The Syrian regime and Russia have given signals to an all-out offensive against the last rebel-held stronghold Idlib, thus confirming fears of a massive humanitarian crisis. Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov and his Syrian counterpart Walid al-Muallem told the media after a close-door meeting that most of Syria had been freed of the rebel control apart from the north-eastern part of Idlib which borders Turkey. Lavrov stated that both the countries should wipe off the last remaining terrorist groups in Idlib.
Lavrov added that it is not acceptable that the rebels particularly from the al-Nusra Front are making use of the de-escalation zone for attacking Syrian army and also make use of drones against the Russian military bases. Syrian minister stated that the regime forces will do everything possible in go to Idlib. He said that special care will be taken to avoid civilian deaths.
UN has already alarmed everyone about the potential humanitarian crisis which is waiting to happen. Nearly three million live in Idlib of which half are rebels while the other half is comprised of civilian population which were transported to the area from Aleppo, Ghouta and also Deraa. In addition to the above, the area also has presence of Turkey which is in support of various rebel groups in the area and ensures the de-escalation zone which had been decided with Syrian President and also its major allies-Russia and Iran. Turkey along with the rebels has formed a new coalition to fight the Syrian regime forces. The most important and widespread rebel force of Idlib is HTS. Latter has not joined the coalition.
The people of Idlib face a grave threat as there is no other opposition held territory in Syria for evacuating the people. It is estimated that approximately 2.5 million people can try to flee the closed border of Turkey which will lead to another refugee crisis.