Russian military: Syria safe zones deal to come into force in hours

Rudskoi outlined the proposed zones in the northwestern Idlib province, the north of central Homs province, Eastern Ghouta near Damascus and an area of the south involving Daraa and Quneitra provinces.

Rudskoi also told reporters that Russian Federation wanted to restore an agreement with the United States to coordinate air operations over Syria and reduce the risk of aircraft colliding.

Russia, Turkey and Iran act as guarantors of the Astana peace process.

He underlined Russia's prime responsibility, as one of the main supporters of the Assad regime, in observing the implementation of the agreement which came into effect on Friday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said he had a "very good" conversation over the phone with President Trump, and that his US counterpart agreed to a proposal to establish Syrian safe zones to protect civilians in the war-torn country.

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The deal led to some members of the Syrian opposition delegation in the Kazakh capital Astana to slam the agreement.

But it was unclear how the deal differed from several previous failed cease-fires in which the Syrian air force continued to bomb rebel-held areas. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said that the US shares the opposition's concerns about Iran's role as a guarantor and about whether the government will really halt its attacks.

"We are against the division of Syria".

The Kremlin's plan is similar to calls by U.S. President Donald Trump for "safe zones" in Syria, and Putin said Trump seemed to support the idea when the leaders talked Tuesday by phone.

He is in Astana as an observer to the latest round of the Astana talks aimed to bolster the ceasefire regime brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran in late December 2016. The war-torn country believes in the Russian President and hopes for his continuing support.

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Lavrentyev suggested that all military aircraft, including Russian and Turkish, are prohibited.

Alexander Lavrentyev spoke a day after he and officials from Turkey and Iran agreed to establish the zones, in the latest attempt to reduce violence in the Arab country.

The memorandum also calls for all parties to fight terror groups like the Islamic State and the Qaeda-linked group once known as the Nusra Front.

This included leading opposition representative Osama Abu Zeid, Orient News reported who said the opposition would not accept any agreement involving Iran, labelling it a "hostile state".

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