Militant group rejects demilitarized zone in Syria's Idlib

September 23, 2018 - 6:41 am

BEIRUT (AP) — An al-Qaida-linked group has rejected a deal reached this month between Russia and Turkey to establish a demilitarized zone in Syria's Idlib region vowing not to withdraw from the area.

Horas al-Din, Arabic for Guardians of Religion, called the deal to establish the zone by Oct. 15 a "great conspiracy."

The group is made up mostly of al-Qaida fighters that broke away from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, Arabic for Levant Liberation Committee, the largest militant group in Idlib province.

Idlib is the last major rebel stronghold in Syria.

Horas al-Din urged in their late Saturday statement supporters from around the world to come to Syria "to help people of the Levant."

On Friday, Turkey's Defense Ministry said that the borders of the demilitarized zone were determined with their Russian counterparts.