Russia, Iran and Turkey signed a memorandum Thursday backing the establishment of safe zones in Syria as representatives of the Syrian opposition stormed out of peace talks in the Kazakh capital of Astana over Tehran’s involvement.Russia and Iran, which support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and Turkey, which backs various rebel groups attempting to overthrow him, have come together to create areas of de-escalation designed to protect civilians from ongoing violence between various factions warring since 2011. The three international powers oversee the Astana peace process between the Syrian government and the opposition and are attempting to seek a diplomatic solution to the six-year conflict. Iran’s participation in the most recent round of talks, however, caused some opposition delegates to exit the room in frustration, Reuters reported.Related: Hillary Clinton Supported Donald Trump’s Airstrike in SyriaRebels, comprised primarily of Sunni Muslim groups, have frequently criticized majority-Shiite Muslim Iran’s support for Assad, whose Alawite background is considered a sect of Shiite Islam, and Lebanese Shiite Muslim militant group Hezbollah, one of the most powerful factions fighting alongside the Syrian army. Opposition members also have decried airstrikes by the Russian and Syrian air forces on rebel-held areas that Moscow and Damascus say are controlled… Read full this story
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