Turkey: Syrian rebels withdrawing heavy weapons in Idlib

Opposition forces would keep forward bases and light and medium weapons in place.

8 October 2018 | 14:12

Source: Associated Press

  • Source: Associated Press
  • Last update: 8 October 2018 | 14:12

A rebel fighter from the Turkish-backed National Liberation Front takes part in combat training in Syria's last major rebel bastion Idlib on Sep 11, 2018 in anticipation of a Russian-backed government offensive. (AFP Photo)

ANKARA, Turkey: Turkey’s state-run news agency says Turkish-backed Syrian rebels are close to completing the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the front lines between Syrian government forces and the opposition in the northwestern province of Idlib.

Anadolu Agency, quoting unnamed opposition figures and Turkish officials, says the withdrawal would conclude later on Monday.

Naji al-Mustafa, spokesman for the 15-member National Front for Liberation, said the groups agreed to implement a deal between Russia and Turkey to demilitarize the front lines. The deal seeks to avert a Syrian government offensive on Idlib.

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

The largest armed group in Idlib, the al-Qaida-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, Arabic for Levant Liberation Committee, has not said whether it will comply with the deal.

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