Syria Siege Watch reports
December 14, 2017
The eighth Siege Watch report, focusing on the period August-October 2017, calls for immediate action to save Eastern Ghouta. The international community must increase political pressure to prevent Ghouta from becoming another Aleppo. Throughout Syria, 750,000 people remain trapped in besieged areas. The majority of those, more than 400,000, are in Eastern Ghouta, outside Damascus. Siege Watch is published jointly by PAX and The Syria Institute.
A case study on demographic engineering in Syria
October 13, 2017
The report 'No Return to Homs' documents the government of Bashar al-Assad's strategy of besieging, starving, killing and transferring people from various cities and neighbourhoods in Syria. The report focuses on Homs, the first major urban centre in Syria to succumb to this siege and destroy strategy. But the same was done most recently to Aleppo, and before that to Darayya. Two other places under siege, Madaya and Douma, may suffer a similar fate.
September 18, 2017
Data collected during the period May - July 2017 from an extensive network of contacts on the ground shows that an estimated 821,210 Syrians are still living under siege in 34 communities in Damascus, Rural Damascus, Homs, Deir Ezzor, and Idlib governorates. Nearly 1.7 million additional people live in areas on the Siege Watch “Watchlist,” where they face siege-like conditions and are at risk of further decline. Siege Watch is published jointly by PAX and The Syria Institute.
June 19, 2017
Despite numerous United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions calling for unobstructed humanitarian access, and the creation of the International Syria Support Group’s (ISSG) Humanitarian Task Force (HTF) in February 2016 the Syrian government – and in a few cases the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and armed opposition groups (AOGs) – continue to besiege communities across Syria.The so-called nationwide “ceasefire” declared by Russia and Turkey in December has existed in name only for most besieged communities. Violence in areas including Waer, Eastern Ghouta, Damascus city, and other parts of Rural Damascus has actually escalated since it was declared. Siege Watch is published jointly by PAX and The Syria Institute. The report focuses on the period February-April 2017.
March 23, 2017
The November 2016-January 2017 period was a challenging time for Syrians trapped in besieged communities across the country. All besieged communities faced violent attacks throughout the quarter, despite a nationwide ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey in late December 2016. Most besieged communities were not reached with UN assistance even once. In December 2016, pro-government forces captured eastern Aleppo in a brutal assault that led to depopulation of many of the besieged neighborhoods. Three more “Watchlist” communities – al-Tal, Khan al-Shieh, and Wadi Barada – submitted to forced surrender terms during the reporting period after facing renewed attacks. Siege Watch is published jointly by PAX and The Syria Institute.
December 12, 2016
This Siege Watch report focuses on the developments in Syria from August to October 2016. reveals that an estimated 1,326,175 remain people trapped in at least 39 besieged communities across the country. During this period, the Syrian government scaled up its attacks on communities under control of the opposition. The regime´s tactic toward residents in the besieged communities shifted from “surrender or starve” to “surrender or die”. After the end of this period, the UN announced that following a “comprehensive review” it increased its estimate of Syrians under siege to 974,080. The official UN population figures for besieged areas have nearly tripled since Siege Watch began reporting in late 2015, but even these new estimates fall short of the latest Siege Watch estimate.
June 10, 2016
This report is the second in a series of quarterly reports by Siege Watch – a joint initiative of PAX and The Syria Institute that aims to provide the international community with timely and accurate information on conditions in Syria’s besieged communities. Data collected during the period February-May 2016 from an extensive network of contacts across besieged areas in Syria shows that that the situation remains bleak for the estimated 1,015,275 people trapped in 46 besieged communities, despite an increased international focus on besieged areas.
February 10, 2016
In January 2016, the world was horrified to learn of the plight of nearly 40,000 starving residents of the besieged town of Madaya, but Madaya is just the tip of the iceberg. Siege Watch, a joint initiative of The Syria Institute and PAX, has found that over a million people live under siege in Syria, and the Syrian government is responsible for the majority of the sieges. Starvation of civilians is not an uncontrollable collateral effect of the conflict in Syria, but a deliberate decision that violates international humanitarian law. It therefore requires a political response and those responsible must be held accountable.