Syria: Opponents of Assad denounce a Turkish call for “reconciliation”

BEIRUT, Aug 12 (Reuters) – Thousands demonstrated in rebel-held areas of northwestern Syria on Friday to protest against a Turkish call for reconciliation between Ankara-backed Syrian opposition groups and the government of President Bashar al Assad.

More than eleven years after the start of Syria’s civil war, the northwestern region near the Turkish border is the last region still in the hands of fighters seeking to overthrow Assad. The area is controlled by jihadist factions and other Turkish-backed rebels.

The Turkish government maintains thousands of troops in the region and supports a coalition of armed groups opposed to Assad under the banner of the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

“We have to bring the opposition and the regime together for reconciliation one way or another, otherwise there will be no permanent peace,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters on Thursday. journalists in Ankara.

After his speech, protesters began to take to the streets on Thursday evening in parts of insurgent-held Syria, some waving opposition flags and tearing Turkish flags from buildings such as police stations and offices. of local administration.

“We have suffered from this criminal for 11 years and we will continue our revolution,” Mahmoud Salo, a 45-year-old teacher, told Reuters at a protest on Friday in Azaz, Idlib province.

About 3,000 people gathered in Azaz on Friday, while demonstrations also took place in other parts of this province and in the north of the neighboring province of Aleppo.

Many Turkish advisers employed in local institutions did not show up for work on Friday, a Reuters correspondent in the region said. (Reporting by Timour Azhari; French version Dagmarah Mackos, edited by Jean-Stéphane Brosse)

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