A decade of the Syrian revolution | Ten years of killing…displacement…destruction…and the Syrian civilians pay the price…growing foreign involvement in Syria under various pretexts
On March 14, 2021
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
There is no doubt that the price of the freedom and its achievement may be physically and morally high, which is reflected in the situation that Syria has experienced for a decade, during which hundreds of thousands of innocent people have lost their lives, defending their right to live in dignity in a safe and free country.
The war has affected everything and devastated all sectors in the country.
The humanitarian, economic and social situations in Syria were described by UN organizations as catastrophic and the worst ever in the world, or even in countries in conflict and civil war, where 90 percent of Syrians live below the extreme poverty line, according to the United Nations, and 50 percent of those affected have lost their livelihoods, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
A decade of killing, displacement, destruction and the Syrian civilians are the ultimate losers
Since the start of the Syrian Revolution on the 15th of March 2011 to the 14th of March 2021, 594,000 people have been killed, of whom 388,652 were documented by SOHR.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has documented the death of 388,652 persons across Syria since the start of the Syrian Revolution on the 15th of March 2011 to the 14th of March 2021.
Of the total death toll, 117,388 Syrians Civilians have been killed, they are: 81,279 men, including 22,254 children under the age of eighteen and 13,855 women over the age of eighteen. While millions of Syrians have been displaced and injured.
These frightening statistics, since the beginning of the uprising, have reflected the suffering of the Syrian people, whose peaceful revolution has been militarized, and foreign interventions have worsened the situation.
According to the World Health Organization, 90% of Syrians are living in a dire situation, amid warnings of an unprecedented food crisis in the country, particularly with the spread of coronavirus pandemic and the regime’s secrecy regarding the real figures of infection cases and deaths.
It is not possible to talk about the collapsed economy without mentioning the unprecedented plunge of the Syrian pound. According to SOHR statistics, the exchange rate of the dollar reaches 4000 pounds, which exacerbated the already dire situation in the country, as well as the impacts of Caesar Act, which also exacerbated the situation because of the Syrian regime’s policy, which bears the primary responsibility for all the tragedies suffered by Syria.
The tragic situations in Syria have forced millions of children to drop out of school and thousands of girls into early marriage by, prompting UN organizations, such as UNICEF, to launch an appeal entitled “Save the lost children and young people of Syria” from ignorance, early marriage and violence.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), as an international human rights organization, has launched repeated calls for the international community to save the children and their families from the difficult conditions in which they live in displacement camps. SOHR had pointed out that humanitarian assistance had been denied access to those in need, which runs counter to the principles of human rights.
Syrian children: loss of rights…destruction of childhood and dreams… and unknown future
No one expected that the children whose graffiti sparked the Syrian Revolution will be the most vulnerable and affected group in the war in the country. The violations against children in Syria reached the highest level in 2020, compared to previous years, according to SOHR statistics. The killings and recruitment of children have risen significantly in the past year, in a dramatic escalation of violence throughout Syria, despite claims by many parties, particularly Russia, that the war had ended.
Here is a link to the full report of SOHR on Syrian children in a decade of the Revolution
Syrian women: arrests, forced disappearance, violence, exploitation, assault and statelessness
Since the first spark of the Syrian Revolution in March 2011, Syrian women actively engaged in peaceful struggle, defying the dangers, daily killings and repression from the north to the south of the country.
The Syrian women’s revolution came against practices and laws that have violated their dignity for decades, struggling with an unknown and difficult fate, overburdened with family responsibilities in war zones and in refugee camps.
The Syrian women’s experiences, tragedies, courage, frustrations, concepts and hopes have often led them to regime and conflicting forces’ prisons where they faced torture and death. Their stories of struggle will go down in history and will be recounted despite their bitterness and painfulness, embodying their extraordinary power that they derived from their love for their country.
Here is a link to the full report of SOHR on Syrian women in a decade of the Revolution
Detainees and forcibly-disappeared people: Over 105,000 civilians killed and died in regime prisons…and fate of hundreds of thousands others remains unknown
The file of political, security, and human rights prisoners remains the mistiest, especially since many parties are seeking for keeping shocking facts and horrific stories secret, while most of international and local human rights organizations seem indifferent and not care less about this file.
Here is a link to the full report of SOHR on detainees and forcibly-disappeared people in a decade of the Revolution
Detainees and forcibly-disappeared people in a decade of the war | Over 105,000 civilians killed and died in regime prisons…fate of hundreds of thousands others remains unknown…while relevant organizations continue inaction
Syrian economy: Great losses and catastrophic collapse, and Syrian civilians are the ultimate losers
After 10 years of war that destroyed everything, killed hundreds of thousands and displaced nearly half of the Syrian people, who took to the streets peacefully demanding their freedom and rights, the world stunned by the scale of the destruction that hit the Syrian economy in all its sectors and fields, where the reconstruction process requires hundreds of billions of dollars.
Here is a link to the full report of SOHR on Syrian economy in a decade of the Revolution
SOHR: ongoing support for the Syrian people
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), through its activities and efforts, despite all the obstacles, difficult circumstances and risks, has helped to make the voice of the Syrian people heard at the global level.
These disasters in Syria were summed up by UN Secretary-General António Guterres: “Syrian crisis remains a living nightmare, with about 60 percent of its people at risk of starvation,” after years of suppressing peaceful demonstrations and putting the country on a “terrible” path of destruction and bloodshed.
Guterres accused the parties to the conflict of restricting humanitarian access and violating international humanitarian law.
Many economists, with whom SOHR had exclusive interviews, said that the economic crisis has affected all aspects of daily life, including food, medicine and fuel, and has led to an astronomical rise in prices, as a result of the failed economic policies of the regime’s government and the practices of some of the opposition, which only thinks about its narrow political interests. These experts called on the parties involved in the conflict to seriously seek an end to the raging war to prevent the country from becoming another Somalia.
International efforts by Al-Assad’s allies
The Syrian Opposition sees that the recent international efforts have disturbed the situation and worsened the crisis. The Syrian Opposition also think that the so-called “last call for saving Syria” will not lead to a political settlement and has warned against rigging the Syria file. While Moscow, which officially involved in the Syria conflict in 2015, protected the regime and supported its forces militarily, logistically and financially, states that the living situation in Syria has become unbearable, while the people’s sufferings are endless.
Arab League stance
With the outbreak of conflict in Syria, the Arab League hurried to suspend the membership of the Syrian regime at a time when the Arab League was supposed to seek after a political settlement which could put an end to the conflict. It is common knowledge that the Arab League’s role regarding the Syrian Civil War has been all along ineffective, as it has not adopted critical stances and waited for the powerful states’ stances. Accordingly, monitors see that the Arab League is partially blamed for the current critical and dire situation in Syria after a decade of instability.
Even the international community to shoulder moral and humanitarian responsibility, especially since it could have helped to address the Syrian crisis, but it did nothing but press releases.
According to recent SOHR statistics, the conflict in the past ten years led to the displacement of millions of Syrian people, collapse of economy and considerable destruction of infrastructure, both private properties and public facilities.
Despite the extreme repression by various international powers, the Syrian regime, armed opposition forces, and jihadi organizations, the Syrians’ revolutionary spirit has never gone off.
Detestable foreign powers’ intervention
The situation in Syria could have reached settlement and understandings among the Syrian conflicting bodies themselves, unless foreign political and military powers and armed groups had involved into the conflict, as the foreign powers’ intervention has deepened the crisis and torn the Syrians apart.
The competing ambitions of Russia, Turkey, USA and Iran have blurred Syria’s future and dispersed the Syrians who have been still believe in the power of popular sovereignty.
Russia’s military intervention in 2015 revived the Syrian regime, which is mainly blamed for the current situation in Syria, at a time when regime forces had been greatly drained and at their most vulnerable after losing most of their areas.
Turkey, however, has launched several military operations, “Olive Branch”, “Euphrates Shield” and “Peace Spring”, killing and displacing thousands of Syrians under the pretext of fighting “armed Kurdish parties” in order to secure its border. Furthermore, Turkey and Russia have struck agreements which led to mass exodus and demographic changes in Syria.
Also, US has strengthened its presence in Syria and imposed its influence on east Euphrates region with Syria Democratic Forces, while the wavering decisions by Trump have resulted in many changes on the ground.
While Iran keeps entrenching its presence in Syria a day after another with the help of its Syrian and non-Syrian agents and affiliates, as it continues recruiting more Syrians by offering financial incentives and continuous usage of religion and sectarianism, exploiting the dire living conditions.
On the other hand, ISIS has not been fully eliminated, and it is still present in a space of some 4,000 square kilometres in regime-controlled areas in the Syrian desert. While ISIS cells are largely prevalent in SDF-controlled areas and other areas controlled by the Turks. Also, there are thousands of jihadi groups in Idlib province and surrounding countryside, west Hama countryside and the mountains of Latakia.
After a decade of civil war, the spaces controlled by conflicting powers in Syria could be distributed, according to SOHR statistics, as follows:
- Syria Democratic Forces (SDF): 29,220 square kilometres (15.70%)
- Islamic State Organization (ISIS): 3,283 square kilometres (1.80%)
- Regime forces and loyalists: 1,163,888 square kilometres (62.90%)
- “Olive Branch”, “Euphrates Shield” and “Peace Spring” operations rooms: 9,050 square kilometres (4.90%)
- Islamic and rebel factions: 4,874 square kilometres (2.60%)
- Factions backed by foreign states and US: 3,543 square kilometres (1.90%)
- Joint controlled areas between regime forces and SDF: 18.821 square kilometres (10.20%).
A decade since the start of the “Syrian Revolution” and its shift into a civil war, during which the killing machine that all sides of the crisis have adopted has not stopped to claim the lives of Syrian civilians. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights renews its assertions that all the suffering of the Syrians and the repercussions over the region and the world could have been avoided if the international community had shown a genuine will to interfere and put pressure on the regime, its supporters, other parties of the conflict and their supporters, in order to stop shedding the blood of Syrians. The anniversary of the Syrian revolution does not carry with it what the Syrians hoped for when they took to the streets in 2011, at a time when Russia, the regime, Turkey and other parties are strengthening their operations in Syria in an effort to reap the greatest possible gains and influence. Accordingly, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights renews its appeals to the international community to take a decisive stance towards the ongoing bloodshed atrocities committed against Syrians at the hands of the various parties. The Syrian Observatory stresses that the international community’s continuing neglect of the essence of the crisis, contentment with condemnation and trying to contain the side effects will only result in the loss of more innocent lives and mass displacement of people.
and victims who have become displaced in the open in difficult humanitarian conditions, while others became refugees in foreign countries living in the worst possible conditions and some of them are a burden on poor countries in the first place, not to mention hundreds of thousands of children who have dropped out of school and are living below the poverty rates, in addition to hundreds of thousands of injured who suffer permanent injuries and disabilities.
Meanwhile, based on the doctrine of the SOHR and its belief in the right of Syrians to a democratic state and dignified life, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights shall continue to document and monitor all what is happening all over Syria and the violations committed by the various parties. SOHR also pledges its readiness to provide all documents and evidence it has to the concerned international organizations upon request, in order to prosecute the perpetrators of war crimes in Syria. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also stresses that neglecting to hold those responsible for war crimes to account will entrench a new global doctrine of impunity. therefore, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights calls on the international judicial authorities to investigate the crimes and violations that took and are taking place in Syria, to find the perpetrators and hold them accountable, and to ensure that they do not evade justice.