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Syrian government bombing safe areas: NGO

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Damascus:  Syrian government forces bombed several areas in Homs and Hama provinces, which are included in the safe zone agreement that came into force early Saturday, a British war monitor reported.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said that the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad bombed areas in the towns of al-Lataminah and al-Zalaqeyat in Hama, as well as a rural area between the two towns, Efe news reported.

Explosions were heard in the north of Homs, according to officials cited by the NGO.

There were no human casualties in those areas 11 hours after the agreement came into effect, according to SOHR.

After the pact came into force, there were clashes between Assad’s forces and Islamic factions near the city of Homs, though no casualties reported.

The agreement for the creation of these de-escalation zones was reached on Thursday in the negotiations conducted by the Syrian parties and the three guarantors of the ceasefire in that Arab country (Russia, Turkey and Iran) in Astana, Kazakhstan.

The guarantor countries agreed that the areas would be established in the province of Idlib, north of Homs and Hama, Eastern Ghouta and the south of the country; all areas controlled by rebels and Islamic factions.

Russia announced that the agreement would be valid for six months and be automatically extendable if there was consensus among the signatory countries.

The Syrian opposition rejected the agreement as it opposes any role for Iran in the peace process and considers it an aggressor.

IANS

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