Today, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) published a Country of Origin Information (COI) Report titled Syria: Exercise of authority in recaptured areas. This report is part of a series of Syria reports produced in 2019-2020. These reports cover actors of protection, internal mobility, key socio-economic indicators, and targeting of individuals. The reports provide information relevant for international protection status determination for Syrian asylum seekers and will be used in the development of a country guidance note on Syria.
Syrians continued to be the top citizenship applying for asylum in the EU+ uninterruptedly since 2013, although the number of applications lodged between January and November 2019 (some 65 600) was lower than in the same period in 2018 (about 69 900). Three in every four Syrian applications (almost 75 %) were lodged in four EU+ countries.
Syrian applicants also received more first-instance decisions than any other citizenship group. Since the beginning of 2019, Syrian applicants received some 72 200 decisions. Syria was also the country of origin whose nationals had the most cases pending at first instance in the EU+. At the end of November 2019, there were some 49 000 Syrian applications awaiting a first-instance decision, some 80 % of which were pending in just five EU+ countries.
The report, EASO COI Report: Syria – Exercise of authority in recaptured areas, concerns the Syrian territories, which have been outside the control of the Government of Syria and returned to its control through so-called reconciliation agreements. It explores how these agreements were reached, their consequences for the population of the respective areas, as well as how the Government of Syria exerts its control in the aftermath.
The report was drafted by the Country of Origin Information (COI) specialists on Syria from Norway (Landinfo), as referred to in the acknowledgments section in accordance with the EASO COI Report Methodology, and was reviewed by COI experts from the Netherlands. Additionally, an external expert reviews were carried out by ACCORD.
Additional information to complement this report can be found in the following EASO reports: