[Main COI reference: Targeting, 5.2]
In Dar’a, GoS armed forces and affiliated groups were attacked on multiple occasions. Attacks included detonating bombs, mines, booby-trapped cars and the use of light and medium weapons, and also unclaimed guerrilla attacks, IED explosions, assassinations and kidnappings. SOHR registered 171 casualties from the attacks between June 2019 and January 2020, the majority of which were members of the GoS armed forces and affiliated groups (91), former opposition fighters reconciled with GoS (29) and civilians (28).
The Popular Resistance armed group claimed responsibility for the assassination of several reconciled opposition fighters and reconciliation facilitators. A significant part of attacks that that took place during 2019 in southern Syria were part of an organised armed insurgency against the GoS that was re-emerging in the area.
In areas controlled by the government, ISIL claimed attacks in Dar’a and launched larger-scale attacks against Syrian security forces from the Badia desert in central Syria.
ISIL attacks on GoS forces were recorded in the desert areas of Homs and Deir Ez-Zor governorates. In Syria’s central desert, along the M20 highway that runs between Palmyra and Deir Ez-Zor, GoS soldiers and affiliated militiamen were reported to be killed almost daily in ISIL attacks carried along the highway [Security 2020, 1.4.6].
See also the general COI summary under Persons associated with the Government of Syria.
Certain risks for members of armed forces are inherent to their military status and the ongoing civil war and those would not amount to persecution or serious harm. However, actions outside the conduct of war could be of such severe nature that they would amount to persecution (e.g. assassination and kidnapping).
Not all individuals under this profile would face the level of risk required to establish well-founded fear of persecution. The individual assessment of whether or not there is a reasonable degree of likelihood for the applicant to face persecution should take into account risk-impacting circumstances, in particular the regional specifics (depending on the presence and activity of anti-government armed groups).
Nexus to a reason for persecution
Available information indicates that persecution of this profile is for reasons of (imputed) political opinion.
! Exclusion considerations could be relevant to this profile (see the chapter Exclusion).