Russia says Nusra militants trying to wreck deal over Syria's Idlib - Ifax

Russia says Nusra militants trying to wreck deal over Syria's Idlib - Ifax
FILE PHOTO: Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova attends a news conference after a meeting of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi in Moscow, Russia March 13, 2018. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin -
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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday accused Nusra militants in Syria's Idlib Province of trying to wreck a Russo-Turkish initiative to create a demilitarised zone in the insurgent-held region, the Interfax news agency reported.

"There are still Nusra militants in Idlib who are not stopping their attempts to wreck the implementation of the memorandum that was agreed between Russia and Turkey," Maria Zakharova, a spokesman for the ministry, was cited as saying.

Interfax quoted Zakharova as telling a news briefing in Moscow that the militants were continuing to shell Syrian government forces in the south of the province and to the north-west of Hama.

The agreement forged in September between Russia, which is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's most powerful ally, and Turkey, which backs the rebels, staved off a major government offensive into the opposition-held region in northwest Syria.

(Reporting by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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