Syrian rebels in Idlib trust Turkey, says opposition member
The withdrawal of heavy weapons by the Syrian opposition in the northwestern province of Idlib proves the opposition trusts Turkey, one of its members said on Oct. 9.
Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, Yaser Ferhan, a member of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, said the weapons’ withdrawal manifests the success of the alliance that the opposition made with Turkey.
Ferhan’s remarks came a day after the Syrian opposition and other anti-regime groups completed the withdrawal of all their heavy weapons from Idlib frontlines.
He said the removal of weapons and Turkey’s fortification of its observation posts in Idlib will provide many benefits to the people of the region.
He said that these moves prevented the Bashar al-Assad regime and its allies’ further attacks on the region.
Ferhan also hailed the recently signed Sochi agreement between Turkey and Russia.
“The implementation of the Sochi agreement will bring security to the people of the region,” he said.
Following a meeting in Sochi last month between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, the two countries agreed to establish a demilitarized zone in Idlib, Syria’s last opposition stronghold.
Ankara and Moscow also signed a memorandum of understanding calling for the “stabilization” of Idlib’s de-escalation zone, in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
Under the deal, opposition groups in Idlib will remain in areas in which they are already present, while Russia and Turkey will conduct joint patrols in the area with a view to preventing renewed fighting.
Idlib is located just across the border from Turkey’s southern province of Hatay.