Russia, Turkey, Iran Mapping Syria Safe Zones

Russia, Turkey, Iran Mapping Syria Safe Zones

Guarantors of Syria ceasefire, namely Russia, Turkey and Iran, are working on implementing an agreement to set up de-escalation zones in Syria, including drawing up a map and establishing checkpoints, Kazakhstan's Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov said on Tuesday.
"Currently, countries-guarantors and all parties concerned are working on implementing the memorandum on setting up the so-called de-escalation zones. The recent working meetings between Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Beijing with the senior leadership of Russia and the Turkish Republic showed that the two sides are actively working on various aspects of fulfilling this memorandum," Abdrakhmanov said on the sidelines of a government meeting, TASS reported.
"This effort mostly involves military experts. This concerns designating the de-escalation zones geographically, on the map, and also establishing observation points and checkpoints along these zones."
A particular task for the sides will be to agree on who will control the zones and police the checkpoints.
On May 4, the trio agreed to set up four de-escalation zones in Syria. Under a memorandum signed at the talks in Kazakhstan's Astana, these four zones include the Idlib Province and some parts of neighboring provinces, an area north of Homs, Damascus's suburban Eastern Ghouta and a number of provinces in southern Syria.
In those areas, combat operations, including flights by military aircraft, are outlawed starting from May 6. The deal was concluded for six months and can be extended automatically.


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