*** Misraba 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. The town was largely - but not entirely - depopulated during the final offensive. ***
Post-siege Note: Misraba was captured by pro-government forces on 10 March 2018 during an unprecedented and devastating final scorched earth campaign by the Syrian government and its allies. The town was nearly entirely depopulated as almost all remaining civilians were displaced as government forces entered the area. Although Misraba was heavily damaged, it was not entirely destroyed, and the government will likely repopulate the area in the near future either by allowing more original residents to return, or distributing confiscated property as rewards to government supporters. Although some residents remained after the final offensive in March 2018, there no good estimates of the population available due to the fact that international access remains limited and civilians are still being denied freedom of movement and communication. 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, Misraba'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 in stages starting in late 2012, complete siege by 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 Misraba 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. Misraba has been under siege since 2013, and Siege Watch repeatedly called on UN OCHA to recognize it.
Active Truce?: No
Current population: 40,000 (as of 07/31/17); (note: this is a low-confidence estimate due to displacements)
Civil control: Misraba Local Council
Military control: Moderate opposition groups
Siege-related deaths: Yes.
Aid: The only UN/SARC aid convoy to reach Misraba since the Siege Watch project began monitoring occurred on 23 September 2017.
Active conflict: Yes. Airstrikes, shelling, and mortar attacks from the Syrian government and its allies. On 5 September 2017 six people were killed in shelling on Misraba, including the head of the Syrian Civil Defense (White Helmets) in Eastern Ghouta.
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.
Misraba is one of the main communities that received the displaced people uprooted from the southern and eastern parts of Eastern Ghouta in 2016. Displacements throughout the entire enclave are ongoing and the population continues to fluctuate.