*** In late August 2016 the critically-besieged community of Darayya surrendered to Syrian government forces in the face of a devastating military campaign that pushed residents to the point of complete collapse. All remaining citizens were evacuated, and Darayya is now empty. Some were taken to a government controlled processing area called al-Harjilleh where they are believed to remain, the rest were sent to opposition controlled Idlib governorate. As no civilians remain, it has been removed from project monitoring efforts. ***
Dates: Was besieged from November 2012 - August 2016
Siege classification: Watchlist (Formerly Tier 1 prior to its surrender in August 2016)
Besieged by: Formerly the Syrian govt.
UN recognized siege?: Yes
Current population: 0 (was 8,300 prior to complete evacuation in August 2016)
Civil control: Previously was Darayya Local Council, and a Joint Security Bureau
Military control: Previously was local armed groups Liwa Shuhada Islam and Ajnad al-Sham
Siege-related deaths: Data unavailable
Aid: On May 12, 2016 a UN convoy attempted to reach Darayya and failed. On June 1, the first half of a small aid shipment reached Darayya for the first time since the siege began in 2012, it contained some medical aid but no food. The second part of the aid convoy entered on 09 June, and contained desperately needed food, although the amount was sufficient to support less than one third of the population for a month. In the five days after the 09 June aid delivery, approximately 207 barrel bombs were dropped on Darayya, forcing people to shelter underground and preventing distribution of any the aid.
Active conflict: Yes. Darayya began to come under regular shelling by government forces in May as the nationwide CoH collapsed, and then following the only UN aid convoy to reach the besieged area at the start of June, barrel bombing resuming, and Darayya would remain under incredibly heavy attack constant by pro-government forces until its collapse in late August. In a twenty-day period lasting from 08-26 June the Darayya Local Council recorded a record 650 barrel bombs hitting the city. Contacts noted that the barrel bombs were reportedly dropped at random times and on unpredictable locations, a shift from previous patterns that have made it more dangerous than ever for civilians to move around the besieged community.
Additional Details: The situation in Darayya became increasingly critical over the reporting period. The small amount of locally produced agricultural products that was available to the town was destroyed by pro-government forces, who burned and captured their agricultural land amidst its advances. People were largely confined to underground shelters due to constant attacks. The already-devastated medical sector was completely destroyed in August, when the single field hospital was targeted with bombs containing a napalm-like incendiary material. Darayya finally collapsed in late August in the face of complete humanitarian catastrophe, and its people were all evacuated. There are fears that government intends to rebuild and re-populate the town with more "friendly" population, akin to a demographic engineering strategy.