8 January 2019
Our new War Report article The Syrian Conflict: Nearing the End?, written by Marija Sulce, provides an overview of the current situation in Syria, details the role and involvement of the various armed groups in the multiple and overlapping non-international armed conflicts that are taking place throughout the country, and maps foreign involvement of countries like the United States (US), Turkey, Iran or Russia in the international armed conflicts that are ongoing in Syria.
This short publication also reviews key developments in 2018, as well as war crimes allegations, investigations and prosecutions, including the work of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism.
It will form part, along with other analysis of conflict situations, of the War Report 2018 which will be published in the first quarter of 2019.
The article provides the tools to understand the complex dynamics that are at stake in Syria and recent developments, including the decline of the Islamic State, Assad’s territorial gains and the US announcement on 20 December 2018 of the full withdrawal of its troops.
‘While it seems that the conflict is nearing the end, the current situation in Syria is still highly volatile’ underlines Dr Annyssa Bellal, Strategic Adviser on International Humanitarian Law at the Geneva Academy and Editor of the War Report.
‘Several armed groups continue to operate in Syria, issues such as humanitarian access remain crucial and the involvement of different states like Turkey or Iran generates an extremely complex situation’ she adds.
The article also reviews the main allegations of war crimes committed in Syria by the various parties to the conflict, and the work of the newly established International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism.
The Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts (RULAC) online portal provides information on the classification of the international armed conflicts and non-international armed conflicts that are taking place in Syria, identifies the parties to these conflicts, and the applicable law.
In his latest report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the UN Secretary-General refers to our Guidelines on Investigating Violation of IHL, co-published with the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The updated Commentary on the Third Geneva Convention will bewill be launched online on 16 June where an expert panel, including our Director Professor Marco Sassòli, will discuss the Commentary's main findings and will examine how international humanitarian law protects prisoners of war.
In this online event co-organized with the ATLAS Network, prominent women in international law will share their experience and advice through an interactive discussion.
Resulting from traditional legal research and informal interviews with experts, the project aims at examining how – if at all possible – IHL could be more systematically, appropriately and correctly dealt with by the human rights mechanisms emanating from the Charter of the United Nations, as well from universal and regional treaties.