What's left of rebel territory in Syria

Syria's rebels have been pushed back to a handful of areas, mainly in the country's northwest, parts of Aleppo province, the towns surrounding Damascus and two southern provinces. Hundreds of civilians and rebels left east Aleppo on Thursday after an evacuation deal handing control of the city to regime forces. Apart from significant territory held by the Islamic State jihadist...

al-monitor Smoke billows following a reported air strike by Syrian government forces in a rebel-held area of Daraa, in southern Syria, on December 2, 2016 Photo by Mohamad Abazeed/AFP.

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Dec 15, 2016

Syria's rebels have been pushed back to a handful of areas, mainly in the country's northwest, parts of Aleppo province, the towns surrounding Damascus and two southern provinces.

Hundreds of civilians and rebels left east Aleppo on Thursday after an evacuation deal handing control of the city to regime forces.

Apart from significant territory held by the Islamic State jihadist group, which has declared the city of Raqa its capital, that leaves rebels and allied Islamist groups in control of just 15 percent of Syrian territory, says the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Some 100,000 rebels are fighting across Syria, according to the Institute for the Study of War.

Idlib province

The northwestern province of Idlib is the rebels' last stronghold.

It is almost entirely under the control of the Army of Conquest, a coalition dominated by former Al-Qaeda affiliate Fateh al-Sham Front and including Islamist rebel factions Ahrar al-Sham and Faylaq al-Sham.

Two Shiite villages, Fuaa and Kafraya, are under regime control but are under siege by rebels.

Bordering on Aleppo province, Idlib has access to the Turkish border and is a base for large number of fighters including many arrivals from other regions recaptured by the regime.

Daraa and Quneitra provinces

Most of the southern province of Daraa, which borders Jordan, is under rebel control. Daraa city, considered the birthplace of Syria's conflict in 2011, is mainly held by pro-regime forces.

Quneitra, which borders the ceasefire line between Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, is two-thirds under rebel control.

Eastern Ghouta

Rebels control almost half of eastern Ghouta, a large area east of Damascus, including it

s major towns, according to the Observatory. Several areas are under siege by regime forces.

The regime has advanced in recent months, reaching several deals whereby rebels withdraw in exchange for safe passage towards Idlib, often following lengthy blockades.

"Dismantling the insurgency in Eastern Ghouta will be one of the regime's biggest objectives in 2017," said Aron Lund, a non-resident fellow also at The Century Foundation.

Aleppo province

Rebels still hold an area west of Aleppo city, including Al-Atarib Daret Ezza, as well as four towns in the north of the province -- Marea, Kafr Hamra, Hreitan and Azaz next to the Turkish border.

Homs province

In the central province of Homs, rebels control Rastan, Talbisseh and Houla, towns that were among the first to revolt against the regime in 2012.

Houla was the scene of a massacre in May 2012, in which at least 108 people were killed. A UN commission of inquiry found Assad's forces responsible for many of the deaths.

Latakia province

Latakia, on the Mediterranean coast, is a key regime stronghold and ancestral home of President Bashar al-Assad, but rebels hold parts of the mountainous area bordering Turkey.

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