Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

The battle against illegal fishing in West Africa

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Trump has already quit the Paris climate deal - just not publicly

Read more

#TECH 24

The Ice Memory Project: A treasure trove for future scientists

Read more

ENCORE!

Cannes 2017: Stars dig deep at AIDS gala dinner

Read more

FASHION

French fashion designer Jacquemus declares his love for Marseille

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

A piece of work: New French government braces for labour law reform

Read more

#THE 51%

Ridding workplaces of sexism: What companies can do to banish outdated attitudes

Read more

REPORTERS

Exclusive: Inside the battle for Mosul, chaos on the ground

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

The Marais district, the beating heart of Paris

Read more

REPORTERS

An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 9.10 pm Paris time. Or you can catch it online from Friday.

Latest update : 2012-02-10

EXCLUSIVE - Forbidden Syria

From the onset of Syria's uprising, the government has barred almost all journalists from entering the country. France 24's reporters went undercover and were able to enter Syria’s northern Idlib region. For several days, they lived alongside civilians and Free Syrian Army fighters. This is their exclusive report from the heart of the opposition movement and their account of how they managed to get into Syria.

In order to get to Syria, we had to walk a tightrope, which began in the mountains between Turkey and Syria. We travelled in the dark through 15 centimetres of snow. After two hours of walking in silence, we stopped at a ruined house in the middle of nowhere.

The most difficult part of the journey was now behind us, but the most dangerous was yet to come. We would soon leave the mountains for the main road to Aleppo.

Suddenly, we saw a dark shape and a shadow moved towards us. We remained frozen to the spot, as still as the old stones which make up our shelter.

This is the first fighter from the Free Syrian Army we meet on the ground. He is the one who will help us get past Assad’s army. He has an old machine gun slung over his shoulders which he acquired by selling his only cow.

There is no time to waste. We have to move fast and change cars three times to avoid detection before finally reaching the town of Binnish in the region of Idlib, where we are going to film.

The regular army has locked down the area of Jabal al-Zawiya. Once we get there, we travel with the Free Syrian Army, to avoid getting caught in their spider’s web.

We have to film quickly and be permanently on the move to avoid being spotted. This was the only way to film our report and avoid Bashar al-Assad's spies.

By Karim HAKIKI , Adel GASTEL

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2017-05-26 Middle East

Exclusive: Inside the battle for Mosul, chaos on the ground

For more than seven months, Iraqi forces have been conducting a major offensive to rout the Islamic State group from Mosul. But the jihadists are putting up fierce resistance...

Read more

2017-05-18 Asia-pacific

Video: India's battle against 'superbugs'

It’s the gravest healthcare threat facing humanity. The World Health Organization has estimated that antibiotic resistance, or ‘superbugs’ as these bacteria have come to be...

Read more

2017-05-12 Middle East

How natural gas could be a geopolitical game-changer in the Mideast

It's a discovery that could easily shake up the geopolitical order in the Middle East. Deep under the eastern Mediterranean lies the largest natural gas basin ever found on...

Read more

2017-05-04 Asia-pacific

Forced into exile: The plight of the Rohingyas

There are more than 1.3 million Rohingya people in the world. Although they have lived in Burma for more than two centuries, this Muslim minority is not among those officially...

Read more

2017-04-28 Spain

The booming business of cannabis in Spain

In Spain, thanks to the success of the "clubs" that have cropped up since 2011, cannabis has become a gold mine. From by-products such as cannabis lollipops and drinks, to...

Read more