In October 2019, military operations in the area around the Turkish border led to a change in control of an area of approximately 4,000 km2 , encompassing Ras al-Ain, Suluk and Tell Abiad. As a result, approximately 70,000 people remain displaced, and two camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) were closed. Toward the end of 2020, clashes and shelling have resumed. Additionally, there is reportedly intermittent disruption to water and electricity supplies in Al-Hasakeh governorate.
Meanwhile, economic conditions have deteriorated across Syria, and the prices of basic goods are increasing. This is partly due to the instability and decline of the Syrian Pound (SYP) against the US Dollar (USD) as well as the escalation of conflict in northwest Syria in early 2020.
From March 2020, measures to restrict the spread of COVID-19 have been in place in northeast Syria (NES), including a curfew, movement restrictions, closure of schools and non-essential businesses, and a ban on public gatherings. Those living in collective shelters are highlighted as a particular concern by the United Nations (UN) due to a limited ability to observe social distancing. Although infection remains widespread, the rate of transmission has slowed somewhat, particularly in areas where a full lockdown was in force. At the time of data collection in late-November, 8,537 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 419 deaths had been registered in NES. For key findings on COVID-19, please see page 4.
For an updated list of active sites please see the SSWG sites list.