The National Coalition of the Syrian Opposition and Revolutionary Forces, also known as the National Coalition of Syria, has called for the withdrawal of all heavy weapons from the newly formed Idlib demilitarized zone, according to a report released on Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, the media reported the alleged withdrawal, which would have been confirmed by the Turkish Ministry of Defense. Moscow, however, said it was scrutinizing the information released.
The withdrawal would be a “positive step” that would give the opposition a chance to unite and agree on a single stance on the crisis deal, coalition member Yasser Farhan told broadcaster Al-Hadath.
On September 17, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to establish until 15 October a demilitarized zone in Idlib along the line of contact between the armed opposition and government forces. The withdrawal of heavy weapons is part of the agreement.
Meanwhile, Moscow is checking reports on the full withdrawal of heavy weapons by Syria’s Idlib “militants”, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Wednesday.
“Yesterday, October 9, the Turkish media reported that the withdrawal of heavy weapons occurred and we are now verifying this information through our experts,” Zakharova said in a statement, adding that so far “more than a thousand militants have left the demilitarized zone.”
She also expressed concern that Washington would try to establish “some sort of separate administration” on the eastern bank of the Euphrates river, violating the Syrian constitution.
“Unfortunately, the situation on the eastern bank of the Euphrates is becoming increasingly alarming. The Americans are, in fact, running the show in this area, relying on their Kurdish allies,” the spokeswoman said.
Anadolu news agency reported earlier that the Syrian “armed opposition” concluded on Monday the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of contact in the area.