ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Russia, Iran and Turkey have agreed the borders of a “de-escalation zone” in Syria’s northern Idlib province, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Friday.
It said representatives from the three countries, who met in Astana, were still discussing what forces to deploy in Idlib, which is under the control of a rebel alliance spearheaded by the former al Qaeda offshoot Nusra Front.
“Delegations from Turkey, Russia and Iran determined the borders of a fourth de-escalation zone that will be established in Idlib province in talks yesterday and today,” Anadolu said, citing sources attending the meetings in Astana.
Anadolu gave no further details. Turkey’s pro-government Yeni Safak newspaper said in an unsourced report on Friday that the three countries planned to divide the Idlib region in three, with Turkish forces and Free Syrian Army fighters in the northwest part bordering Turkey.
It said Iranian and Syrian army forces would be deployed to the southeast, with Russian forces in between those two zones.
Reporting by Daren Butler and Tulay Karadeniz; Writing by Dominic Evans; Editing by David Dolan