An imminent assault on the last redoubt against Bashar al-Assad’s regime spells disaster for civilians there, and poses broader dangers
Fresh disaster is looming in Syria. It is unlikely to stay there. The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, had warned that Idlib, the last hold-out against Bashar al-Assad, could become a lake of blood. Now he writes that Syrian civilians are not the only ones who will pay the price; a regime assault would create serious risks for his country, Europe and beyond.
Idlib is home to 3.5 million people, half of whom have fled there from recaptured cities. They are already in dire straits, many in overcrowded camps lacking even basic amenities. And they know exactly what they face; families are improvising gas masks from children’s party cups with cotton and charcoal, knowing how inadequate such preparations are. They have nowhere left to go.