Erdogan wants to expand military presence in east Syria

Huras al-Din armed group rejects demilitarisation deal for Syria's Idlib

Erdogan wants to expand military presence in east Syria

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

"Just yesterday or the day before, the militaries of Russia and Turkey agreed the concrete frontiers of the demilitarised zone", Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after talks with his Bosnian counterpart Igor Crnadak.

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.

Expanding Turkey's military campaign into the much larger Kurdish-held territory east of the Euphrates would risk confronting troops of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally the United States, that are deployed alongside a YPG-dominated force there.

"During negotiations on Idlib in Sochi we chose to establish a demilitarized zone between the territories controlled by the opposition and regime". However, the light weapons will still be held by a few of the forces of the moderate opposition.

Bahceli also stressed that Turkey should not meet with Syrian regime leader Bashar al-Assad and described such a move as "treason" and "carelessness".

The jihadist-led group - which controls more than half of the Idlib region - has not officially responded to the agreement.

Security in the zone, which includes parts of Idlib and neighbouring provinces including the city of Aleppo, will be overseen by Turkish contingents and Russian military police. Erdogan says Turkish and allied forces have brought stability to the area, allowing children to return to schools.

"By mid-October, all (fighters of the Al-Nusra Front) must leave this demilitarised zone, and all heavy military equipment must be pulled out of there", he said.

The Huras al-Din group was formed earlier this year by combatants who split from Tahrir al-Sham and the Nusra Front when it cut its ties with al Qaeda.

Erdogan recently reached an agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin to pause a Syrian government offensive on the northern province of Idlib, the last major stronghold of the Syrian opposition.

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