Turkey to create safe zone east of Euphrates river, Syria

AFP  File | Syrian rebel fighters are seen in the northern countryside of Idlib province

The buffer zone to be supervised by both Turkey and Russian Federation, will be of 15 to 20 kilometers width.

Erdogan further wrote that Turkey and Russian Federation will also jointly determine which radical groups should leave the territory of demilitarized zone in Syria's Idlib province.

According to the deal, the two highways "M4" and "M5", passing through Idlib, will be reopened towards the end of 2018, as to energize the commercial wheel in the area; the roads are Damascus-Aleppo and the Lattakia-Aleppo.

"We will have 12 observation points in Idlib".

Indicating that it would not be easy for Turkey to welcome another refugee flow that might have emerged following a Syrian regime offensive in Idlib, Erdoğan reiterated his contentment with the deal. However, the light weapons will still be held by a few of the forces of the moderate opposition.

Le Drian said that global pressure and warnings of a looming humanitarian crisis in Idlib had proven effective in checking an all-out assault by the Syrian regime. "This is certainly an intermediate step, because only a demilitarized zone is being created".

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Emboldened, they are taking to the streets at least once a week against Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad.

The group declared the agreement part of a plan "to eliminate the jihadist project" in the Levant. The group is made up mostly of Al Qaeda fighters that broke away from Hayat Tahrir Al Sham, the largest militant group in Idlib province.

In his address to Turkish and Muslim communities in NY, organized by Turkish American National Steering Committee, Erdogan said Turkey's struggle will continue until the terror threat against it ends and it would eradicate terror gangs that aim at Syria's future.

The al-Qaida-linked HTS has not yet said whether it has accepted the deal, but some of its prominent foreign commanders such as Abu Yaqzan al-Masri, from Egypt, have previously said insurgents should not hand over their weapons and continue fighting the Russians and Syrian government forces.

Close to three million people live in Idlib, around half of them Syrians displaced by the war from other parts of Syria, and the United Nations warned that an offensive would cause a humanitarian catastrophe.

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