Al-Qaeda Increases Control Over Syria’s Idlib Province

Locals bristle under increasingly strict control

Late last year, Turkey-backed rebels were decisively overwhelmed by al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front in the Idlib Province, in northern Syria. While Turkey’s allies made mention of resolving this, as an attempt to prevent Syria attacking the area during a ceasefire with Turkey, al-Qaeda never left, and their control has only grown.

So while Turkey controls some of northern Aleppo Province, the Idlib Province is now almost entirely under the control of al-Qaeda, and they are ruling under an increasingly strict Islamist rule.

Al-Qaeda’s activities are forcing a lot of aid groups to cease activity in the area, and a lot of locals say that they object being ruled over by the faction. They say exactly who supports al-Qaeda is never clear, and so far there is no sign of any resistance.

Some are expecting Turkey to intervene, because they’d promised to do so last year to keep Syria from overrunning the area. With Turkey preparing an invasion further east against the Kurds, however, that seems to be low priority, and al-Qaeda is given more and more time solidify its control.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of