*** After years of intense siege by multiple forces including the Syrian government and ISIS, Yarmouk was recaptured by pro-government forces in late May 2018. Under an evacuation deal between the Syrian government and ISIS, ~1,000 ISIS fighters were transported to the desert Badiya area of Syria, and their family members were sent to Idlib. Much of the neighborhood that was still standing after years of fighting was destroyed in the final pro-government offensive. Yarmouk was subsequently reclassified from a Tier 1 besieged area to the Siege Watch Watchlist. More details in the forthcoming Siege Watch Tenth Quarterly Report - Part 2, which will be published in late summer 2018. ***
Dates: Besieged in stages since the beginning of 2013, intensified mid-2013.
Siege classification: Tier 1
Besieged by: Syrian government, ISIS, armed groups. While the primary siege is imposed by the Syrian government around the southern suburbs, ISIS and other armed groups impose further access restrictions to Yarmouk with checkpoints between different communities.
UN recognizes siege?: Yes, UN OCHA re-designated Yarmouk as besieged in January 2016 after previously removing it from the besieged list in July 2015.
Active Truce?: No. There are ongoing negotiations between different factions and Syrian government allies. Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) is talking to Iran and Qatar to surrender the small northwestern portion of Yarmouk that it controls as part of the complex "Four Towns." ISIS was reportedly in talks with the Russians in May and June to cede control of Hajar al-Aswad and the portion of Yarmouk that it controls, but these did not materialize.
Current population: 8,000 (as of 7/31/17)
Civil control: None
Military control: Primarily ISIS, small portions controlled by HTS, and a pro-government Palestinian faction.
Siege-related deaths: Approximately 182 (as of 11/6/15)
Aid: The portion of Yarmouk controlled by HTS received a small aid delivery facilitated by SARC in September 2017, in return for a corresponding delivery to Fuaa and Kefraya in Idlib (as part of the "Four Towns" agreement"). There was also a medical evacuation of a handful of HTS fighters and their families in May. UNRWA humanitarian aid has not been distributed inside of Yarmouk since March 2015.
Active conflict: No attacks by the Syrian government, but there continue to be frequent violent clashes between ISIS and other groups, primarily HTS.
Additional Details: Civilians can move between most of the besieged southern suburbs, but movement to and from Yarmouk Camp is more difficult due to ISIS presence and fighting between groups. ISIS controls checkpoints entering Yarmouk on one side, and armed opposition groups including Jaysh al-Islam, Ahfad al-Rasoul, and Ajnad al-Sham control the checkpoints on the other sides.