Syria Rebel Group Refuses to Withdraw from Idlib Front Lines

BEIRUT, A Syrian rebel group says it will not withdraw its fighters from a demilitarized zone around the northwestern province of Idlib that was agreed on this month between Russia and Turkey.

Failaq al-Sham, one of the main Turkey-backed factions in northern Syria, said in a statement Sunday that all its heavy weapons are far from the front lines.

The group’s statement came hours after the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Failaq al-Sham had begun evacuating some of its positions in Aleppo province bordering Idlib.

The zone will be established by Oct. 15 and be 15-20 kilometers (9-12 miles) deep, with troops from Russia and NATO-member Turkey conducting coordinated patrols.

Idlib is the last major stronghold of the Syrian opposition.

Source: Voice of America