In February, Syrian rebel groups fighting President Bashar al-Assad said they would begin withdrawing from areas they had previously occupied in the war-torn country, in a sign of how the country is turning away from the war.
“We want to return to the countryside and villages, and to avoid the danger of fighting with the armed opposition, said Abu Zaid al-Souri, the leader of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is part of the Free Syrian Army (FSA).”
We have decided to take a unilateral withdrawal from areas of the northern border where we have been besieged since 2014,” he added.
Abu Zaid Al-Sadi has been the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) commander in the country’s north for three years, which is divided between the government and rebel forces.
He has been a key member of the coalition since its formation, as well as the main negotiator in the six-year conflict.
The coalition’s decision came after the government’s decision to end its military operation in Aleppo, and its failure to secure the exit of the main rebel supply route from the city, which has led to heavy fighting.
A Syrian government offensive in Aleppo has also led to the deaths of more than 400 people, according to a UN report.
Syria’s conflict has killed an estimated 200,000 people since it erupted in March 2011, according the United Nations.
More than five million people have fled the country, according a United Nations report, as the conflict has displaced more than 6 million people, most of them civilians.
The government says it is fighting terrorism and has made significant advances against the rebels.
But the US-led coalition, which launched air strikes on a rebel stronghold in Syria last week, has not acknowledged any gains in the fight against the group.