UN warns of BLOODBATH as Syrian regime troops prepare to storm FINAL rebel stronghold
Syrian troops, including the elite Tiger Force, are reported to be gathering on the outskirts of the province.
Shelling has been reported to the South, East and West of Idlib.
Syrian regime helicopters have been dropping leaflets over towns urging locals not to resist, and claiming that the war is “close to an end”.
Last month Syria President Bashar al-Assad vowed to recapture the territory, after the Syrian army made gains in other parts of the country, saying: “Idlib is our goal.”
There are growing concerns for the 2.5 million people in the province, many of them civilians.
Refugees have been fleeing to Idlib from other parts of Syria as the regime gradually reestablishes control over the country.
Turkish troops have sealed the border with Syria, meaning civilians have little chance of escape.
Local journalist Qusay Noor commented: “We have nowhere to escape to.
“It’s a really hard feeling to know that.”
Currently around 60 percent of Idlib province is controlled by Hayat Tahrir Al Sham (HTS), a coalition of anti-government groups which includes a faction which used to give its allegiance to Al-Qaeda.
Meanwhile at least 41 people, half of them children, were killed during a recent airstrike in Idlib.
Separately, 39 people were killed yesterday by an exposition at an arms depot in the province.
The cause of the blast is unknown.
Syria’s seven year civil war has been going on since 2011, when anti-Assad protestors attempted to topple President Assad as part of the Arab Spring movement.
In September 2015 Russia intervened on the side of the regime, supporting it with massive aerial firepower.
There are also growing concerns about how Turkey will respond to any attack launched by the Syrian regime.
Senior Turkish officials have previously stated that any Syrian army attack which advances within the vicinity of the Turkish border would be a “red line” for the country.