Syrians wave opposition flags and a banner reading “Idlib’s olives will not rest until the liberation of the jasmines” in Arabic as they protest on a bridge north of Idlib. AFP / OMAR HAJ KADOUR
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Pointing to a green screen as if presenting a weather forecast, Bilal Abdel-Kareem analyzes the Turkish-Russian deal over Syria's Idlib, broadcasting in his native English from inside the war-torn country's last rebel stronghold.As the case drags through U.S. courts, the self-described "bald-headed black guy in the middle of Syria" has remained in Idlib despite fears of a looming regime offensive, continuing to file dispatches for his media upstart, On the Ground News.He married and had children in Egypt, but declined to disclose their location for security reasons.He arrived in Syria in 2012 from Libya, curious about the rebels battling President Bashar Assad's forces in a conflict which at that point was just 1 year old.The U.S. has designated Al-Qaeda and HTS "terrorist organizations".'America is not the same'Around 3 million people live in Idlib and surrounding rebel territory, including foreigners who have joined the war against the Assad regime.Abdel-Kareem's 16-year absence from the U.S. has made him miss simple things: speaking English, sugary cereals.
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