Farmlands Burn as Fighting Rages in North Syria; Both Sides Trade Blame

WFP accuses fighters of turning food supplies into a 'weapon of war'

As fighting picks up around the outskirts of Syria’s Idlib Province, one of the area’s most important aspects, it’s farmland, is being destroyed in fires, taking out vital crops, olive groves and orchards.

The World Food Programme (WFP) is accusing the military campaign in the area of turning food supplies into a weapon of war. It’s not clear who is setting the fires, however, or if they are deliberate.

Both the Syrian military and al-Qaeda are blaming one another for the fires, and there are a lot of displaced civilians who were forced out of the farmland by fighting. Recovery in those areas could take many years, and could make food scarce in the area in the meanwhile.

This is a problem anyplace that war damages food production, but potentially even worse in Idlib, where the realities of the war and evacuations have left large numbers of civilians from around the country relocated into this single province.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of