Rebels who have fought to topple President Bashar al-Assad for eight years are now largely confined to the enclave in the northwest near the Turkish border. Around 4 million people now live there, including hundreds of thousands of opponents of Assad who fled there from other parts of the country.
Syria’s army Friday warned residents of the country’s last major rebel bastion to stay away from jihadists, who have yet to withdraw from a buffer zone ahead of a looming deadline.
“Get away from the fighters. Their fate is sealed and near,. Don’t allow the terrorists to take you as human shields.”