In Syria’s rebel-held Idlib province, residents have established local governance bodies that provide needed services and simultaneously pose a political challenge to the regime of Bashar al-Assad. No overarching authority has replaced the state after it was forced from Idlib. Islamist and jihadist armed groups hold power at the local level, and have developed relatively sophisticated service coordination bodies. Yet ultimate decision-making power has typically sat with donor organizations outside the country. Localism and wartime conditions have also frustrated attempts to unify and rationalize service and governance in Idlib. Syrian rebels wanted Idlib to demonstrate an alternative to Assad’s rule, but their efforts have been stymied by internal rivalries and problematic relationships between local rebel administrators inside Syria and international sponsors abroad. Idlib’s trajectory mirrors the wider dynamics of Syria’s war and fragmented opposition.
See more: https://tcf.org/content/report/keeping-lights-rebel-idlib/