Idlib contains next major chapter in Syria conflict – analyst

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The latest developments in Syria’s Idib province have led to one of the worst humanitarian disasters in recent memory and could shape events for a generation to come, wrote Hassan Hassan, director of non-state actors and geopolitics program at the Center for Global Policy think-tank.

Outsiders are tired of the decade-long conflict after the threat of the Islamic State (ISIS) has been removed and influx of refugees has been seemingly contained, Hassan wrote in the Guardian.

But the country’s last-rebel stronghold of Idlib is unique as it has become a “dumping ground” for hardline fighters elsewhere in the war-torn country and has the components to sustain an underground insurgency against the Syrian regime, the article said.

The Syrian armed opposition is squeezed into a shrinking area of the province, where more than 3 million inhabitants, many of them civilians who fled fighting elsewhere in the country, as well as thousands of rebels have taken refuge.

Talks to reach a compromise in Idlib between the two main stakeholders in Syria, Turkey and Russia, in the last two weeks have not been fruitful, as around 900,000 people in the region have fled towards the Turkish border.

The violent forces in the region are likely to take on the“ legitimate cause of Syrians who rose against the dictatorship in Damascus to demand a dignified and better life,’’ Hassan said, as they continue to wave the anti-Assad flag and absorb the energy of those committed to the cause.

One should not only look at how the Syrian conflict has played out in recent years, with the recapturing areas through campaigns of terror, the article said, but rather a major chapter that has yet to come.

Ahval

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