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Wed 19 February 2020:

The battle for Idlib has led to a humanitarian catastrophe as the Syrian gov’t vows to retake the last rebel-held area.

Babies and children are dying of cold in Syria‘s Idlib province and their suffering has been described by the United Nations as the largest humanitarian horror story of the 21st century.

The Syrian government offensive in the country’s northwest has created the biggest single civilian displacement during the nine-year war, with some 900,000 people fleeing since the beginning of December, according to the UN.

Despite that, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has announced he will press on with the operation.

Idlib is the last-remaining rebel stronghold and the only de-escalation zone that remains out of his control.

Syrian government forces are making advances on the ground and that push has put more pressure on those being displaced.

Turkey backs some of the rebels in the province and is not allowing Syrian refugees to cross its border, saying it cannot handle the influx.

With Turkey and Russia involved, how will this fight play out across the region and why does Idlib matter?

Presenter: Peter Dobbie


Mehmet Celik – Managing editor at the Daily Sabah newspaper

Mohanad Hage Ali – Fellow and director of communications at the Carnegie Middle East Center

Pavel Felgenhauer – Defence analyst and columnist at the Novaya Gazeta newspaper

Source: Al Jazeera News

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