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Assad Claims Last Province From Rebel Control In Syria



Turkey. Syrian refugee camp

Maarat-al-Numan has now come under Assad’s control, after the legitimate Syria government bombarded the last rebel held province with the support Russian air strikes.

While the humanitarian organizations have condemned Damascus and Moscow for indulging in heinous inhuman crime, they have justified their action as an attempt to oust the jihadists factions who were said to have moved into Idlib province recently.

There had been reports of the ISIS regrouping and sleeper cells actively moving into Syria and Iraq again. Driving away millions of settlers from this Northwestern province, soldiers could be seen moving in after air strikes devastated public utilities and houses too.

The town sits on the M5 highway, one of the country’s economic arteries, making it a strategic prize. Maarat al-Numan also has symbolic importance as one of the major centres for protest against Assad’s rule since the Syrian uprising began in 2011.

Like most of the other cities in Syria, this one has also been completely wiped out pushing inhabitants to the border and further towards Turkey.

Currently, Turkey is backing some of Idlib’s rebel groups, has attempted to broker several ceasefires. Yet, it has played a dual game by providing for refugees in large numbers. Its most recent attempt of a peace agreement with Moscow on 12 January failed to materialize and currently, more than 120,000 people across Idlib have been displaced by the regime offensive since 15 January

In an attempt to help the civilians in Idlib province, the regime has dropped leaflets telling them to avoid shelling and airstrikes by moving southwards to reconcile with government forces. But many have fears of the worst. They are afraid that to do so risks arrest, imprisonment and torture in Assad’s jails. Turkey is sounding a word that it would strike back if any of its observatory posts are attacked in the Idlib region. It has already agreed with Washington that such violence must stop.

However, for Assad, this is the only way to show control and overcome the control of rebels and jihadist groups.

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