*** Douma was reclassified from a Tier 1 siege to the Siege Watch 'Watchlist' on 15 April 2018, when it reverted entirely to government control following a final scorched earth offensive, surrender deal, and forced population transfers to northern Syria.***
Post-Siege Note: Douma was the last community in Eastern Ghouta to be recaptured by the Syrian government and its allies. A final surrender deal was announced on 8 April 2018, one day after Douma was hit by one of the deadliest chemical weapons attacks of the war. In total an estimated 20,000 opposition fighters and civilians from Douma were sent to northern Syria as part of the forced population transfers. There are no good estimates of the remaining population due to the massive displacement during the final offensive, and lack of access since. As of June 2018, international access to the heavily damaged community remained severely limited, civilians were still being denied freedom of movement, and communication was heavily monitored. As a result Douma will remain on the Siege Watch 'Watchlist.'
Dates: Besieged in stages since October 2013, completely besieged since summer 2014.
Siege classification: Tier 1
Besieged by: Syrian govt.
UN recognizes siege?: Yes
Active Truce?: No
Current population: 125,000 (as of 1/31/17), pre-war population was 500,000
Civil control: Douma Local Council
Military control: Primarily Jaysh al-Islam, also present are Ajnad Al-Sham and Al-Rahman Corps
Siege-related deaths: 200+, exact data unavailable
Aid: No aid reached Douma during the reporting period. The last aid convoy to reach Douma arrived in October 2016. The aid was sufficient for less than one quarter of the population and lacked critically needed baby milk.
Active conflict: Yes. The neighborhood of Douma was subjected to extremely high levels of attack from pro-government forces during the November 2016 - January 2017 reporting period, leading to a deterioration of the already dire humanitarian situation. On 6-7 November 2016, Douma was targeted with a wave of airstrikes that included incendiary weapons. Five people were killed at a market in one of these attacks. Douma was pummeled along with other E. Ghouta communities in waves of attacks on 17-18 November 2016 and on 29 December 2016. One of these attacks on the 29th targeted a medical center and a school, killing thirteen people, including two young girls. Incendiary and cluster munitions use is frequently reported.
Additional Details: Douma is already facing an emergency humanitarian crisis as the continuous attacks strain its ability to cope. The town is in great need of medical supplies, particularly dialysis treatments and vaccines. Like many other besieged areas, respondents in Douma noted that baby milk was very difficult to find. The current trajectory of the government’s military campaign appears designed to isolate the communities of Douma and Harasta from the rest of Eastern Ghouta and force them to surrender.