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Jihadists pull heavy arms from parts of Syria buffer zone: Monitor

AFP  |  Beirut 

Jihadist factions including Syria's former branch have pulled heavy weapons from parts of a planned buffer zone in the country's northwest put forward under a Turkey-deal, a monitor said Monday.

"and other less influential jihadist groups have withdrawn their heavy weapons from large areas of the demilitarised zone" ringing province, said Rami Abdel Rahman, of the for Human Rights.

HTS has yet to comment on the reported withdrawal, which quietly began "two days ago", according to

"Until now, heavy weapons have been removed from northern Hama and eastern Idlib" located in the proposed zone, he said.

Last month's agreement between regime ally and rebel-backer is to create a 15- to 20-kilometre (9-12 mile) demilitarised area ringing the region -- the country's last insurgent bastion.

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

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

On Monday, the completed withdrawing heavy arms from the zone, according to Turkish

The NLF pullout was confirmed to AFP by The NLF is the main Turkey-backed rebel alliance in the Idlib region, but jihadist heavyweight HTS and other hardliners hold a large part of the province and the proposed zone.

Led by former fighters, HTS has yet to announce its stance on the buffer zone deal.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, October 09 2018. 00:40 IST