Reconciling with death, disappearance and fear

Young Syrians forcefully conscripted by Assad regime forces in Damascus

By Syrian Association for Citizens’ Dignity (SACD),24 July 2019

Since 2016, the regime of Bashar al-Assad, with the help of its Russian and Iranian allies, has employed indiscriminate attacks and siege warfare to negotiate surrender of several areas formerly held by the opposition forces. Many of these negotiated surrenders have included so called “reconciliation deals”mostly offered to people formerly affiliated with the opposition forces, but in some cases to the entire population who chose to stay after the area was retaken by the regime. These “reconciliation deals,” whose implementation was supposed to be guaranteed by Russia, nominally envisaged that those who stayed in the areas retaken by the regime would, in exchange for detailed “confession” of their affiliation with the opposition forces, have their rights restored, be free from persecution, harassment and, importantly, from the forced recruitment into Assad’s forces for at least six months. The regime’s propaganda has hailed these agreements as a model for return of the displaced Syrians, often tricking some of those most desperate, living in the increasingly difficult conditions of displacement, to return.

Funeral of Assad regime fighters in Latakia
Russian military presence on the ground in Syria

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Syrian Association for Citizens’ Dignity

Syrian Association for Citizens’ Dignity

The Syrian Association for Citizens’ Dignity SACD is a national grassroots civil rights-based popular movement, founded and led by displaced Syrians.