Syria’s civil war has disappeared from the headlines. But devastating violence is threatening millions of lives right now in Syria’s last opposition holdout, Idlib.
More than 200,000 people have already fled, desperate to escape the bombardment. Many fear that chemical weapons will be used as the fight escalates. Some think they’re already being used.
On Sunday, witnesses claimed they saw multiple chlorine gas shells strike near the Idlib border. So far it’s been impossible to confirm these claims.
But what’s not hard to confirm is that hospitals are being destroyed. Hundreds are being killed. And almost no one is left to help the three million people trapped in Idlib.
Why Idlib matters
Idlib is the last major territory held by opposition groups fighting Syria’s government. A number of groups have fought in Idlib, but the region is now controlled by HTS, a militant organization with links to al-Qaeda.
Over the years, as other opposition-held parts of Syria have fallen one after another, families have been evacuated to Idlib—some by choice, some by force.
The result? Three million people are now crammed into a space that used to hold roughly one million individuals.
There aren’t enough hospitals. There’s not enough food.
Idlib is surrounded on all sides. Families face an impossible choice: stay and risk losing everything to the bombardment, or flee toward a dangerous, uncertain future.
So far, more than 200,000 have been forced to flee. If the battle intensifies, it could unleash the worst crisis this war has seen yet.
But for these 200,000 people, that crisis isn’t some distant point in the future. The crisis is now.
What happens next
No one knows whether the latest bombardment will escalate into full-scale battle. Idlib has been under ceasefire since September 2018. But ceasefires in Syria have a way of breaking down catastrophically.
We’re not waiting for the worst to happen. We’re responding now.
Starting tomorrow, we’re launching an emergency kitchen that will provide food for those fleeing Idlib. We’ll meet them at their most desperate moment—and give them what they need to survive.
But we cannot meet this need alone. What little help there was for these families has long since dried up as the world’s attention has turned away from Syria.
We are digging in. And we need you to dig in with us.
The best way to stand with these families is to give monthly, so we know exactly what we can commit to meeting their most urgent needs—not just today, but the next month, and the next one after that.
These families don’t just need a hot meal now. They need someone to stand with them. To help them find safety. To help them remake home when the dust of war has settled.
This is our work: to help fast at their moment of crisis. But also to give help that lasts.
Please show up for the families of Idlib—and stand with them through this crisis.