Syria fighting eases as Russian deal takes effect

Syria fighting eases as Russian deal takes effectBy Lisa Barrington BEIRUT (Reuters) – Fighting between Syrian rebel and government forces eased on Saturday as a Russian-led effort to shore up a ceasefire took effect, although battles continued on important frontlines near Hama and Damascus, rebels and a war monitor said. The deal to create “de-escalation” zones in the major areas of conflict in western Syria took effect at midnight. The initiative was proposed by Russia, President Bashar al-Assad’s most powerful ally, with the support of Turkey, which backs the opposition.



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