AVA- The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said on Sunday that the Turkey-backed Failaq al-Sham militant outfit was the first to abide by the terms of the Moscow-Ankara agreement on the Idlib demilitarized zone.
“The group is withdrawing its forces and heavy arms in small batches from southern Aleppo countryside, adjacent to Idlib Province, which is part of the demilitarized zone towards the west,” SOHR head Rami Abdulrahman said.
Earlier this month, Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdogan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, met in the Black Sea resort of Sochi and announced an agreement on Idlib.
The deal stipulates a demilitarized zone of 15-20 kilometers in Idlib along the contact line between the armed opposition and Syrian government troops by October 15. It also involves the withdrawal of “radically-minded” militants, including the al-Nusra Front, from the region.
A US-backed militant group however on Saturday rejected the deal in Idlib, the last major terrorist bastion in the Arab country.
The Jaysh al-Izza faction, affiliated with the Turkish-backed so-called Free Syrian Army, said the Idlib demilitarized zone would only encompass territory currently controlled by anti-Damascus militants.
The buffer zone, it added, should be carved out equally from both terrorist-held areas and nearby regions under the control of Syrian government forces.
“We are against this deal, which eats into liberated (occupied) areas and bails out [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad,” Jaysh al-Izza head Jamil al-Saleh told AFP.