Turkey Asks for More Time to Expel Terrorists from Demilitarized Zone
Ankara has called on Damascus to delay any military operation in the Northern and Northwestern parts of the country to have more time to expel terrorists from the Sochi Agreement’s demilitarized zone after militants officially refused compliance with the agreement, a Syrian daily reported on Monday.
The Arabic-language al-Watan daily reported that Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) terrorists and their allies have never retreated from demilitarized zone in Northern and Northwestern Syria mentioned in Sochi Agreement.
The daily further said that Tahrir al-Sham, Horas al-Deen and Turkistani Islamic Party have reinvigorated their positions and hidden their heavy weapons, adding that the terrorist groups have decided to remain in their strongholds in the demilitarized zone in Northeastern Lattakia, Northwestern Hama, Southeastern, Northern and Southern Idlib.
The paper said that Turkish Intelligence Service has thus far been unsuccessful in persuading Tahrir al-Sham to leave its positions in the demilitarized zone, adding that Ankara has called on Damascus via Moscow to delay any military operation and give more time to Turkey to do its undertakings with regard to the expulsion of the terrorists form the zone.
The daily said Turkey has not declared any specific date, but it can be estimated that the terrorists’ withdrawal will last till the end of the current month.
Tahrir al-Sham said in a statement earlier today that it will never lay down weapons and will continue countering the Syrian Army several weeks after conclusion of the Sochi Agreement by Russia and Turkey to create a demilitarized zone in Southern Idlib, Northeastern Lattakia and Western Aleppo.
In the meantime, the Arabic-language al-Watan daily reported that there have not been any sign of withdrawal by the terrorists, “instead, they have been targeting army positions”.
Meanwhile, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported last night that terrorists launched mortar attacks on the army positions in Western Aleppo and Northern Hama where based on Sochi Agreement must be demilitarized.