Note: Eastern Aleppo was reclassified from besieged to “Watchlist” after being captured by the Syrian government and its allies in December. The brutal month-long campaign displaced hundreds of thousands of people and caused catastrophic destruction.
Dates: Fully besieged from July-December 2016
Siege classification: Watchlist
Besieged by: Formerly by Syrian govt. and its allies
UN recognized siege?: Formerly yes. Was Listed as besieged for the first time in a 29 September 2016 statement by Stephen O'Brien, UN OCHA's Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.
Current Population: Rough estimate of 81,725 as of 1/31/2017. This is a low confidence estimate, as it was unclear how many remained after December 2016, after hundreds of thousands had fled or been forced out.
Civil control: Syrian govt. and affiliated militias
Military control:Syrian govt. and affiliated militias
Active Conflict: During the month-long final assault on eastern Aleppo from November-December 2016, the area’s few remaining medical facilities were targeted multiple times and all were eventually taken out of service. Reports also emerged of massacres committed by pro-government militias as they entered the besieged neighborhoods, as well as the mass detention of fleeing residents. An array of weapons that are indiscriminate and/or banned under international treaty law were reportedly been used in the final campaign against eastern Aleppo including incendiary munitions, cluster munitions, chemical weapons, and bunker buster bombs.
Additional Details: The situation in the eastern opposition-controlled part of Aleppo city was catastrophic during the November 2016-January 2017 reporting period. An extremely violent offensive launched by pro-government forces in mid- November continued without pause until the shrinking besieged pocket finally collapsed in mid- December. The area’s infrastructure was destroyed and most of the residents were displaced, killed, arrested, or forcibly transferred into the countryside. Eastern Aleppo will remain under Siege Watch observation due to reports of continuing human rights abuses of civilians by pro-government groups.