Darayya city is affiliated to Damascus suburbs governorate. It is the largest city in the Western Ghouta region and it is less than eight kilometers away from the Damascus capital. The city’s location has a strategic significance, as it is close to Al Mazza military airbase, and the headquarters for the Air Force Intelligence which is within the airport building.
As with the rest of the cities and areas that opposed the Syrian regime, Darayya city was the subject of bombardment operations, destruction, raids, arbitrary arrests, torture, and death-due-to-torture. SNHR archives contains many reports that document the most notable violations in the city including, and most notably, The Great Massacre of Darayya between August 20 and August 27 of 2012.
The city suffered from siege and starvation. In mid-November 2012, Syrian regime forces imposed a crippling siege that followed a wide military campaign. The ramifications of siege began to appear gradually such as starvation, and food and medication shortages amid an international failure to life the siege, or at least deliver aids. Furthermore, aerial bombardment operations didn’t stop using all kinds of weapons including barrel bombs, missiles, cluster munition, and chemical weapons.
In the beginning of February 2016, Syrian regime forces managed to isolate Darayya city from Al Mu’damiyea. And in May and July 2016, Syrian regime took over wide areas of the agricultural lands that are located in the southern and southwestern parts of Darayya city, and thus, the armed opposition factions’ areas of control shrunk to less than 4 km2 in August 2016.
SNHR has released a detailed report documenting the most notable violations, crimes against humanity, and war crimes that were committed by Syrian regime forces between mid-November 2012 and 25 August 2016. We asserted that said violations were systematic and widespread which led the city to reach a complete stage of depletion forcing the residents to agree to the settlement that was proposed by the Syrian armed opposition to armed opposition factions in the city.