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Support for Peace in Syria

  • The Carter Center supports research and dialogue to prevent further violence in Syria with the aim of supporting reform, economic recovery, reconstruction, and the return of refugees. Above, Syrian children in a refugee camp in Turkey on the Syrian-Turkish border. (Photo: Thomas Koch/Shutterstock.com)

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Since conflict erupted in March 2011, 11.7 million Syrians have been displaced, either within Syria or in neighboring countries and beyond. More than half a million have been killed, a third of the country’s housing stock has been damaged, economic development has been set back some 40 years, and millions of children have been deprived of schooling. Unemployment in Syria is rampant, and some 80% of the population lives on less than US$3.10 a day, leaving millions of youth who came of age during the war susceptible to recruitment by violent extremist organizations.

The war in Syria has largely come to an end, except in Idlib and other territorial pockets not under control of the Syrian government. Through successive military advances and surrender agreements over the course of 2018, the Syrian government and its allies have all but eliminated the potential for regime change by force and have reasserted government authority over most of its territory.

The transformed conflict requires peacebuilding efforts that acknowledge the reality of the Syrian government’s standing while leveraging possible incremental change and eventual full-scale recovery for the whole of Syria, inclusive of all Syrian territory and citizens.

About the Project

Having been engaged in Syria since before 2011, The Carter Center has long-term relationships with all stakeholders and is uniquely capable of building trust among Syrians and between Syrians and the international community. The Carter Center's work in Syria is designed to bring stakeholders together to develop visions for a political resolution to the conflict and to channel their ideas to top-level mediation processes. The Center also monitors, documents, and analyzes levels of violence throughout the country. The Center’s advantages and long-standing promotion of realistic policy goals in Syria make it particularly well-placed to meet current peacebuilding needs for purposes of reforms, the peaceful reintegration of the country, economic recovery, reconstruction, and refugee return.

Currently, the Support for Peace in Syria Initiative proceeds along two interrelated lines: conflict transformation dialogue and conflict research, analysis, and documentation.

Conflict Transformation Dialogue

The Carter Center's work in Syria is designed to bring stakeholders together to develop visions for negotiated reforms, and to promote informed, constructive engagement through dialogue and consultations among Syrians across multiple divides and with international representatives from the U.S., Russia, Europe, and the Middle East. Workshops and consultations organized by the Center have sought to address contentious issues, bridge communication gaps among different components of Syrian society, and develop new, innovative ideas for conflict transformation.

Issues addressed in workshops have included requirements for reconstruction, constitutional and governance options, administrative decentralization, majority/minority concerns, the role of religion in Syria, gender issues, property rights, and more. The Carter Center’s results of these Syrian-led dialogues have been shared with Track 1, 2, and 3 stakeholders.

In 2019, in an attempt to contribute to a new policy debate on the Syrian conflict, The Carter Center launched a research and dialogue project that aims to find a framework for conflict transformation in Syria. This work to date has focused on the leveraging of sanctions and on positive steps by the Syrian government. A key objective for the Center is to change the policy conversation around Syria so that policymakers understand the harm and limitations that sanctions and isolation are exacting and can begin to build an approach that uses sanctions as a potentially transformational, rather than punitive, tool through a process of sanctions adjustment.

The activities of the initiative are guided by the following objectives: (1) Well-informed dialogue amongst key Syria stakeholders, including the international community, the government of Syria, the opposition, and civil society, through knowledge production and strengthened relationships; and (2) International and national political momentum around actions for positive steps in Syria and incremental sanctions adjustment. The aim of the Center’s initiative is to encourage the government of Syria to agree to take positive steps and to address the humanitarian and socio-political needs of Syrians, including the return of refugees.

Conflict Mapping, Research, Analysis, and Documentation

+Read Conflict Mapping and Analysis Reports

March 23-29, 2020 | Weekly Conflict Summary

March 16-22, 2020 | Weekly Conflict Summary

March 9-15, 2020 | Weekly Conflict Summary

March 2-8, 2020 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Feb. 24-March 1, 2020 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Feb.17-23, 2020 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Feb. 10-16, 2020 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Feb. 3-9, 2020 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Jan. 27-Feb. 2, 2020 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Jan. 20-26, 2020 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Jan. 13-19, 2020 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Jan. 17, 2020 | Explosive Munitions Contamination in Damascus City and Rural Damascus| Interactive Map

Jan. 6-12, 2020 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Dec. 30, 2019-Jan. 5, 2020 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Nov. 25-Dec. 8, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Nov. 11-24, 2019 | Two-week Conflict Summary

Nov. 19, 2019 | Explosive Munitions Contamination in Southern Syria | Interactive Map

Nov. 4-10, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Oct. 28-Nov. 3, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Oct. 21-27, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Oct. 14-20, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Oct. 7-13, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

September 2018-August 2019 | Special Report: Internal Conflict in Northwest Syria

Sept. 30-Oct. 6, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Sept. 23-29, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Sept. 16-22, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Sept. 9-15, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Sept. 2-8, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Aug. 26-Sept. 1, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Aug. 19-25, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Aug. 29, 2019 | Update on Conflict in Southern Syria: August 2018 to July 2019

Aug. 12-18, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Aug. 5-11, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

July 29-Aug. 4, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

July 22-28, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

July 15-21, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

July 8-14, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

July 1-7, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

June 24-30, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

June 17- 23, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

June 10-16, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

June 3-9, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

May 27-June 2, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

May 20 - 26, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

May 13-19, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

May 6-12, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

April 29-May 5, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

April 22-28, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

April 15-21, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

April 8-14, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

April 1-7, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

March 25-31, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

March 18-24, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

March 11-17, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

March 15, 2019 | A Review of ISIS in Syria: Oct. 2016 to Jan. 2019

March 4-10, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Feb. 25-March 3, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Feb. 18-24, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Feb. 11-17, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Feb. 4-10, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Jan. 28-Feb. 3, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Jan. 21-27, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Jan. 14-20, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Jan. 7-13, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Dec. 31, 2018-Jan. 6, 2019 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Dec. 10-16, 2018 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Nov. 24-Dec. 9, 2018 | Conflict Summary

Nov. 16, 2018 | Post-Idleb Agreement Conflict Trends

June 1-July 10, 2018 | Syria Conflict Update

April 25-May 30, 2018 | Syria Conflict Update

April 19-25, 2018 | Weekly Conflict Summary

April 12-18, 2018 | Weekly Conflict Summary

March 29-April 4, 2018 | Weekly Conflict Summary

March 22-28, 2018 | Weekly Conflict Summary

March 15-21, 2018 | Weekly Conflict Summary

March 1-7, 2018 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Feb. 22-28, 2018 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Feb. 15-21, 2018 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Feb. 8-14, 2018 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Feb. 1 -7, 2018 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Jan. 25-31, 2018 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Jan. 18-24, 2018 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Jan. 11-17, 2018 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Dec. 21, 2017-Jan. 10, 2018 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Dec. 14-20, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Dec. 7-13, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Nov. 23-29, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Nov. 16-22, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Nov. 9-15, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Nov. 14, 2017 | Status Report on Yarmouk Camp

Nov. 2-8, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Nov. 7, 2017 | Relations between Hai’yat Tahrir al-Sham and Nour al-Din al-Zinki in 2017

Oct. 26 – Nov. 1, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Oct. 19-25, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Oct. 12-18, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Oct. 5-11, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Sept. 28-Oct. 4, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Sept. 21-27, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Sept. 14-20, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Sept. 7-13, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Aug. 31-Sept. 6, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Sept. 1, 2017 | Nationwide Conflict Update

July 20-26, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

July 13-19, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

July 6-12, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

June 29-July 5, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

June 22-28, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

June 15-21, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

June 8-14, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

June 1-7, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

May 25-31, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

May 18-24, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

May 11-17, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

May 5-10, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

April 27-May 3, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

April 20-26, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

April 13-19, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

April 6-12, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

March 30-April 5, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

March 23-29, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

March 15-22, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

March 9-15, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

March 2-8, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Feb. 27, 2017 | Foreign Volunteers for the Syrian Kurdish Forces

Feb. 23-March 1, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Feb. 16-22, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Feb. 9-15, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Feb. 2-8, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Jan. 26-Feb. 1, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Jan. 19-25, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Dec. 29, 2016-Jan. 4, 2017 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Dec. 8-14, 2016 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Dec. 1-7, 2016 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Nov. 30, 2016 | Syria: Aleppo and Beyond

Nov. 10-16, 2016 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Nov. 3-9, 2016 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Oct. 27-Nov. 2, 2016 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Oct. 20-26, 2016 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Oct. 13-19, 2016 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Oct. 6-12, 2016 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Sept. 29-Oct. 5, 2016 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Sept. 28, 2016 | Grad Missile Sightings

Sept. 22-28, 2016 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Sept. 15-21, 2016 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Sept. 8-14, 2016 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Sept. 1-7, 2016 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Aug. 25-31, 2016 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Aug. 18-24, 2016 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Aug. 11-17, 2016 | Weekly Conflict Summary

Aug. 4-10, 2016 | Weekly Conflict Summary

July 28-Aug. 3, 2016 | Weekly Conflict Summary

July 21-27, 2016 | Weekly Conflict Summary

July 14-21, 2016 | Weekly Conflict Summary

July 7-13, 2016& | Weekly Conflict Summary

June 30-July 6, 2016 | Weekly Conflict Summary

June 23-29, 2016 | Weekly Conflict Summary

June 16-22, 2016 | Weekly Conflict Summary

June 9-15, 2016 | Weekly Conflict Summary

June 2-8, 2016 | Weekly Conflict Summary

May 26-June 1, 2016 | Weekly Conflict Summary

May 19-25, 2016 | Weekly Conflict Summary

May 12-18, 2016 | Weekly Conflict Summary

May 5-11, 2016 | Weekly Conflict Summary

April 28-May 4, 2016 | Weekly Conflict Summary

April 20-27, 2016 | Weekly Conflict Summary

April 21, 2016 | The Cessation of Hostilities

Jan. 29, 2016 | Russian Airstrikes Update

Oct. 30, 2015 | Syria Conflict Update

Oct. 9, 2015 | Syria Frontlines Update

Oct. 8, 2015 | Russia's Intervention (عربي)

July 10, 2015| Southern Syria Conflict Update

May 15, 2015 | The Islamic State in Southern Syria

Feb. 28, 2015 | Syria Countrywide Conflict Report #5

Nov. 7, 2014 | Aleppo Status of Forces Update

Oct. 20, 2014 | International Coalition Airstrikes Against the Islamic State in Syria

Sept. 11, 2014 | Syria Countrywide Conflict Report #4

April 1, 2014 | Opposition Coastal Offensive Conflict Report

March 14, 2014 | Syria Countrywide Conflict Report #3

Nov. 20, 2013 | Syria Countrywide Conflict Report #2

Nov. 5, 2013 | Pro-Government Paramilitary Forces

Aug. 20, 2013 | Syria Countrywide Conflict Report #1

June 7, 2013 | Regional Conflict Report #2: Damascus

April 25, 2013 | Regional Conflict Report #1: Aleppo

Feb. 18, 2013 | Regional Conflict Report: Ras al-Ain

Through the analysis of open-source information related to the Syrian conflict and consultations with stakeholders on the ground, the Center has documented and mapped over 200,000 conflict events in Syria, as well as the changing relations between thousands of armed groups and their areas of control, and front-line changes throughout the conflict. Together, this information has allowed the Center to provide mediators and humanitarian responders with up-to-date, detailed analysis of developments throughout Syria.

More than 450 humanitarians, diplomats, partners, and other subscribers receive the Center’s weekly conflict incident reports, along with quarterly, deep-dive analysis. European special envoys for Syria have encouraged the Center to continue and deepen its analysis of potential and alternative conflict-resolution avenues as the Center brings a unique perspective from more than a decade of engagement in Syria.

To request access to data on areas of control, or general information, please email kate.keator@cartercenter.org. You can subscribe to weekly updates by clicking here

Carter Center Syria Op-Eds and Articles

Since the onset of the uprising in March 2011, and the subsequent devolution into a catastrophic conflict, the Center has expanded its efforts to support a political solution in Syria.

+Read the Op-eds, Articles

The following Op-Eds and articles highlight the Center's work in Syria:

Aug. 24, 2018
In Syria, an Ugly Peace Is Better Than More War
Published by The New York Times

March 14, 2017 
Using Social Media, Carter Center Maps Syria Conflict
Published by Voice of America

Sept. 20, 2016
Jimmy Carter: A First Step for Syria? Stop the Killing
Published by The New York Times

April 25, 2016
The Prospects for Peace or War in Syria
Conflict Resolution Program Director Hrair Balian, speech at the World Affairs Council.

Oct. 30, 2015
Toward a Five-Nation Peace Plan for Syria: Q&A with Hrair Balian
Published by the International Peace Institute.

Oct. 23, 2015
Jimmy Carter: A Five-Nation Plan to End the Syrian Crisis
Jimmy Carter op-ed, published by The New York Times.

Aug. 28, 2015
Why 'No-fly Zones' or 'IS-free Zones' Are Not a Solution in Syria 
Hrair Balian op-ed, published by the Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Center and OpenDemocracy.

March 14, 2015
Syria's Civil War Sees No End in Sight
Hrair Balian op-ed, published by Al Jazeera America.

April 15, 2014
How Researchers Use Social Media To Map The Conflict In Syria
Published by Forbes.

Feb. 11, 2014
Syria's Refugees: Regional Implications of the Conflict
Transcript: Q&A. Participant: Hrair Balian, Director, Conflict Resolution Program, The Carter Center.

Dec. 22, 2013
Time to be Bold and Make Peace in Syria
Jimmy Carter and Robert Pastor op-ed, published by The Washington Post.

Sept. 11, 2013
Jimmy Carter: The World Now Has a Chance to End War in Syria 
Jimmy Carter op-ed, published by The Washington Post.

Aug. 30, 2013
Statement From The Carter Center on the Syria Crisis
Published by Politico, Global News, and Daily Caller.

July 12, 2013
Carter Center Staff to Travel to Syria for Discussion on Political Transition