EUAA COI Report. Targeting of individuals


The purpose of this report is to provide relevant information regarding the targeting of individuals in Syria, for international protection status determination, including refugee status and subsidiary protection, and in particular for use in the update of EUAA’s Country Guidance on Syria.

This report addresses topics related to the targeting of individuals by different armed actors operating in Syria, including the Government of Syria, the Syrian Democratic Forces, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, the Syrian National Army, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant among others. Targeting of individuals by sectors of society is also addressed where relevant.

This report is an update of the EUAA COI Report: Syria – Targeting of individuals (March 2020). It also provides updated information on profiles and topics covered previously in the following EUAA COI reports: EUAA COI Report – Situation of women (February 2020), EUAA COI Report – Military service (April 2021), and EUAA COI Report – Situation of returnees from abroad (June 2021).

The reference period for the events described in this report is from January 2020 until August 2022. The drafting of this report was finalised on 19 August 2022. Any event taking place after this date is not included in this report.

This report was co-drafted by the EUAA COI Sector together with the Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation (ACCORD).

The following departments and organisations have reviewed the report:

- Denmark, Danish Immigration Service;

- France, Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA), Information, Documentation and Research Division;

- Sweden, Swedish Migration Agency, Country of Origin Information, Section for Information Analysis.

This report is produced in line with the EUAA COI Report Methodology (2019) and the EUAA COI Writing and Referencing Guide (2019).


Since 2011, Syria has been involved in a bloody, internal armed conflict which has resulted in a very high number of victims, displaced persons and refugees. The opposing parties do not spare the civilian population. Every day, on a large scale and in the most barbaric manner, both the Syrian army and the armed opposition forces violate international humanitarian law and human rights. In many cases, civilians are targeted for ethnic or religious reasons or because they are perceived to be part of another political movement.

In recent years, the Syrian army managed to recapture significant parts of the country from the rebels or jihadists. An analysis of the security situation shows that the number of military confrontations in Syria has clearly decreased since the second half of 2018, that the impact of the conflict in Syria now differs considerably from region to region, and that Syria as of 2020 can be divided into five geographical zones.

The civil war has had a devastating impact on the civilian population. There are estimated to be a total of 13.4 million Syrians who, as a result of the armed conflict, require humanitarian assistance. This is an increase of 21% compared to 2020. More than 90% are said to be living below the poverty line. 6.1 million Syrians are displaced within Syria. In addition, 5.6 million have fled the country.


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