offensive in Afrin district in northwest Syria, previously under the control of the Kurdish-majority Autonomous Administration. As of March, the Turkish offensive reportedly resulted in the deaths of dozens of civilians, and displaced tens of thousands according to the United Nations. Turkish media reported the YPG launched indiscriminate attacks on Turkish border towns and killed at least seven civilians.

Turkish-supported non-state armed groups affiliated with the Free Syrian Army also seized, destroyed, and looted properties of Kurdish civilians in Afrin, while local activists reported at least 86 incidents of abuse that appeared to amount to unlawful arrests, torture, and disappearances by those groups.

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