Turkey demands complete withdrawal of Assad’s forces


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s military forces must return to their barracks, says Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, as tanks are spotted on the edge of towns in the country.

Mr Davutoglusaid said Ankara had received information that Syrian government troops were leaving cities but were maintaining pressure on population in those areas.

“This withdrawal must be total and comprehensive. Withdrawing from the cities but keeping the pressure on them doesn’t mean a real withdrawal.

“This withdrawal must be from all cities and towns to barracks and people must be assured they will not face another attack,” he said.

He added that there was now the chance for a new era in Syria, but cautioned that “it is still too early to judge”.

Syrian troops held their fire in the hours after a UN-backed ceasefire took effect at dawn on Thursday, casting a silence over rebellious towns they had bombarded heavily in recent days.