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Turkey, Russia, Iran convene in Astana for Syria talks

The 11th Astana meeting between Moscow, Tehran and Ankara reportedly focused on maintaining the cease-fire in Idlib as flare-ups threaten to ignite the area.
Syrian rebel-fighters from the National Liberation Front (NLF) inspect the rubble of a building destroyed by a reported air strike from the day before in the rebel-held al-Rashidin district of western Aleppo's countryside near Idlib province, on November 26, 2018. - Air strikes hit the edges of Syria's last major rebel stronghold west of Aleppo on November 25, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said a day after an alleged toxic attack on the regime-held city. The SOHR said regime

Officials from Russia, Iran and Turkey assembled with representatives of the Syrian opposition and the Syrian regime in the Kazakh capital Astana today. The first order of business was reportedly to ensure that a shaky cease-fire in the rebel-held province of Idlib agreed in September doesn’t collapse.

Worries that the violence would escalate grew after Russian war planes struck opposition targets in Hama and Idlib provinces Sunday. It was the sharpest flare-up since mid-September, when Turkey and Russia sealed an agreement designating a demilitarized zone encircling Idlib and parts of rebel-held Aleppo and Hama provinces. The Russians said they were responding to an alleged chemical attack on Aleppo city’s al-Khalidiya neighborhood by opposition rebels the same day.

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