Idlib residents prepare for battle
A boy tries on an improvised gas mask in Idlib, Syria September 3, 2018. Civilians in Syria's last major stronghold of active opposition to President Bashar al-Assad's rule are preparing food and digging shelters ahead of an expected army...more
Hudhayfa al-Shahad strapped a colorful paper cup filled with cotton and charcoal to a child's face and tightened a plastic bag around his head: an improvised gas mask if chemicals once again fall on Syria's Idlib. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
"We are preparing what little we can: small primitive masks we can place on our children's mouths in case we are hit with chemicals," 20-year-old Shahad told Reuters from his village south of Idlib city, where he shares a house with his pregnant...more
His brother, 35-year-old construction worker Ahmed Abdulkarim al-Shahad, shows off the cavernous space under a cool, vine-covered courtyard the family has been digging and sheltering in from bombardment since 2012. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
"Military preparations as we have seen are in full swing ... We as civilians have started preparing the caves," he said, showing glass bottles of pickled vegetables shelved on the damp cave walls. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
A boy tries an improvised gas mask in Idlib. Around 3 million people live in the rebel stronghold in northwest Syria, which comprises most of Idlib province and adjacent small parts of Latakia, Hama and Aleppo provinces. About half of them fled...more
Hudhayfa al-Shahad tries an improvised gas mask in Idlib. In April last year, a government warplane dropped sarin on Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib, killing more than 80 civilians, the U.N. Commission of Inquiry has said. It also said Syrian forces have...more
A man looks at an opening from a makeshift shelter in an underground cave in Idlib. Russia, Assad's ally, resumed air strikes against insurgents in Idlib on Tuesday following weeks of bombardment and shelling by pro-Syrian government forces in an...more
A man holds pickled vegetables in an underground cave in Idlib. And some people Reuters spoke to in Idlib suspected an offensive may be avoided. "I do not believe there will be an attack on Idlib. It's all a media war," said 50-year-old former...more
A girl is seen at a makeshift shelter in an underground cave in Idlib. Nevertheless, seven years of grinding war have taught Ahmad to be prepared. His family is currently expanding a damp dugout they have been digging and sheltering in from strikes...more
Children hold plastic bags with a paper cup in them in Idlib. With shelling, air strikes and rhetoric about an impending offensive increasing, a number of local councils across Idlib have come together and asked Turkey for protection. "For us in the...more
Children walk in a makeshift shelter in an underground cave in Idlib. Turkey has erected observation posts along the frontlines between rebels and government forces, and Rashu said Turkey had told them this was a sign of its commitment to protect the...more
Pickled vegetables are shelved in an underground cave in Idlib. Idlib is often described as the "last refuge" for rebels and internally displaced civilians, and any offensive threatens new displacement and human misery. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
Hudhayfa al-Shahad walks in a makeshift shelter in an underground cave in Idlib. "As for escaping towards the (Turkish) border, I don't believe we will move from our houses. The bombardment will get us. There is no place left after Idlib," said Ahmed...more
Pickled vegetables are shelved in an underground cave in Idlib. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
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