The second quarterly Siege Watch report details the conditions for an estimated 1,015,275 Syrians trapped in besieged communities across the country. The report shows that despite unprecedented international efforts to reach the besieged areas, conditions continued to decline. No sieges were lifted and and additional communities were added to the Siege Watch “Watchlist.” Many besieged areas came under continued attack despite the nationwide “Cessation of Hostilities.” This report covers the period from early February to April 2016.
Siege Watch is a project that aims to provide the international community with timely and accurate information on conditions in Syria’s besieged communities. New data published in this first Siege Watch report shows that there are well over 1,000,000 Syrians under siege and that the Syrian government and its allies are by far the biggest perpetrators of sieges against civilians. Current UN practices regarding besieged area designation and reporting, forced local ceasefires, and aid delivery may validate and inadvertently encourage the expansion of the Syrian government’s “surrender or starve” strategy.