The first Turkish-backed faction has started withdrawing from the demilitarized zone of Idlib in northern Syria, in applying of the Russian-Turkish agreement, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
“Since Sunday morning, groups of the Islamic Sham Corps ‘Faylaq Al-Sham’ have started withdrawing its heavy mechanisms of tanks and artillery in the countryside of southern Aleppo and the suburbs of western Aleppo located insides the disarmament zone” According to the observatory.
Faylaq Al-Sham; which is considered as the 2nd biggest faction in military equipment and the 3rd largest in fighters in northern Syria, contains up to ten thousand fighters, and a main part of the National Liberation Front (NLF), which was formed in early August with the support of Ankara in Idleb.
The biggest jihadist group, Hayyat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), has yet to announce its position regarding the agreement.
The demilitarized zone will be 15 to 20 km (10 to 12 miles) deep, run along the contact line between rebel groups and government troops, and will be patrolled by Turkish and Russian forces.