Syria war: Rebels 'withdraw heavy weapons from Idlib buffer zone'

Syrian rebel fighters are reported to have withdrawn their heavy weapons from the frontlines around Idlib province.

Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency said rockets, mortars and missiles had been removed in line with a deal to create a demilitarised buffer zone separating rebel and government forces.

The agreement is being overseen by Turkey, which backs the rebels, and Russia, a key ally of the government.

They want to avert a government assault on Idlib, the last major rebel bastion.

The UN has warned that a full-scale battle could trigger a “humanitarian nightmare unlike any seen in the blood-soaked Syrian conflict”.

What did Turkey and Russia agree?

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, agreed last month to create a demilitarised zone that was between 15km and 20km (9-12 miles) wide.

A memorandum of understanding said all “radical terrorist groups” – including members of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a powerful jihadist alliance once known as al-Nusra Front, that controls much of Idlib province – would have to withdraw from the zone by 15 October.

All other opposition armed groups would have to remove their tanks,…

Continue Reading This Article At BBC News


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