Jihadist factions including Syria’s former Al-Qaeda branch have pulled heavy weapons from parts of a planned buffer zone in the country’s northwest put forward under a Turkey-Russia deal, a monitor said Monday.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham “and other less influential jihadist groups have withdrawn their heavy weapons from large areas of the demilitarised zone” ringing Idlib province, said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

HTS has yet to comment on the reported withdrawal, which quietly began “two days ago”, according to Abdel Rahman.

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