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Russia Says Nusra Militants Want to Wreck Deal over Syria's Idlib

Vadim Savitskiy / TASS

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 inMoscow that the militants were continuing to shell Syriangovernment forces in the south of the province and to thenorth-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.

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