Syrian government forces and rebels clashed in the north-western province of Hama on Friday shortly after a Russian-led deal to establish safe zones took effect, a monitor and a rebel official said, according to The Guardian.
The zones, agreed to by Russia, Turkey and Iran, went into effect at midnight on Friday. The plan’s details will be worked out over the next few weeks but the zones appear intended to halt conflict in specific areas between government forces and rebels, and would potentially be policed by foreign troops.
Fighter jets fired at the rebel-held village of al-Zalakiyat and nearby positions in the Hama countryside, where the combatants exchanged shelling, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The Britain-based war monitoring group said government forces shelled the nearby towns of Kafr Zita and Latamneh. There was no immediate comment from the Syrian army.
The source reminds, the de-escalation zones are the latest international attempt to reduce violence in the war-ravaged country, and represent the first effort to envisage armed foreign monitors on the ground in Syria.