Assad using Daesh to thwart Sochi: Lebanon Druze leader

By Wasim Saif al-Din

BEIRUT (AA) – Druze leader and head of the Lebanese Socialist Party Walid Jumblatt on Wednesday accused the Syrian regime of using the Daesh terrorist group to sabotage an agreement — signed Sept. 17 in the Russian city of Sochi — between Turkey and Russia.

“Hundreds of Daesh fighters have been transferred from the Boukamal area of ​​Deir al-Zour to Idlib province in buses with tinted windows,” Jumblatt tweeted.

Without providing the source of the information, the veteran Lebanese politician said the move was intended to “derail the [Sochi] agreement”.

Within the framework of proposals made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a Sept. 7 meeting in Tehran, Erdogan and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin later agreed in Sochi on the need to take measures to maintain a ceasefire in Idlib.

According to Jumblatt, a similar incident took place in July, when a number of Daesh militants were taken from the Al-Hajar al-Aswad area to the Al-Badia district in Syria’s majority-Druze Al-Suwayda province, where, Jumblatt said, they had carried out “brutal attacks” on local residents.

In late July, Daesh terrorists abducted 36 civilians from Al-Suwayda — including women and children — after carrying out a deadly attack that left scores dead.