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Syria has detailed counterterrorism provisions in its domestic law. Over the past decade, the regime has itself engaged in widespread terror against its own population. 

Compliance with International Law:
Last updated: one year ago

The Definition of Terrorism in Domestic Law

Article 1 of the 2012 Terrorism Act defines terrorism in broad and vague terms as follows:

Any act aimed at creating panic among people, disturbing public security or damaging the infrastructure or infrastructure of the State and using weapons, ammunition, explosives, inflammable materials, toxic products, incinerator, epidemiological factors or microbial agents regardless of the type of means or by using any tool that does the same purpose.

Adherence to Global and Regional Terrorism Treaties


Syria is a State Party to only a few of the main United Nations treaties on terrorism.


Adherence to Global Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1973 Convention on Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons State Party
1979 Hostage-Taking Convention State not party
1997 Terrorist Bombings Convention State not party
1999 Terrorist Financing Convention State Party
2005 Nuclear Terrorism Convention Signatory

In adhering to the 1999 Convention, Syria made a reservation concerning the provisions of Article 2(1)(b) "inasmuch as the Syrian Arab Republic considers that acts of resistance to foreign occupation are not included under acts of terrorism".


Syria is also a State Party to the main regional treaties on terrorism.


Adherence to Regional Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1998 Arab Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism State Party
1999 OIC Convention on Combating International Terrorism Status unknown

Laws and Penalties for Terrorist Offences

Certain terror offences carry the death penalty under Syrian law through the Criminal Code. By 2015, the Syrian government security agencies had referred more than 80,000 people, most civilians, to the Counter-Terrorism Court (CTC) created in 2012 by presidential decree. 

On 30 April 2022, the Syrian regime issued Legislative Decree No. 7 of 2022, granting a general amnesty for crimes of “terrorism” committed by Syrians before the date. The decree excluded the fatal crimes, included in the Counter-Terrorism Law No. 19 of 2012, the Penal Law issued by Legislative Decree No. 148 of 1949, and its amendments of 2011. 

Counterterrorism Capacities and Policies at Domestic Level

Syrian security forces have widespread counterterrorism capacities, but have also themselves engaged in manifold terror attacks against Syrians.


Carter Center Report on Counterterrorism in Syria including English translation of the 2012 Law

Independent report on the 2012 Terrorism Law