Syrian rebels withdraw heavy weapons from planned Idlib buffer zone

DAMASCUS (dpa)- Two Syrian rebel groups withdrew their heavy weapons from a planned demilitarized zone agreed by Turkey and Russia in the north-western province of Idlib, a rebel alliance commander said on Saturday.
"The Free Idlib Army and Failaq al-Sham have withdrawn heavy weaponry and personnel carriers from Abu al-Duhur area in the eastern Idlib countryside, which borders the demilitarized zone," a military commander with the National Front for Liberation told dpa.

The withdrawal of the heavy weaponry from the buffer zone involves all opposition factions that agreed to comply with the Turkish-Russian deal.
Earlier this month, Russia and Turkey agreed to create a demilitarized buffer zone in Idlib to separate government forces from rebel fighters based there.
The zone is due to be set up by October 15, and to be 15 to 20 kilometres deep, with troops from Russia and Turkey conducting coordinated patrols.
The deal comes after the Syrian government concentrated troops in the north-west, with the intent of unseating 10,000 extremist fighters from Idlib.
Idlib is home to 3 million civilians and is largely controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, an Islamist alliance led by an al-Qaeda-affiliated group.

Sunday, October 7th 2018

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