As Syria’s rebels have been contained in much of the rest of the country, northwestern Idlib province has emerged as the heart of Syria’s armed rebellion against the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

But Idlib can also be a tense, scary place, according to Syrian rebels, Idlibi activists, Western officials and others interviewed by The Daily Beast in Turkey. They described an Idlib pulled between Syrian al Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra and opposition faction and Islamist movement Ahrar al-Sham, with each trying to outmaneuver the other for control of the province.

Yet they also said that all sides in Idlib are too interdependent militarily and too tangled up at the local level to really turn on each other. Syrians who spoke to The Daily Beast described a sense of a coming showdown—but only at some vague point in the future, maybe after the fall of the regime.

“Today, if there’s a problem [between al-Nusra and Ahrar], it gets solved,” Idlib activist “Obeidah” told The Daily Beast. “But really, the issue doesn’t go away. It’s registered against each side. And so these problems accumulate.”

Read More- The Daily Beast

Image courtesy of Reuters

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