Reporting from Idlib province, Syria—
The rebels sleep on thin mattresses with AK-47s and handguns by their sides. Their rented apartment has the feel of college dorm meets military barracks — crumpled cigarette packs, old coffee cups, gun magazines and an incongruously feminine touch: plastic sunflowers rimming the doorways.
With cellphone coverage blocked by the government, they spend their days meeting at safe houses like this one to strategize. Before the topic of war comes a crucial question. How do you take your coffee?
Here in Syria'sIdlib province, a key opposition region in the almost yearlong uprising against the rule of President Bashar Assad, matters of revolution must wait for Arab hospitality.
"So that if we die as martyrs, we die with a full stomach," rebel Mustafa Saeed said as he waited for lunch to be served.
Despite the urgency of their armed resistance and the rising death toll across the country, rebels here aren't rushing into battle against an army with far superior weapons and organization. Rather, they bide their time, staging guerrilla attacks and planning for the insurgency they want to fight, not the one they are equipped for now.