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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Syria rebels protest over Turkey's proposal

Demonstrators gather during a protest against Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu's comments on reconciliation of the opposition with the Syrian government, in the rebel-held city of Azaz, Syria August 12, 2022. REUTERS/Mahmoud Hassano
Demonstrators gather during a protest against Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu's comments on reconciliation of the opposition with the Syrian government, in the rebel-held city of Azaz, Syria August 12, 2022. REUTERS/Mahmoud Hassano

AL BAB, Syria: Thousands of Syrians in rebel-held areas took to the streets on Friday to protest against a proposal from Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu for reconciliation between the Syrian government and opposition.


Turkey has fervently opposed Syrian President Bashar al Assad. Cavusoglu's comments were seen as an apparent easing of Ankara's long-standing hostility towards Assad's government and enraged the Syrian opposition and rebel groups.


Syrians took to the streets after Friday prayers in major northern cities including Azaz, Al Bab and Afrin, which are under the control of Turkish forces and their Syrian supporters near the Turkish border.


"As revolutionaries, we are united here to reject any reconciliation with the regime, as that means destruction and displacement of millions of Syrians," said Yassin al Ahmad, a displaced Syrian residing in Al Bab.


"This reconciliation is not in our hands, and it is not in Turkey's hands. For us it is suicide and a crime," the 37-year-old added.


Protesters brandished Syrian opposition flags, and one banner read: "No reconciliation, the revolution continues."


Cavusoglu had told diplomats on Thursday: "We have to somehow get the opposition and the regime to reconcile in Syria. Otherwise, there will be no lasting peace, we always say this."


Protesters also demonstrated in Idlib province, controlled by Hayat Tahrir al Sham, the former Syrian branch of Al Qaeda, and other rebel groups. - AFP


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