*** Madyara was reclassified from a Tier 1 siege to the Siege Watch 'Watchlist' on 31 March 2018, whenmost of Eastern Ghouta reverted entirely to government control following a final scorched earth offensive, surrender deal, and forced population transfers to northern Syria. The town was depopulated during the final offensive. ***
Post-siege Note: Madyara was captured by pro-government forces on 12 March 2018 during an unprecedented and devastating final scorched earth campaign by the Syrian government and its allies. The town was reportedly entirely depopulated as all remaining civilians were displaced as government forces entered the area. Although Madyara was heavily damaged, it was not entirely destroyed, and the government will likely repopulate the area in the future either by allowing some original residents to return, or confiscating the land to use for its own purposes. 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, Madyara'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 mid-2013 along with the rest of Eastern Ghouta
Siege classification: Tier 1
Besieged by: Syrian govt.
UN recognizes siege?: Yes, the UN officially recognized Madyara as besieged as of 1 November 2016 (S/2016/962). Note: This 2016 designation was related to a 'comprehensive review' of the UN OCHA data, not any changes on the ground. Madyara has been under siege since 2013, and Siege Watch repeatedly called on UN OCHA to recognize it.
Active Truce?: No
Current population: 8,750 (as of 7/31/17) (note: low confidence estimate)
Siege-related deaths: Yes.
Aid: A UN/SARC aid convoy reached Madyara on 23 September 2017 for the first time.
Active conflict: Yes. Frequent bombardment by pro-government forces. On 12 September an ambulance center was directly targeted with shelling while first responders were treating victims of an earlier attack. A child was killed and many people were wounded including four medical staffers. In November 2017 the intensity of airstrikes and attacks increased significantly.
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.
Madyara was one of the main communities to received displaced people uprooted from the southern and eastern parts of Eastern Ghouta in 2015. The displacements are ongoing and population continues to fluctuate.