Free Syrian army fighters cross a river near al-Janoudiyah town in Idlib province using an inner-tube. 

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An anti Assad demonstration in rural Idlib province, north-western Syria. 

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Syria is often dubbed the cradle of civilisation, this series documents some of its unraveling into anarchy in Idlib province, Syria February 2012 - January 2013


Syria's north western Idlib province is a vital gateway for those opposed to Bashar al-Assad's government, a regime which is yet to loose much high-ranking support from within. 


The area comprises of predominantly anti-regime towns and villages, and is an invaluable geographic location exploited by the Free Syrian Army (FSA), to move fighters, weapons, aid, the injured, and refugees across the hills and olive groves that mark the official border.
This series of images was shot over a 12 month period, prior to extremist groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS having a fighting presence in the country. Many FSA fighters inevitably shifted loyalties as the conflict continued.

FSA fighters (left) announce their formation and declare their intentions to a group of Syrian citizen journalists and activists in the hills of rural Idlib. Basheria, Syria, June 2012

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A funeral in Turkey for a fighter killed in Syria

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A village damaged during clashes between the Syrian military and the FSA. 

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Crossing to Syria (right bank of river) from Turkey (left river bank) via the Orontes (al-Asi) river in Hatay province, southern Turkey. Refugees use this informal crossing to cross to Turkey and also to take food and supplies back to Syria.  

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Anti government demonstrations in the town of Basheria, Idlib, Syria

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Anti-government demonstrations on Friday afternoon after prayers in a mosque. North western Syria's Idlib province. 

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The funeral for a former opposition fighter from the FSA, in southern Hatay province, Turkey. 

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A former police officer who defected, lies injured in an area under opposition control as he waits to be taken to a makeshift field hospital. 

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Syria's Idlib province neighbours Turkey's Hatay; currently home to tens of thousands of refugees, humanitarian supplies, the FSA leadership, and vital communication links with the outside world. 


The FSA fight to remain in control of the olive-groves that line the province, in the hope of maintaining in control of the local population. 


Opposition groups fight against an army increasingly fond of aerial attacks. Aerial bombardment is something which the armed opposition have relatively little to prevent or protect against. 


Al Basheria, Idlib province, Syria. A mother with her child stand in their charred home after Syrian government troops came looking for her husband one afternoon. After insisting that he wasn't there, the troops set the home ablaze. 

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Syrian refugees from the Idlib town of al-Janoudiyah sit in a refugee camp in Yayladağı, Southern Turkey.

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An FSA soldier runs over the ruins of homes destroyed by air strikes in the Syrian town of Koreen, Idlib province.

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An injured FSA fighter in a hospital near Antakya, Hatay, southern Turkey

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A fighter in the Free Syrian Army smokes a cigarette whilst looking over the hills of opposition held Idlib province, north-western Syria. February 2012

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A barber works in his tent, Atmeh IDP camp, Idlib, Syria

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Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters in the town of Janoudiyah, rural Idlib province, north western Syria. February 2012

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A mother and her child in their home in rural Idlib province, Syria. She claims that government forces entered their village, burnt homes and shops and took her husband as a suspected opposition fighter. 

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A young shepherd watches a formation video for a group of FSA fighters near al Basheria, Idlib province, Syria.  

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Food aid is prepared to be smuggled into opposition held Syria, from a storage centre in Yayladagi, southern Hatay, Turkey. 

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Graffiti on a wall in Sarmin, Idlib, Syria.

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An FSA fighter in the hills around the town of al Basheria, Idlib, Syria. 

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A FSA fighter carefully crosses a vegetable plot after discussing the security situation with a farmer in Idlib province, Syria. 

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Anti Syrian government demonstrators in the town of al Janoudiyah, Idlib, Syria in mid February 2012

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Lives continue within these surroundings, with urban areas made up of mostly women, children and the elderly, forming the epicentre of the hope from which the sons and fathers fighting in the FSA are drawing their energy. 

Cooking, cleaning, mourning their losses, and keeping watch, the villagers of Idlib are the backbone of the opposition movement.

The town of al-Janoudiyah in rural Idlib province. The town was taken from government control by the Free Syrian Army (FSA) after being fought over since the early days of the Syrian conflict. 

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The remains of a home destroyed by a rocket attack in rural Idlib province, Syria. 

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A mother mourns the loss of her son when their home was attacked by government tanks in al Basheria, Syria. 

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An opposition fighter amputee resting at a military outpost surrounding the city of Idlib, Syria. 

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