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The Latest: 3 Powers Create 'de-escalation' Zone in Idlib

Friday, 15 September 2017 07:39 AM

BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on Syria developments (all times local):

2:05 p.m.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry says Turkey, Russia and Iran have announced the establishment of a "de-escalation" zone in Syria's northern province of Idlib.

A ministry statement said Friday the decision was reached by the three countries' delegations during a meeting in Kazakhstan's capital Astana.

The ministry said observers from the three nations would be deployed at "control and observation" points within the boundaries of the zone.

The statement says: "The observer forces' main task will be to prevent conflicts between the regime and the opposition and to monitor possible violations of the cease fire."

11:55 a.m.

An observer group says intense clashes are ongoing in the Syrian central province of Hama between pro-government forces and members of the Islamic State group.

Syrian troops have been on the offensive in central Syria against IS for weeks under the cover of Russian airstrikes.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the fighting is concentrated in the Okeirbat area that government forces regained control of on Thursday.

The Observatory said Friday that more than two weeks of fighting left hundreds dead on both sides.

The government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media reported the clashes saying IS positions are being targeted with artillery and rockets.

IS said in a statement posted online that it repelled a government attack near the village of Sheikh Hilal, claiming to have killed 11 soldiers.

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The Latest on Syria developments (all times local):2:05 p.m.The Turkish Foreign Ministry says Turkey, Russia and Iran have announced the establishment of a "de-escalation" zone in Syria's northern province of Idlib.A ministry statement said Friday the decision was reached...
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2017-39-15
Friday, 15 September 2017 07:39 AM
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