Hundreds of Syrians protest Damascus-Ankara rapprochement
Hundreds of Syrians in the rebel-held north protested on Friday against signs of a diplomatic rapprochement between Ankara and Damascus after their defense ministers met in Moscow for the first time after eleven years of conflict.
Several hundred demonstrators gathered in Al-Bab, Jarablus, Azaz, Marê, Afrin and Idlib, all controlled by rebel factions long backed by Ankara.
The angry protestors chanted: "We'd rather die, we won't make peace with Assad"
Mass demonstrations were held in the opposition-held Syrian cities of al-Bab, Azaz, Akhtarin, Darat Izza, Atareb, Tal Abyad, and Idlib against Turkey's normalization policy with the Assad regime. pic.twitter.com/5e2hnY6UE7— Levent Kemal (@leventkemaI) December 30, 2022
The demonstrations came after the Syrian, Turkish and Russian defense ministers met in Moscow on Wednesday to discuss "ways to resolve the Syrian crisis, the problem of refugees and joint efforts to combat extremist groups in Syria."
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who in recent years repeatedly called Assad an "assassin", spoke in November of a "possible" meeting with his Syrian counterpart.
UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that activists in Idlib posted on social media posts against Turkey and Turkish-backed factions that worked for their interests without considering the demands of Syrian people.
“Moreover, they called for HTS and the “Ministry of Defence” factions to issue a statement explaining their position regarding the tripartite meeting” SOHr said.
In the northwestern city of Idlib, controlled by the jihadist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), dozens raised slogans hostile to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, AFP reported.