Last stand: Syria’s rebel Idlib prepares for a losing battle

BEIRUT — Opposition fighters in Syria’s Idlib are preparing for a losing battle.

As the decisive stand for their last stronghold looms, this motley crew of tens of thousands is looking for ways to salvage whatever is possible of an armed rebellion that at one point in the seven-year conflict controlled more than half of the country.

Turkey is their only hope.

They dug trenches around towns, reinforced caves for cover and put up sand bags around their positions.

They issued calls to arms, urging young men to join in the defence of Idlib, the Syrian province where opposition fighters expect to make their last stand against Russian- and Iranian-backed government troops they have fought for years.

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