Russia scales down Syria military deployment –

In Damascus, there were a number of casualties from rebel rocket fire.

A child was killed as clashes resumed in the area between pro-government forces and rebel fighters led by the jihadist Fateh al-Sham Front, the British-based monitor said.

East of the capital, clashes broke out in the Marj district. Three people were killed, one of them a child, according to the Observatory, which has a network of sources on the ground.

Putin#8217;s latest announced drawdown coincided with the declaration of a ceasefire between government and rebel forces that has led to sharp drop in fighting.

But escalating fighting near Damascus, including reported barrel bombings, has undermined a fragile week-old nationwide ceasefire and left the talks in doubt.

The planned negotiations are the latest diplomatic initiative aimed at ending a nearly six-year conflict that has killed more than 310,000 people and forced millions to flee their homes.

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