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    Tarek Al-Ahmad

    Russia-US Deal on Syria Paves Way for Washington-Damascus Communication Line

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    The latest Russia-US agreement on Syria is Moscow's attempt to set up an indirect communication line between Washington and Damascus to coordinate counterterrorism operations, a member of the Hmeimim group of internal Syrian opposition told Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On September 9, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry announced a new plan on Syria, which stipulates a ceasefire that comes into force Monday. If the new ceasefire in Syria lasts for seven days, the United States and Russia will launch the work of a joint implementation center. Under the new plan, the Syrian Air Force will no longer fly over territories controlled by the opposition.

    "This new plan, in a way, can be viewed as Russia’s attempt to establish an indirect communication line between the Americans and the Syrian government. Moscow acts as a mediator between the two sides as it has legal grounds for combat missions in Syria unlike the US-led anti-Daesh [Islamic State] coalition," Tarek Ahmad said.

    He added that the most recent US-Russian agreement on Syria deescalates tension in the Middle East and may prevent deterioration of the ongoing war in the Arab republic into direct regional conflict.

    "This new plan may become an essential step towards peace in Syria. Today Syria is mired in a parallel proxy war between Syria, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran and other countries. The recent Turkish military operation in the Syrian city of Jarablus on the border with Turkey is a very alarming sign that tHis war can deteriorate into a direct conflict between countries," Ahmad said.

    At a joint press conference after Friday talks in Geneva, Lavrov said that Moscow and Washington would coordinate their airstrikes against terrorists in Syria, adding that specific areas where the Russian and US air forces would operate had been distinguished. The Syrian forces will continue aerial campaigns beyond these areas.

    Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011, with government forces loyal to President Bashar Assad fighting a number of opposition factions and extremist groups.

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