Remote Sensing. Satellite Imagery of Conflict in Aleppo

The selected report describes a two-week period of a human rights-related issue in Aleppo, Syria, that took place between 9 and 23 August 2012 (“Satellite imagery analysis,” n.d.). The conflict analyzed in the report concerns the largest city in Syria, which is situated in the northwest of the country. As of July 2012, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) mentioned that the situation in Aleppo was so dramatic that it could be designated as “a civil war” (“Syria in civil war,” 2012, para. 1). Therefore, several major world organizations were involved in the elucidation of the issue.

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When it became apparent that the situation in Aleppo was getting out of control, Amnesty International, USA (AIUSA), started searching for support from Earth observation (EO) organizations to obtain reliable and actual data on the conflict. The AIUSA addressed the Geospatial Technologies and Human Rights Project of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for help (“Satellite imagery analysis,” n.d.). The process of acquiring imagery was promoted by the use of the Quickbird-2 satellite, which was operated by DigitalGlobe, Inc. Another technology employed for obtaining images was the IKONOS satellite operated by GeoEye, Inc. With the help of these tools, it became possible to receive images of many incidents happening through Aleppo during the two-week period.

Despite the high level of EO technologies’ quality, there were some difficulties in obtaining a clear picture of the whole city. The problem was that Aleppo’s landscape was largely made of multi-story buildings situated too close to one another for the satellite to see down to the narrow spaces between them (“Satellite imagery analysis,” n.d.). However, even though some challenges emerged, they did not prevent EO professionals from collecting data on the major destructions caused by the conflict. In total, EO technologies allowed observing 117 cases of damage to Aleppo’s infrastructure and buildings in the period between 9 and 23 August.

The issue was reported with the help of images obtained by EO technologies and a detailed description of the events happening in the city during the period observed. The report is well structured so as to present information in a concise but quite informative manner. Each of the images is accompanied by a detailed description of the objects and areas captured on it. The organization that prepared the report was Geospatial Technologies and Human Rights Project (“Satellite imagery analysis,” n.d.). Data sources were the Quickbird-2 satellite and the IKONOS satellite. Data were accessed by the reporting organization from DigitalGlobe, Inc. and GeoEye, Inc.

As for me, this type of analysis and reporting is a rather professional and effective one. All the vital information has been presented and explained in detail. The report contains a variety of images with the mentioning of their direct locations. Additionally, reporters acknowledge that some of the city’s areas were impossible to capture with EO technologies and assume that more damage could have been done to Aleppo (“Satellite imagery analysis,” n.d.). I think that the organization chose this type of reporting because it allows making clear conclusions about the human rights issue based on imagery obtained, as well as on explanations following it. Another probable reason for selecting this report type is to justify the severity of the conflict by providing reliable evidence from some of the most professional EO organizations.


Satellite imagery analysis for urban conflict documentation: Aleppo, Syria. (n.d.). Web.

Syria in civil war, Red Cross says. (2012, July 15). BBC. Web.

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StudyCorgi. "Remote Sensing. Satellite Imagery of Conflict in Aleppo." August 1, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Remote Sensing. Satellite Imagery of Conflict in Aleppo." August 1, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Remote Sensing. Satellite Imagery of Conflict in Aleppo'. 1 August.

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