*** On 22 November 2016, pro-government forces attacked al-Tal, breaking a years-long truce. After just over a week of intensifying attacks and threats, al-Tal surrendered to government terms. On 2 December 2016, an estimated 2,000-3,000 were forcibly transferred to Idlib and the city reverted to government control. International access has since remained limited, and checkpoints limit civilian movements, although conditions have steadily improved. There continued to be sporadic reports of government detention raids to force men into the military as of 2018.
NOTE: Al-Tal is still under evaluation for inclusion on the Siege Watch besieged list
Dates: Besieged since 21 July 2015, but experienced previous shorter periods of access restriction
Siege classification: Watchlist
Besieged by: Syrian govt.
UN recognizes siege?: No
Active Truce?: No
Current population: Approximately 800,000 (as of 10/31/16), pre-war population was 150,000.
Civil control: Local Council
Military control: FSA-linked groups
Siege-related deaths: Yes, a few due to lack of medical care
Aid: Received aid shipments on February 2, 2016, and April 18, 2016, but these were insufficient for the population.
Additional Details: Bribery to bring food in through the checkpoints is a critical method of survival. Some government employees and students are allowed limited entry and exit. There are two checkpoints to the city. Pro-govt. NDF militia forces play a significant role in enforcing the siege.