Syria: ‘We had nowhere to go’ – Forced displacement and demolitions in Northern Syria

Civilians living in areas of northern Syria under the de facto control of the Autonomous Administration led by the Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat (Democratic Union Party, PYD) are being subjected to serious abuses that include forced displacement and home demolitions. The Autonomous Administration has failed to provide civilians with compensation for their losses or alternative housing. Many of the civilians who have lost their homes and properties have nowhere else to go. While some have sought refuge in southern Turkey, others are displaced in Syria at times living in schools, camps, or with relatives.
This report documents the deliberate demolition of civilian homes and the forced displacement of civilians, and in some instances entire villages, by the Autonomous Administration, in particular its police and military wings. While the Autonomous Administration has claimed that its forced displacement of civilians was not arbitrary because it was necessary on military grounds or for the security or protection of local residents, this report documents cases in which there was no such justification. Amnesty International considers that these instances of forced displacement, demolitions and confiscation of civilian property constitute war crimes.

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