Tehran Could Deploy Peacekeepers to Syria

Iran, Russia and Turkey, as main guarantors of the Syria truce, are delineating safe zones across the country to pave the way for ending the devastating crisis
Bahram QasemiBahram Qasemi

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi said Tehran would consider sending troops to help enforce the Syria de-escalation zones to be established as part of efforts to secure a ceasefire in the bloody fighting and a truce that could pave the way for a political solution to this century's worst calamity.

"If the necessary arrangements are completed and maps are finalized, we are ready to dispatch forces and do our best to consolidate the cessation of hostilities in that country," IRNA quoted Qasemi as saying at a press briefing on Monday.

Qasemi said experts from the three guarantors of the plan, Iran, Russia and Turkey, are in regular contact to delineate the maps of four zones covered by the initiative.

Tehran and Moscow are the two supporters of the Syrian Army in its anti-terror push, while Turkey is one of the main supplier of arms to militants fighting government forces.

The plan was unveiled at the end of the fourth round of the intra-Syrian talks in Kazakhstan's capital Astana early this month, to ease the six-year conflict that has devastated the Arab country, killed half a million people and forced an estimated five million people to seek refuge in other countries.

The plan covers areas in the province of Idlib, north of Homs, south of the country and the eastern Ghouta suburbs outside Damascus.

In those areas, combat operations, including flights by military aircraft, are outlawed starting from May 6.

Checkpoints and observation posts are to be positioned along the de-escalation lines within the safe zones, which will provide free movement of unarmed civilians and humanitarian access to the areas, under guarantor states' control.

The deal, which has won the endorsement of the United Nations and two supporters of militants, the US and Saudi Arabia, is valid for six months and can be extended.

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