Middle EastWar

Turkey says Syria rebels pull heavy arms from Idlib 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.

“The pullout of heavy weapons from the de-militarized zone was completed on October 10,” the Turkish defense ministry said in a statement.

Turkish state media outlet Anadolu reported earlier this week that Syrian rebels concluded their withdrawal of heavy armaments from the zone.

The Russia-Turkey agreement reached on September 17 for the northwestern region of Idlib on the Turkish border was made in part to avert what many warned could be one of the worst humanitarian disasters of Syria’s seven-year conflict.

The Idlib region includes most of the province of the same name, as well as adjacent parts of Hama and Aleppo provinces.

Last month’s agreement is to create a 15 to 20-km (9-12 mile) demilitarized area ringing the Idlib region.

Under the deal, all rebels in the buffer zone must withdraw heavy arms by Wednesday, and radical groups must leave by October 15.

With reporting from AFP

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