Nearly 3 million civilians living in the last rebel-held province, Idlib, cautiously welcome the creation of a 'demilitarised' zone after Russia and Turkey's deal. However, the residents express concern over Assad's commitment.
Idlib's fate now appears likely to rest on the results of September 7 Tehran summit between the leaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran. In the meantime the Syrian regime is shelling the province while the rebels there are destroying potential SAA entry points.
On Tuesday, airstrikes, the first in weeks, kills citizens in Idlib, the last rebel-held province in Syria, and raises fears amongst the international community, that an all-out government offensive is bound to happen soon.
The head of the Turkey-based Syria's National Coalition (SNC), Abdulrahman Mustafa, said that the rebels would not turn against Hayy'at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in the wake of a government assault on Idlib.
Syrian officials’ statements about the coming battle for Idlib are alarming the residents of the rebel-held province. Al-Haj Abu Youssef, a small shop owner in al-Dabit neighbourhood in the suburbs of Idlib, shares his concerns about the military and political developments that surround the fate of his city.
The province of Idlib is the largest piece of territory still in rebel hands, and Bashar al-Assad has warned it would be his military's next priority. The Syrian Regime forces have already begun shelling positions in the outskirts of the province, with more shelling expected as reinforcements arrive.
Talks between Russia, Turkey and Iran have focused on Idlib, as Syrian President Assad warns the northwestern province is next target. Turkey is working to clear Idlib from al-Qaeda and IS-affiliated groups in order to prevent the Syrian Government from attacking the city.