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I. Rumours, Reports, Evidence


Syrian civilians searching through the debris of destroyed buildings in the aftermath of a strike by Syrian regime forces, in the neighborhood of Jabal Bedro, Aleppo, on 19 February 2013 © Aleppo Media Center

I. Rumours, Reports, Evidence

There has been a lot of talk about various measures being taken by the Syrian and the Iranian regimes that allegedly indicate a deliberate policy of ethnic or sectarian cleansing in certain parts of Syria.1 But there has been little systematic effort to gather substantiated details and produce concrete evidence of such allegations. This report does not aim to provide such conclusive evidence. It simply provides a few examples, pointers and arguments that will hopefully encourage and assist further investigations.

Contents of this Chapter:

  1. Destruction
  2. Demolitions
  3. ‘Urban planning’
  4. Appropriation
  5. The reconstruction business
  6. Forced displacement and population transfer
  7. Sectarian cleansing?


Notes & References:

1.  There have been countless articles and commentary pieces by Syrians about this subject over the last two years. Just as an example, Syrian opposition figure Burhan Ghalyoun talked in an interview on Al-Jazeera on 8 December 2014 about “demographic change in Syria through forcible displacement and population transfer.” Available in Arabic: