*** Jisreen was reclassified from a Tier 1 siege to the Siege Watch 'Watchlist' on 31 March 2018, when most of Eastern Ghouta reverted entirely to government control following a final scorched earth offensive, surrender deal, and forced population transfers to northern Syria.***
Post-siege Note: Jisreen was captured by pro-government forces on 16 March 2018 during an unprecedented and devastating final scorched earth campaign by the Syrian government and its allies. Jisreen was not depopulated during the final offensive, but no good estimates of the current population are available due to the massive displacement and the lack of access. As of May 2018, international access remained severely limited, civilians were still being denied freedom of movement, and communication was heavily monitored. Although Jisreen was heavily damaged, it was not entirely destroyed, and the government will likely repopulate the area further in the near future either by allowing more residents to return, or distributing confiscated property to government supporters. It will therefore remain on the Siege Watch 'Watchlist' pending information on future developments.
*** In mid-November 2017, for the first time since the start of the Siege Watch project in late 2015, Jisreen's siege designation was elevated from Tier 2 to Tier 1 long with the rest of Eastern Ghouta. With the onset of winter the entire besieged enclave is facing a humanitarian catastrophe. ***
Dates: Besieged since 2013 along with the rest of Eastern Ghouta
Siege classification: Tier 1
Besieged by: Syrian govt.
UN recognizes siege?: Yes. Listed as besieged for the first time in the 11 November 2015 UNSG report (S/2015/862)
Active Truce?: No
Current population: 19, 395 (as of 7/31/17); pre-war population was around 25,000
Civil control: Jisreen Local Council
Military control: FSA-related groups
Siege-related deaths: Several, estimated four, due to lack of medications and supplies
Aid: None since small delivery on April 16, 2016.
Active conflict: Yes, Jisreen is the target of frequent bombardments by the Syrian government and its allies, often leading to civilian casualties. Notably, on 31 October 2017, government shelling targeted a school in Jisreen during the school day. The attack killed seven civilians: six children and a teacher, and wounded more than 15.
Additional Details: Prices in Eastern Ghouta started to increase notably in July 2017 when the Syrian government ended the monopoly of the trader al-Manfoush at al-Wafideen checkpoint, placed further restrictions on basic goods like flour, and intermittently cut all commercial access. According to international agencies, access was finally cut in September or early October 2017. The halt in entry of limited commercial supplies via al-Wafideen is so damaging because it was one of the few remaining ways that people could get supplies. Smuggling tunnels from Eastern Ghouta to Barzeh and Qaboun were captured by pro-government forces earlier in 2017, and much of the rural southern agricultural sector of Eastern Ghouta was captured by government forces in mid-2016.