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Last update: April 2024

In armed conflicts, the targeting of civilians may have nexus to one of the reasons for persecution according to the refugee definition. Therefore, refugee status may be granted as noted in the section above.  

See, for example, the profiles 4.4. Members of and persons perceived to be collaborating with the SDF and YPG, and 4.7. Persons associated with the Government of Syria. Such targeted violence, furthermore, would not be considered ‘indiscriminate’.

a) Reference period

The following assessment is primarily based on the 2023 EUAA COI report on the security situation in Syria, with the reference period 1 August 2022 – 31 July 2023. Some indicators re updated with information concerning the period 1 August 2023 – 30 November 2023 based on the EUAA COI Update 2023. Background information regarding the conflict in Syria is also taken into account.

This guidance should be considered valid as long as current events and developments fall within the trends and patterns of violence observed within the reference period of the mentioned COI report. New events and developments that cause substantial changes, new trends or geographical shifts in the violence, may lead to a different assessment. The security situation in a given territory should always be assessed in light of the most up-to-date COI available.

b) Legal framework

Article 15(c) QD defines the third type of harm that constitutes a ground for qualification for subsidiary protection. It covers a more general risk of harm and the protection needs which may arise from armed conflict situations.

Figure 2. Article 15(c) QD: elements of the assessment.


All of these elements have to be fulfilled in order to grant subsidiary protection under Article 15(c) QD.

Common analysis and assessment of the factual preconditions for the possible application of Article 15(c) QD with regard to the situation in Syria is provided in the sub-sections below.