Russia, Iran Bear Responsibility for Observance of Syria Safe Zones Agreement

Ahmet Uzumcu director-general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons OPCW listens to a question during an interview in The Hague Netherlands Friday

"These de-escalation zones, as I have seen them on the map, are in Western Syria and not in areas where ISIS [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] is active", he said.

Russian Federation remains Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's most powerful ally while Turkey has backed the opposition in the conflict.

The High Negotiations Committee, a Syrian opposition group, said the agreement is not legitimate because the UN Security Council is the party delegated to oversee all negotiations on the country's brutal six-year conflict.

The memorandum provides for halting the hostilities between Syrian government forces and armed opposition groups within the safe zones, allowing humanitarian access, medical assistance, as well as the return of displaced civilians to their homes and the restoration of damaged infrastructure.

Fighters from the Democratic Forces of Syria inspect weapons and ammunition that, according to them, belonged to Islamic State fighters, in al-Shadadi town, in Hasaka province, Syria, February 26, 2016. However, in some areas there have been local, unsubstantial clashes. The wide array of rebel groups include some supported by Turkey, the U.S. and Gulf monarchies. Turkey supports Syrian opposition forces. Observation points will monitor the cease-fire in the region.

A rebel commander confirmed that fighting had broken out after midnight, Reuters reports.

Rasheed said rebel-held Idlib province to the north of Hama was nearly completely quiet, but the attacks, which included barrel bombs, were focused on the northern Hama frontline area.

"The bombardment has not stopped, it is no different from before", he said.

Russia's military says the agreement setting up four de-escalation zones in Syria will.

Russia's foreign ministry published the full text of the agreement on Saturday.

Weaponry and air strikes are to be banned within the zones - while no-fly zones will be introduced in the airspace overhead.

The memorandum of understanding between the two countries was suspended by Russian Federation last month after the US launched a retaliatory missile strike on a Syrian military airfield.

"The United Nations, the United States and Saudi Arabia have welcomed the deal", Russian Deputy Defence Minister Alexander Fomin said in comments carried by state news agency TASS.

The plan specifies that a six-month renewable truce will begin on Saturday and that Assad's air force will halt all flights over the de-escalation areas.

And a member of the rebel delegation to the talks said on Saturday that the opposition was "recording violations of the deal committed by the regime and its militias".

Russian Federation said on Saturday that the United States has welcomed the outcome of the recent round of the Syria settlement talks held in Astana this week.

Iran's actions had "only contributed" to violence in Syria, spokesperson Heather Nauert said.

The agreement covers four main battlegrounds between the government and non-jihadist rebels - the northwestern province of Idlib, parts of Homs province in the centre, the south, and the opposition enclave of Eastern Ghouta near Damascus.

Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi of the Russian General Staff, speaks to the media in the Defense Ministry in Moscow, Russia, Friday, May 5, 2017.

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