Sam Heller is a fellow at the Century Foundation, who is based in Beirut. He has written extensively on Syria, and recently participated in the foundation’s book, Arab Politics Beyond the Uprisings: Experiments in an Era of Resurgent Authoritarianism, to which he contributed a chapter on local governance and services in Idlib governorate, and the competition for legitimacy among Islamist armed groups. Diwan met with him in mid-July to discuss the situation in Idlib, the ease with which the Assad regime might retake the governorate militarily, and how local services are being used to enhance political power.