‘Demil­i­tarised zone in Syria’s Idlib formed’

Cyprus Today - - TURKEY -

TURKEY’S de­fence min­istry said on Wed­nes­day the demil­i­tarised zone in Syria’s Idlib has been formed and heavy weapons have been with­drawn, fol­low­ing an agree­ment by Rus­sian and Turk­ish lead­ers in Sochi last month.

The agree­ment dic­tated that heavy weapons, tanks, rocket sys­tems and mor­tars of all op­po­si­tion groups would be with­drawn by Thurs­day, and the zone will be mon­i­tored by co­or­di­nated Turk­ish and Rus­sian pa­trols.

Un­der the deal agreed last month be­tween Turkey and Syr­ian Pres­i­dent Bashar al-As­sad’s ally Moscow, “rad­i­cal” rebels will be re­quired to with­draw from the zone by the mid­dle of this month.

Rus­sia’s For­eign Min­istry said on Wed­nes­day over 1,000 mil­i­tants had left the zone.

Asked about Turk­ish re­ports that all heavy weapons had been re­moved, Rus­sian For­eign Min­istry spokesman Maria Zakharova told re­porters that around 100 heavy weapon units had been with­drawn from the zone but gave no fur­ther de­tails.

The main ji­hadist group in the Idlib area, Tahrir al-Sham, has yet to com­ment pub­licly on the agree­ment.

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