Idlib likely to be Syria’s next bloody theater after Aleppo
The battle for Aleppo has gripped the world, but it is hardly the only active front across war-torn Syria. One of the next targets for the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad probably will be the heartland of rebel territory, the neighboring province of Idlib.
The province west of Aleppo is a stronghold of al-Qaeda’s Syria affiliate and is apacked with tens of thousands of rebels, many of them evacuated from other parts of the country, making it likely to be an even more bloody theater than Aleppo.
Idlib has direct links to the Turkish border and is only a few kilometers north of Hama, a central province and key point for defending Assad’s coastal strongholds and nearby Russian military bases.
Asked where he will turn to next, Assad has suggested his first priority, after fortifying the area around Aleppo city, would be Idlib.
“Identifying which city comes next depends on which city contains the largest number of terrorists and which city provides other countries with the opportunity to support them logistically,” Assad said last week.
“Currently, there are direct links between Aleppo and Idlib because of the presence of Jabhat al-Nusra inside and on the outskirts of Aleppo and in Idlib,” he said, a reference to the al-Qaeda affiliate, formerly known as the Smoke rises from government buses in the province of Idlib, Syria, on Sunday. Activists said militants have burned at least five buses assigned to evacuate wounded and sick people from two villages in northern Syria. SANA via AP
Russia threatens U.N. veto
• united nations» Russia threatened Sunday to veto a U.N. resolution demanding immediate access to areas of Aleppo besieged by the Syrian government, while at the United Nations, the Security Council held closed-door consultations on a Frenchdrafted resolution that demands safe evacuations, immediate and unconditional U.N. access to deliver humanitarian aid and protection of medical facilities and personnel.
Russia’s U.N. ambassador, Nusra Front, now the Fatah al-Sham Front. He added that the decision about what comes next will be made through discussions with his Russian and Iranian Vitaly Churkin, said he would veto the resolution unless it was changed.
Russia proposed requiring Syrian government approval before the United Nations could deploy any monitors to eastern Aleppo to check on civilians.
Evacuations thrown into doubt •
aleppo, syria» A shaky deal to evacuate thousands of trapped civilians was thrown into doubt again after militants burned buses involved in the rescue operation. allies.
The government’s loss of Jisr al-Shughour, in the westernmost corner of the province, and with it the whole of Idlib province, in
The Aleppo evacuations were to have been part of a wider deal that would simultaneously allow more than 2,000 sick and wounded people to leave two pro-government villages that have been besieged by Syrian rebels. Most villagers are Shiite Muslims, while most rebels are Sunni Muslims.
Six buses that were among those poised to enter the villages of Foua and Kfarya on Sunday were set on fire by unidentified militants, presumably to scuttle any deal. The Associated Press summer 2015, was what prompted Russia to intervene to shore up Assad’s forces, eventually turning the war’s momentum back in his favor.