Syrian opposition HNC group criticizes de-escalation deal

BEIRUT (Reuters) - The main Syrian opposition umbrella group criticized a Russian proposal to establish “de-escalation zones” in Syria as vague and illegitimate and said it rejected the role of Iran as guarantor in any deal.

The Riyadh-based HNC, which includes political and armed groups, cautioned against attempts to “partition the country through vague meanings of what has been called ... ‘de-escalation’ zones,” in a statement on Friday.

Iran and Turkey agreed on Thursday to Russia’s proposal, but the signed memorandum has not been published, leaving its details unclear. The Russian Defence Ministry said the deal will come into force as of midnight.

Reporting by Ellen Francis; Editing by Janet Lawrence