While the defeat of ISIS comforted the residents of the Kurdish-run city of Qamishli in northeastern Syria, they now fear that the Syrian regime who they say is determined to regain control over their city.
There are increasing reports from Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan of Syrian refugees being forcibly returned to Syria, despite the dangers that await them. In Lebanon the Foreign Minister has given UNHCR two weeks to develop a strategy for the return of refugees to Syria.
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.
On Monday, the Syrian regime announced the capture of the strategic hill of al-Hara in Quneitra. The hilltop is the highest ground in the Daraa province and overlooks the Golan Heights which are held by Israel. Israel on its behalf threatened that it would respond harshly to any attempts by Syria to deploy near Golan.