Europe

The Latest: 4 'de-escalation' zones in Syria, says Russia

The latest on the conflict on Syria (all times local):

5 p.m.

The head of Russia's delegation to Syrian talks in Kazakhstan says an agreement for setting up four "de-escalation zones" in war-torn Syria will go into effect Saturday and the Syrian air force is expected to hold its flights over those areas.

Speaking at a press conference in the Kazakh capital of Astana, Alexander Lavrentyev said Thursday that the Syrian government will abide by the agreement unless attacks are carried out by rebel groups in those areas.

He said Turkey, Iran and Russia have agreed on the possibility of allowing international observers in case there is "unanimity" on that.

Turkey, Iran and Russia signed an agreement calling for the setting up of four "de-escalation zones" in northern, central and southern Syria in the latest attempt to reduce violence in the Arab country.

But as officials from the three countries that back rival sides in the conflict signed the agreement, some members of the Syrian opposition delegation shouted in protest and walked out of the conference room.

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15:30 p.m.

Turkey, Iran and Russia have signed an agreement calling for the setting up four "de-escalation zones" in war-torn Syria in the latest attempt to reduce violence in the Arab country.

But as officials form the three countries that back rival sides in the conflict signed the agreement on Thursday at the Syria cease-fire talks in Kazakhstan, some members of the Syrian opposition delegation shouted in protest and walk out of the conference room in Astana, the Kazakh capital.

The opposition has protested Iran's participation at the conference, accusing it of being a party in the war that's killed some 400,000 people.

The Kazakhstan agreement calls for setting up four zones in northern, central and southern Syria. However, no details were provided about how violence will be reduced in these areas.