NOTE: Qudsaya surrendered to the government in October 2016. It has remained on the Siege Watch “Watchlist” list due to ongoing reports of restricted movement and government detention raids.
Dates: Potentially besieged since 21 July 2015, first aspects of siege such as some access restrictions began in October 2012.
Siege classification: Watchlist
Besieged by: Syrian govt.
UN recognized siege?: No
Active Truce?: Yes. In mid-October 2016 Qudsaya surrendered to government truce terms after government attacks forced the area to capitulate. Since then conditions have begun to normalize.
Current population: Approximately 200,000 (as of 06/31/16)
Civil control: Syrian government.
Military control: Syrian government.
Siege-related deaths: No
Aid: Following the surrender in October, conditions in Qudsaya and al-Hameh gradually improved for the remaining residents. Freedom of movement was restored and some families that previously fled the area have returned. Humanitarian supplies were delivered and the availability and prices of good began normalizing.
Active conflict: After years of relatively stability due to a truce with government forces, Qudsaya came under heavy attack during the August-October reporting period. These attacks began on 24 September and more than 50 civilians were killed in the intensive airstrikes, missiles, and barrel bombs that followed. The violence was accompanied by severe movement restrictions and service cutoffs, leading to a spike in the cost of goods. By mid-October, Qudsaya and nearby al-Hameh surrendered to government truce terms including the registration and removal of local armed groups members and the handover of all medium and heavy weapons. From the 13-15 October, fighters and their families from al-Hameh and Qudsaya were loaded onto government buses and transported to opposition-controlled Idlib governorate. An estimated total of 1,000-2,000 people were transferred in all. As in other communities, UN oversight was requested but not received, although SARC personnel were present to assist in the transfer.