Families of ISIS Missing Deserve Truth

The ‘Coalition of Families of Those Kidnapped by ISIS’, a new organization of Syrian families based in Paris, held a joint news conference with Human Rights Watch on May 14 calling on the anti-ISIS coalition to create a formal mechanism to address the issue of missing persons in Northeast Syria. The families in the coalition […]

The Astana Process Has Failed Idlib

Over the past two weeks, Russia and the Syrian government have significantly escalated airstrikes on the de-escalation zone in Northwestern Syria, pounding the last rebel-held territories in southern Idlib and Northern Hama. The humanitarian costs of these attacks have already been devastating. The Syrian government, once again, is fighting with an utter disregard for civilian […]

Meeting the Challenges of Northeastern Syria

In recent months, discussions on Northeastern Syria have centered on one question: who will control the region after a United States military draw down? The answer will undoubtedly shape the future of the region. Yet as these discussions carry on, local communities are facing a number of immediate challenges that, if ignored, will irreversibly hinder […]

Lessons for Syria from Tunisia’s Truth and Dignity Commission

  Since the government of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was toppled in 2011, Tunisia has embarked on the long process of reconciliation and transitional justice. This past week, 8 years after protests first swept through the streets of Tunis, Tunisians marked a major milestone in this effort with the release of the Truth and […]

Prosecuting ISIS in Northeast Syria

  On April 11, the Syrian Democratic Forces announced an agreement with Baghdad to repatriate 31,000 Iraqis, mostly women and children, currently held in Northeast Syria. This is a troubling development, given the human rights violations that have been widely documented in Iraq’s prosecution of suspected ISIS members and supporters, and the decision further complicates […]

Report Release: An Analysis of Survivor Accounts of SGBV in Syria

  Since the earliest days of the conflict in Syria, rumors and reports of sexual and gender-based violence have been rampant, but collecting high-quality documentation of such crimes has proved challenging. Since 2014, SJAC has made a concerted effort to access survivors of SGBV and document their experiences, in an attempt to understand how SGBV […]

Understanding the Role of Sanctions in the Syrian Conflict

  Since the beginning of the conflict in Syria, foreign countries have imposed economic sanctions on the Syrian government, implementing what has been called “some of the most complicated and far reaching sanction regimes ever imposed.”  While the countries in question claim that such sanctions place targeted pressure on the Assad government and its allies […]

Legal Limbo: The Future of ISIS’s Children

  In recent weeks, international media has been flooded with stories of foreign ISIS members who are attempting to return to their home countries in Europe and North America. Ensuring that these individuals receive fair trials and are not threatened with statelessness via de-naturalization should be a priority for the international community. However, these stories […]

Justice or Forgiveness? The Case of Anwar Raslan

  On February 13, prosecutors in Germany announced that they, in conjunction with their French counterparts, arrested three Syrians accused of crimes against humanity. One of these suspects, identified only as Anwar R., is alleged to have been involved in the torture and ill-treatment of prisoners in a government detention center in Damascus. Soon reports […]

US Military Report on Civilian Casualties Fails to Address Syrian Concerns

A US Department of Defense (DOD) report from April 2018 on the US military’s process for assessing civilian casualties (CIVCAS) was partially declassified and released to the public in early February. The United States has previously been criticized for its extremely low estimates of civilian casualties in Syria and the large discrepancies between its estimates […]