Darayya

Key facts

► The city is the 19th largest city per geographical entity in Syria and one of the oldest cities in Syria.

► In 2012, opposition groups denounced that government forces performed a mass killing that was later known as Darayya massacre.

► By mid-2016, the Syrian Army controlled approximately 65% of Darayya, steadily advancing and tightening the siege.

► The evacuation was carried out in stages, with fighters leaving for opposition-controlled areas.

19th
Largest city
per geographical entity

Darayya is a suburb of Damascus in Syria, the centre of Darayya lying 8 km (5.0 miles) south-west of the centre of Damascus.
The city is the 19th largest city per geographical entity in Syria and one of the oldest cities in Syria.

Darayya has been under siege since 2012. In August 2012 and January 2013, opposition groups denounced that government forces performed a mass killing that was later known as Darayya massacre. The fighting continued in the city with most of the municipality controlled by the armed opposition forces.

In December 2015, in western Ghutah, government forces escalated their military operations between Darayya and Moadamiyah in order to cut all lines of communications between them. Ground forces shelled Darayya from positions nearby, killing civilians who were in their homes or on the street.

In January 2016, heavy fighting effectively separated previously connected Madamiyet Elsham and Darayya towns, interrupting all supply lines and all movement of civilians between the two towns. During the ten days leading up to the evacuation, Darayya was subject to severe aerial bombardment. During this year the last remaining civilian hospital was reportedly hit as a result of shelling and attacks on the area.

By mid-2016, the Syrian Army controlled approximately 65% of Darayya, steadily advancing and tightening the siege. The besieged Syrian town of Darayya, a symbol of the rebellion against the regime of Bashar al-Assad, was to be taken over by government forces after the last rebel fighters agreed to hand over their weapons and leave. An agreement, that was essentially a rebel surrender, allowed for the evacuation of rebel fighters as well as civilians. Some 700 rebels were safely transported to the rebel stronghold city of Idlib in the north.

The surrender and evacuation of the Damascus suburb after a brutal four-year siege is a devastating blow to opposition moral. Weeks of intense bombardment, which activists claim included napalm attacks, has finally overwhelmed rebels.

The evacuation was carried out in stages, with fighters leaving for opposition-controlled areas.

65%
City controlled
by Syrian Army

78763
Inhabitants