Iran, Rus­sia, Turkey agree on new de-es­ca­la­tion zone in Syria

Iran Daily - - National -

Rus­sia, Iran and Turkey agreed to de­ploy ob­servers on the edge of a de-es­ca­la­tion zone in north­ern Syria’s Idlib re­gion, which is largely con­trolled by mil­i­tants, Turkey’s For­eign Min­istry said on Fri­day.

“Ob­servers from these three coun­tries will be de­ployed at check and ob­ser­va­tion points in safe zones that form the bor­ders of the de-es­ca­la­tion zone,” the min­istry said in a state­ment af­ter talks in Kaza­khstan, Reuters re­ported.

It said the mis­sion of the ob­servers would be to pre­vent clashes be­tween the Syrian gov­ern­ment and mil­i­tants, and any vi­o­la­tions of the truce.

Idlib Prov­ince, in north­west­ern Syria, on the bor­der with Turkey, is largely un­der the con­trol of a mil­i­tant al­liance spear­headed by the for­mer Al-qaeda off­shoot Nusra Front.

It was one of four re­gions across Syria, mainly con­trolled by mil­i­tants, which Rus­sia, Iran and Turkey agreed in May to des­ig­nate as de-es­ca­la­tion zones in sup­port of a cease-fire agree­ment.

So far, agree­ments have been reached on the de­mar­ca­tion of three of the zones in Idlib’s neigh­bor­ing prov­inces of Latakia, Aleppo, and Hama.

Rus­sia and Iran have been strong sup­port­ers of As­sad dur­ing the sixyear-old con­flict, while Turkey has backed some of the mil­i­tant fac­tions who fought against the Syrian gov­ern­ment.

“This an­nounce­ment of a deesca­la­tion zone in Idlib con­sti­tutes the fi­nal stage of the re­al­iza­tion of the mem­o­ran­dum signed in May,” the Turk­ish For­eign Min­istry said, adding that the May ac­cord had brought a sig­nif­i­cant de­cline in vi­o­lence.

“With this lat­est de­vel­op­ment, the mem­o­ran­dum is mak­ing a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to pro­vid­ing nec­es­sary con­di­tions to fur­ther the po­lit­i­cal so­lu­tion process go­ing on in Geneva un­der UN mon­i­tor­ing.”

Syria has been gripped by for­eign-backed mil­i­tancy since 2011.

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