In October 2019, increased military activity in Ar-Raqqa and Al-Hasakeh Governorates led to mass displacement (including the closure of two camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs)) and a disruption of the strategic M4 highway.
Toward the end of 2020, clashes have resumed and north and east Syria face continued internal security threats. In Ar-Raqqa there are continued clashes in Ein Issa around highway M4.
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 2020.4 Additionally, a fuel crisis is affecting the wider region.
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. At the time of data collection in late February, 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 NES Sites and Settlements Working Group (SSWG) sites list.