Jihadists pull heavy arms from parts of Syria buffer zone: Monitor

Jihadists pull heavy arms from parts of Syria buffer zone: Monitor

The Anadolu Agency did not provide further details on the move, which came as part of a deal reached between Russian Federation and Turkey to demilitarize the front lines between Syrian government forces and the opposition in and around the province.

Turkey on Wednesday said a planned buffer zone in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib has been cleared of heavy weapons as part of a deal reached between Moscow and Ankara.

Militants have withdrawn most heavy weapons from territory around Syria's last major opposition stronghold ahead of a Wednesday deadline, a monitor said.

He said opposition forces would keep forward bases and light and medium weapons in place.

"No heavy weapon is now visible in the buffer zone", indicated to the AFP the director of the syrian Observatory human rights (OSDH), Rami Abdel Rahmane.

Led by former Al-Qaeda fighters, HTS has yet to announce its stance on the buffer zone deal.

"So (HTS), like other factions, is moving heavy weapons and reinforcing its positions according to the agreement".

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The Turkish official, for his part, stressed that Iran and Turkey have always stood by each other's side, adding that the Iran-Turkey-Russia initiative for putting an end to the Syrian civil war has upset some countries to the point where they have started to play other games against these three countries, implying the sanctions regime.

"The implementation of Sochi agreement will bring security to the people of the region", he said.

"On October 9 Turkish media reported the withdrawal of heavy weapons, and we are now making sure this information through our experts".

"The presence of Turkish forces and their posts will prevent any military action", the source said.

Forces loyal to President Bashar al Assad have retaken swathes of territory in Syria since Russian Federation entered the war in September 2015.

More than 360,000 people have been killed since the civil war erupted in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.

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