Syria’s Last Rebel Stronghold Girds for Regime Assault by Raja Abdulrahim – Wall Street Journal
Syria’s last opposition stronghold is bracing for a regime military offensive, after airstrikes and shelling killed dozens there in recent days and the United Nations warned of a possible humanitarian disaster.
Syrian regime airstrikes and artillery attacks have pounded parts of the northwestern province of Idlib and surrounding areas in the past week, killing and injuring scores of civilians, according to rebels there and the White Helmets, a volunteer rescue organization. Shelling continued Friday on at least one town in Idlib province, according to activists.
The regime also dropped leaflets in the area urging surrender. “Until when will you and your families live in fear and anxiety? How long will your children remain without hope or future?” one of the leaflets read, according to the independent Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Such strikes and leaflets have usually preceded more brutal offensives by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad as they have methodically recaptured one opposition area after another in the past two years. Most of the rebels and civilians who fled the Russia- and Iran-backed regime assaults elsewhere in the country were displaced to Idlib and neighboring provinces…