*** After years of siege by multiple forces including the Syrian government and ISIS, Hajar al-Aswad 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. Hajar al-Aswad was subsequently reclassified from a Tier 2 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. ***
Note: The UN officially recognized Hajar al-Aswad as besieged as of 1 November 2016 following a 'comprehensive review' of the UN OCHA data, not any changes on the ground. Hajar has been under siege since 2012, and Siege Watch has long called for its official designation. Then at the end of January 2017 the UN reversed its designation and removed Hajar al-Aswad from its besieged list, citing non-existent aid access.
Dates: Besieged since late 2012
Siege classification: Tier 2
Besieged by: Syrian govt., ISIS, and armed groups
UN recognizes siege?: No. After finally designating Hajar al-Aswad as besieged in November 2016, the UN reversed its decision in January 2017.
Active Truce?: No
Current population: 11,000 (as of 06/31/16)
Civil control: Local Council is not functional
Military control: ISIS
Siege-related deaths: 95 civilians (as of 11/1/15)
Active conflict: No recent attacks by pro-government forces, but there is sometimes fighting between ISIS, which controls the neighborhood, and other armed groups.
Additional Details: Supplies are procured trough smuggling and farming. Some supplies area able to enter through nearby besieged suburbs, but the situation is still poor and humanitarian organizations will not work there. Civilian movement from ISIS-controlled Hajar al-Aswad into other nearby besieged communities is rare and restricted to women.
Note: As of early 2015, Hajar al-Aswad had one of the highest rates of siege-related deaths in the country. The Syrian government has not made attempts to challenge ISIS' control of the neighborhood, despite its proximity to the city center.