BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:40 P.M.) – The largest rebel group in southern Idlib and northern Hama released an official statement on Saturday that rejected the buffer zone agreement that was established in Sochi last week.
The Free Syrian Army’s Jaysh Al-Izza faction released a statement that announced their discontent with the Idlib agreement and their official rejection of the 15-20km deep buffer zone.
Jaysh Al-Izza’s statement said that the rebel group was surprised to find that the buffer zone was 20km deep into their territory and did not include the Syrian Arab Army’s areas in the Idlib Governorate.
The rebel group added that they won’t retreat from the designated buffer zone and that they will not reopen the Latakia-Aleppo Highway until the Syrian government releases all the detainees from their prisons.
Jaysh Al-Izza is arguably one of the most powerful groups in the Idlb Governorate; their rejection of the buffer zone could cause a major problem for the Turkish military, as they were tasked with convincing the rebels to adhere to this agreement.