As global and regional powers consider ways to protect civilians caught in the Syrian conflict, humanitarian and other groups question the effectiveness of so-called safe zones.
Notorious Afghan militant leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar has called on his Taliban "brothers" to end their insurgency and offered to mediate talks with the government.
Russia, Turkey, and Iran have signed a memorandum calling for the establishment of safe zones in Syria during peace talks in Kazakhstan, but some Syrian opposition representatives walked out in protest.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have agreed that their countries have overcome a period of difficulties in bilateral relations and have returned to "normal partner interaction."
The armed opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on May 3 that it was suspending its participation in peace talks in Kazakhstan's capital, Astana, and calling for end to government bombardments.