Russia deploys forces to police Syria safe zones
Moscow, Russia - Russia has deployed military police to monitor two safe zones being established in Syria, the Defence Ministry in Moscow said on Monday.
Senior commander Sergei Rudskoi said Russian forces had set up checkpoints and observation posts around a zone in the south-west and in another one covering Eastern Ghouta, near Damascus.
The two areas are part of a broader Moscow-backed plan to create four ‘de-escalation zones’ in rebel-held parts of Syria.
The announcement marks the first deployment of foreign troops to bolster the safe zones as Moscow seeks to pacify Syria after its military interven- tion swung the six year conflict in favour of President Bashar Assad.
Rudskoi said Russian personnel on July 21 and 22 established two checkpoints and ten observation posts along the boundaries dividing rebel forces and government troops in the southern zone.
Earlier this month Russia, the US and Jordan struck a deal to fix the boundaries of this zone and impose a ceasefire in the area. Moscow has also informed Israel of its deployment and that the nearest Russian position is 13km from the demarcation line between Israeli and Syrian troops in the Golan Heights, Rudskoi said.