Syria war: Why does the battle for Idlib matter?

The war in Syria could be about to enter its final stage, as Syria and its ally Russia gear up for an all-out assault on the rebel-held province of Idlib.

What’s so important about Idlib?

The province is the last major stronghold of the rebel and jihadist groups which have been trying to overthrow Mr Assad for the past seven years.

The UN says Idlib is home to some 2.9 million people, including 1 million children. More than half of the civilians in Idlib come from other previously rebel-held parts of Syria from which they either fled, or were evacuated.

The province also borders Turkey, to the north, and straddles major highways running south from Aleppo to Hama and the capital, Damascus, and west to the Mediterranean coastal city of Latakia.

If Idlib is taken by the government, it would leave the rebels with a few pockets of territory scattered across the country and effectively signal their final defeat.

Who controls Idlib?

The province is not…

Continue Reading This Article At BBC News

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