- Idlib is the last stronghold of the rebels and jihadist groups in Syria and has witnessed eight years of bloody fighting with the Syrian government. The province northwestern Syria has now become the epicentre of gross human rights violations, regular air bombardments and a space where profound superpower rivalries play out.
- Idlib’s importance can be corroborated by two factors. One, that it essentially determines the faith and future of the Syrian civil war. Second, that it is currently the biggest contention point between Syria and its neighbour Turkey. Syria-Turkey relations are very important for the geopolitical stability of the region.
- Idlib is home to more than 3 million people and has been controlled by different rebel factions at different periods of time. Idlib fell into rebel control in 2015 and even became the seat of the Syrian Salvation Government. However, since 2019, the most dominant rebel faction, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham or HTS, took control of Idlib through a violent takeover. The HTS is an alliance of jihadist groups that formally split from the Al-Qeada in 2016.
- Idlib is also home to several foreign jihadists who support Al-Qeada or its affiliates. Idlib has been subject to several clashes and strikes between the rebel forces and the Syrian governement’s sources since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.