In the early spring of 2012 Syria was in revolt. Before Al Qaeda arrived, before ISIS and it's caliphate, before Russian and US intervention, the countryside rose up against the brutal dicatorship of Bashar al-Assad. The regime answered in kind, and destroyed Taftanaz, a village in northern Idlib province. In early April, units of the Syrian Army staged a violent raid on the town. Working from lists of suspected enemies of the regime, they burned over half of the homes and summarily executed many of the residents who had not fled. 82 people died in the attack on Taftanaz, in what was then the largest massacre in Idlib province, one of many that devastated the farming towns of northern Syria. The human rights violations committed by the Assad regime there helped galvanize the countryside of Idlib, and set the stage for the next phase of the conflict.