Syrian opposition have begun withdrawing heavy arms Saturday from a buffer zone located in northwestern Idlib province to start setting up the demilitarized zone.
The National Liberation Front (NLF) "has started pulling out its heavy weapons from the zone", the opposition coalition's spokesman Naji Mustafa told AFP.
The buffer zone, agreed last month between Ankara and regime ally Moscow, aims to separate regime fighters from the opposition of the Idlib region.
The accord, reached on September 17, aims to stave off a massive regime assault on the region by creating a 15 to 20-kilometer (nine to 12-mile) buffer zone ringing the area.
Following a meeting in Sochi last month between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, the two countries agreed to establish a demilitarized zone in Idlib, Syria's last opposition stronghold.
Ankara and Moscow also signed a memorandum of understanding calling for the "stabilization" of Idlib's de-escalation zone, in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
Under the deal, opposition groups in Idlib will remain in areas in which they are already present, while Russia and Turkey will conduct joint patrols in the area with a view to preventing renewed fighting.
Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.
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