Syrian opposition’s arms removal proves trust in Turkey

By Adham Kako and Muhammed Sheikh Yusuf

ANKARA (AA) – The withdrawal of heavy weapons by Syrian opposition in northwestern Idlib proves the opposition’s trust in Turkey, one of its member said on Tuesday.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Yaser Ferhan, a member of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, said the weapons withdrawal manifests the success of alliance that 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 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 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 Erdogan 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.

Mostly controlled by the Free Syrian Army, Idlib is located just across the border from Turkey’s southern province of Hatay.

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