Turkey agreed to its complete withdrawal from northern Syria

The Syrian regime media reported, on Friday, that the Syrian-Turkish-Russian meeting in Moscow concluded that Ankara agreed to a complete withdrawal from northern Syria.

The regime’s media quoted a source as saying that the tripartite meeting in Moscow confirmed that the PKK poses “the greatest danger” to Syria and Turkey.

It is noteworthy that the defense ministers of Russia, Turkey and Syria and the heads of the Syrian and Turkish intelligence held a meeting in Moscow last Wednesday.

On Friday, hundreds of Syrians demonstrated in the north and northwest of the country, condemning the Turkish-Syrian rapprochement, two days after Moscow hosted the defense ministers of the two countries in the first official meeting since the outbreak of the conflict in 2011.

In the city of Al-Bab, the largest city in northern Syria, which is under the control of Syrian factions loyal to Ankara, the demonstrators raised opposition flags and several banners, one of which read: “We will not reconcile from the latter.”

Subhi Khabiyeh (54 years old), a displaced person from the Damascus countryside, said during his participation in the demonstration: “We do not reconcile, we cannot reconcile, and we do not want to reconcile with (President Bashar) al-Assad’s regime.”

He added, addressing Turkey: “Do not be of help to Assad against us, but rather be with us,” considering that “whoever wants to reconcile, let him do so, but we do not want to reconcile Assad because he is a criminal.”

On Wednesday, Moscow gathered Russian Defense Ministers Sergei Shoigu, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and Syrian Ali Mahmoud Abbas in three talks that touched on “ways to solve the Syrian crisis and the refugee issue,” as well as “joint efforts to combat extremist groups,” according to Moscow.

The meeting came after several indications in recent months of rapprochement between Damascus and Ankara, which has been the most prominent supporter of the political and military opposition since the outbreak of the conflict.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had repeatedly called on Assad to step down at the outbreak of the conflict, describing him as a “murderer”, did not rule out the possibility of a meeting with him.

Several areas in the north of Aleppo governorate, under the control of pro-Ankara Syrian factions, witnessed similar demonstrations, including Azaz, Jarabulus, and Marea, under the name “We will die and not reconcile Assad,” according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

In the city of Idlib (northwest), which is under the control of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra), dozens took part in a demonstration, during which they chanted several slogans, including “Erdogan, listen, listen, the blood of the martyrs is not sold.”

Salwa Abdel Rahman said, “I came to demonstrate against statements calling for rapprochement with the criminal Assad regime, which has displaced people and arrested hundreds of thousands,” adding, “If the whole world meets, we will not reconcile with the criminal regime.”

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