Monday, June 5, 2017
Syria’s Bloodiest Battle Is Yet To Come
Washington Post: Syria’s bloodiest battle is yet to come — and 1 million civilians are at risk
ISTANBUL — They came from every corner of Syria: people who fled fighting but could not afford smugglers’ fees to go farther.
Now nearly 1 million are packed into one province in Syria’s northwest, eyeing a weeks-old cease-fire there with trepidation, fear and mistrust.
This vast and often hilly expanse along Turkey’s southern border has become the rebels’ final redoubt. In the coming months, it could become the sternest — and the bloodiest — challenge for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces as they battle to control areas they lost to rebel fighters after the country’s 2011 uprising.
A deal brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran this month has stopped much of the violence in Idlib province and three other regions of Syria. But if the truces break down and fighting resumes, the stakes will be highest in the northwest: The Turkish border is tightly controlled, and pro-government forces have been closing in for months. Across the province, a coalition of al-Qaeda-linked rebels would be firmly in Assad’s crosshairs, with hundreds of thousands of civilians stuck in the middle.
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WNU Editor: When major wars are coming to an end .... that is when the casualty count goes sky-high. I expecty the same for Syria ... specifically Idlib Province.