Idlib demilitarized zone is free of heavy weapons: Turkish MoD

A Syrian rebel fighter of the Turkish-backed National Liberation Front checks his machine gun on the front line with government forces in the southeast of Idlib province

The establishment by Turkey and Russian Federation, a special demilitarized zone (DMZ) in the province of Idlib (Northwest Syria) will be marked by a number of problems, because the main forces of the Syrian opposition, as well as being in the region of formation of the terrorist group "Islamic state of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) is not going without a fight to leave the territory under their control.

The weapons pullback is the first major test of a truce deal brokered by government-affiliated Russian Federation and militant-affiliated Turkey last month to avoid what the United Nations warned would be the appalling humanitarian consequences of a major government offensive.

Haid Haid, an associate fellow at the Chatham House think-tank, said HTS had made the "pragmatic" move of pulling out its heavy weapons.

"Our forces will remain on the front lines in defense positions armed with light and medium weapons", al-Mustafa said.

According to the deal, the zone would separate rebel and regime zones under the supervision of the two sponsor countries.

The syrian foreign minister Walid Mouallem has said to him confident in the ability of Turkey to fulfill its part of the agreement "because of his knowledge of the factions" the insurgent.

For years, many jihadists have fought in Syria and want to maintain their influence in Idleb.

"It is making the assessment that Turkey will allow it to continue to operate in northwest Syria, so long as HTS keeps a low profile", he added.

According to Mr. Heras, Russia has sought to give Turkey the hard mission to deal with the groups jihadists in the region.

"The Russians want to "freeze" the war in the west of Syria, and addressing the reconstruction of the areas under the control of Assad", he said.

The Observatory's chief, Rami Abdurrahman, said that even al-Qaida-linked militants and other jihadis are withdrawing their heavy weapons, hoping to avoid a confrontation with Turkish troops and allied Syrian fighters. They were preparing for a final offensive against Idleb before the conclusion of the agreement of russo-Turkish.

"Assad might want to reconquer Idlib, but for now he does not have a better option than this deal", he said.



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