The purpose of this report is to provide relevant information regarding the main actors in Syria for the assessment of international protection status determination, including refugee status and subsidiary protection, and in particular to inform the EASO country guidance development on Syria.
The information gathered is a result of research using public, specialised paper-based and electronic sources until 31 October 2019. Some additional information was added during the finalisation of this report in response to feedback received during the quality control process, until 29 November 2019. The report is based on information from UN reports, reports from human rights organisations, academic publications and news articles, that in different ways describe the actors in Syria.
The report starts with a brief introduction to the background to the civil war and the international actors involved. Chapter 2 describes the mandate/structure, protection capabilities and integrity issues of government actors and affiliated armed groups.
Subsequent chapters provide information on the main non-state actors operating in areas outside the control of the Syrian government, such as the Syrian Democratic Forces in the Kurdish controlled areas of north east Syria (Chapter 3), Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in the Idlib area (Chapter 4), the Syrian National Army in northern Aleppo governorate (Chapter 5) and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Chapter 6). Their objectives, structure, presence, and activities are discussed in the respective chapters.
This report was drafted by the EASO COI sector with research contributions from the COI unit of the Romanian General Inspectorate for Immigration, Ministry of Internal Affairs.
The following departments and organisations have reviewed the report:
Austria, Federal Office for Immigration and Asylum, Country of Origin Information Department
ACCORD, the Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation
Additionally, Aron Lund, fellow at the Century Foundation and guest researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), reviewed this report.
This report was written according to the EASO COI Report Methodology (June 2019).