Conflict in Syria

Since the beginning of 2011, protests for democratic reform had been ongoing in various cities across Syria. The Assad regime’s violent crackdown on peaceful protesters in March 2011 led to many civilian deaths and injuries. Thousands of civilians were detained arbitrarily and there were credible reports of summary executions and torture. The actions of the Assad regime, including its alleged use of chemical weapons, led thousands of Syrians to flee to neighbouring countries resulting in a serious humanitarian crisis in the region.

Since 2013, the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has been carrying out a campaign of unspeakable atrocities against civilians and all those who oppose it in areas under its control. ISIL has, for example, tortured and beheaded people, raped and sold women into slavery, slaughtered minorities and kidnapped innocent victims.

Since the start of the Syrian uprising, Canada has worked to support the Syrian people. We have been active in calling on the international community to come together and defend the rights of the Syrian people to determine their own future and have contributed to international efforts to mitigate security threats (e.g., support for the destruction of Syria’s declared chemical weapons). Canada is also at the forefront of international efforts to address the significant security threat posed by ISIL, as well as the humanitarian and political challenges it has created.

Travel advice

Global Affairs Canada advises against all travel to Syria due to ongoing conflict. For travel advice and information on the security situation in Syria, see Travel advice and advisories for Syria.

Humanitarian, development and security assistance

Canada has given generously to the various international efforts to support the Syrian people, including those living as refugees in neighboring countries. To date, Canada has committed over $969 million in humanitarian, development and security assistance in response to the Syria crisis. For more information, see Canada’s response to the conflict in Syria.