Russia may deploy military in Syrian buffer zones

Russia may deploy its military to police the borders of planned de-escalation zones in Syria within two to three weeks after finalising an agreement with Turkey and Iran, Russian negotiator Alexander Lavrentyev said on Tuesday.
Moscow, Ankara and Tehran are yet to agree the details of the plan, he told reporters after a series of meetings in the Kazakh capital, Astana.
Meanwhile, US-backed forces have penetrated the heavily fortified heart of IS bastion Raqa for the first time, in a key milestone in the war against the group in Syria.
Air strikes by the US-led coalition battling IS punched two holes in the medieval wall surrounding Raqa’s Old City, allowing fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces to breach their defences, Washington and the SDF said on Tuesday.
The advance — the culmination of a nearly eight-month campaign — comes as the IS faces an expected defeat within days in Iraq’s second city Mosul. SEE ALSO P6