What next for Idlib?

Leila Al-Shami, co-author (with Robin Yassin-Kassab) of Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War, on Idlib and the international community’s dangerous shift toward rehabilitation of the Assad regime.

Leila's blog

merlin_143073099_36e9cf6a-2ee6-442b-85d4-b72fbfe50ec6-superJumboFrom last Friday’s protest against the regime/Russian upcoming assault in Maaret al-Numan, Idlib. Credit: Zein Al Rifai/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Originally published in the New York Times under the title ‘The Death Blow is Coming for Syrian Democracy’

The Syrian regime is determined to reconquer all of the territory it has lost. Aided by Russian bombers and Iranian troops, and emboldened by its success in terrorizing the populations of Ghouta and Daraa into submission, President Bashar al-Assad’s government is now preparing to attack Idlib, the last remaining province outside of his control. Idlib is home to some three million people, about half of them displaced, or forcibly evacuated, to the province from elsewhere. Many are crowded into unsanitary camps or sleeping in the open.

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