The fate of 200,000 Syrians remains in peril as Assad’s forces cut off food shipments, causing mass starvation in two neighborhoods under the control of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES).

Since March 13, 2022, Assad-government-affiliated forces have not allowed basic goods such as flour and fuel into two large districts of Aleppo. No major shipments of food supplies have entered the neighborhoods for over a month. As a result, bakeries have been unable to operate. Nearly 200,000 residents of the AANES-governed neighborhoods, the last remaining parts of Aleppo outside of Assad’s control, could soon face starvation if the siege-like conditions continue.

The Kurdish-majority and AANES-governed neighborhoods Sheikh Maqsoud and Ashrafiyeh in Aleppo, Syria, have been at the center of the ongoing dispute between the local AANES-affiliated civil council and the Syrian government forces located in Aleppo.

The siege-like conditions that have been enforced by the regime came after clashes between AANES-affiliated Asayish security personnel and Syrian Army soldiers on March 13, 2022. The clash resulted when Syrian Army members reportedly refused to allow a truck carrying sugar into the Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood to pass, and attempted to confiscate the goods. 

The AANES-governed neighborhoods have remained a safe haven for citizens of the city since 2012, resisting attacks by Turkish-backed factions, including an attack in April 2016 that reportedly involved the use of chemical weapons