Parties at Syria peace talks in Astana agree on de-escalation zone in Idlib

Parties at Syria peace talks in Astana agree on de-escalation zone in Idlib province. Russia, Iran and Turkey have agreed the borders of a “de-escalation” zone in Syria’s northern Idlib province, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Friday.

It said delegates from the three countries, who met in Astana, were still discussing what forces to deploy in Idlib, which is under the control of a rebel alliance spearheaded by the former al Qaeda offshoot Nusra Front.

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The sixth round of peace talks to end Syria’s years-long crisis has begun in the Kazakh capital, Astana.

The UN-backed talks initiated by Russia, Iran and Turkey. Russia’s negotiators has said the three countries are close to finalizing an agreement on establishing de-escalation zones.

Astana has hosted five rounds of peace talks for Syria since January. Moscow, Tehran and Ankara serve as guarantor states in the peace process.

The negotiations are aimed at bringing an end to foreign-backed militancy in Syria, which began in March 2011.