Premium

'Worse than Aleppo': Syrian regime pounds last rebel city with 'scorched earth policy'

People inspect the damaged buildings after explosions were carried out with bomb-laden vehicles in Idlib, Syria Credit: Getty

Bombing in the Syrian province of Idlib has become so intense that families have taken to drawing diagrams for neighbours of where rescuers might find them should their homes be reduced to rubble.

“We made a picture of where we all sleep, so they know where to start looking for us,” one resident said. “We gave it to friends down the road, just far enough away that hopefully their house won’t have been flattened too.”

In a bid to seize the largest remaining rebel-held stronghold in the country, the regime is pursuing an assault so deadly it is threatening to become the most brutal of the seven-year war.

Some 100,000 civilians have fled southern Idlib and neighbouring Hama in a matter of weeks, according to the UN's humanitarian coordination office UNOCHA, one of the biggest mass migrations since the conflict started in 2011.

“The situation in Idlib today is far worse than it was a year ago...

To continue reading this article

Start your free trial of Premium

  • Access all Premium articles 
  • Subscriber-only events 
  • Cancel any time

Free for 30 days

then only £2 per week

Access one Premium article per week

To continue reading this article log in to your Telegraph account. Or register now, it's free.
Registered customers can access one Premium article per week
HALF-PRICE OFFER
Unlimited access to exclusive stories.
Half price for one year.
  • Access all Premium articles
  • Subscriber only events
  • Cancel any time
Free for 30 days, then just £1 per week