Syrian ceasefire talks begin again as Isis loses territory

Syrian northwestern city of Idlib

The three countries signed a memorandum in May that called for the creation of the four de-escalation zones.

Yehya al-Aridi, an adviser to the Syrian opposition, told AFP that opposition factions will also seek to strengthen current de-escalation zones in Homs province and in the Eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus, which have been subject to continued government shelling despite the deal.

Iran, Russia and Turkey will have control over the de-escalation zones and would deploy the forces in accordance with the maps endorsed September 8 in Ankara.

During the meeting, which was held in the presence of the two countries' delegations, the two senior diplomats exchanged views on the latest developments in Astana Process and the documents being negotiated at the 6th International Conference on Syria.

He referred to the calls of Russia, Iran and Syria's friends around the world upon the U.S. to help separate terrorists from the opposition without any response.

The former al Qaeda branch in Syria has pledged to keep fighting government forces and their Russian and Iranian allies, and denounced ceasefire talks in Kazakhstan.

Abdrakhmanov also said that a seventh round of talks in Astana was planned for the end of October.

Meanwhile, the United Nations said Friday that its first aid convoy in three years had reached Syria's Deir Ezzor city via road after government troops broke a jihadist siege last week.

There are still major disagreements over which force will be sent to police the zone covering rebel-held Idlib - on Syria's northern border with Turkey - as Ankara and Tehran jockey for influence.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the fighting is concentrated in the Okeirbat area that government forces regained control of on Thursday.

The six-month term may be extended in the future.

While the Astana process is separate from the UN's Geneva talks, the attendance of the UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura links the Kazakh platform to broader global efforts.

Jihadists such as the Islamic State (IS) group are not covered by the safe zones and the drop in fighting with moderate rebels has allowed Damascus and Russian Federation to increasingly focus their firepower on them.

"Assad's forces or militias will not be present in any area or part of the de-escalation zones and will not have a role in our liberated zones", the statement said.

Lavrentiev pointed out that the upcoming Astana meeting will focus on the effectiveness of the de-escalation areas or the need to make some adjustments in its monitoring way and the establishment of a working group on the release of detainees and possibly other initiatives that contribute to the peace process in addition to the issue of demining, including sites of cultural heritage.

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