Russia, Iran and Turkey, the guarantors of Syria's nationwide ceasefire, have signed a memorandum on establishing four safe zones, or zones of de-escalation of tensions, in the war-torn country during reconciliation talks in Astana on May 4. The zones will be established for six months with the option of extending them automatically for another six months. The use of arms in the areas is prohibited for all sides.
The Arab League supports the establishment of de-escalations areas in Syria provided that it does not result in the country's disintegration.
The Russian Defense Ministry assesses the situation in the four de-escalation zones in Syria as stable.
Last week, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that experts from Russia, Iran and Turkey are mapping the borders of the agreed-upon cease-fire zones in Syria. The plan, however, affects the interests of Israel and Saudi Arabia. Sputnik international affairs contributor Alexander Khrolenko reviewed the complicated situation on the ground.
The US' top officials have recently announced that the US is changing tactics in Syria and is working on the possible de-confliction of operations in Syria with Russia. Russian media suggested what might be behind the revised US' policies.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi and King Abdullah II of Jordan supported on Wednesday the establishment of the de-escalation zones in Syria agreed on during recent Astana talks on Syria settlement.
Russia will continue to promote its proposal to create safe zones in Syria and has already submitted a draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said Wednesday.
The White House spokesperson said that the US remained open to work with Russia and Iran to mitigate the Syrian conflict.
The US Department of State has released newly declassified information regarding the alleged treatment of civilians by the Syrian government.
The UN special envoy for Syria suggested that the concepts of Moscow and Washington on the creation of safe zones in the country could be compatible.
By May 22, Russia, Turkey, and Iran, the guarantors of the Syrian ceasefire, have to complete the final geographic division of the four safe zones in Syria, also referred to as "de-escalation zones". Sputnik has delved into the details of the suggested plan and its difference from the similar initiatives of the US and Turkey.
Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Huseyin Muftuoglu stated that a working group, consisting of Russia, Iran and Turkey representatives will be created to ensure safe and fast delivery of humanitarian aid in Syria.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov stated that the United States could be a member of the working groups on de-escalation zones in Syria.
Most cases of truce violation were registered in areas controlled by Daesh and al-Nusra Front terrorist groups.
A coalition of groups spearheaded by al-Qaeda's former affiliate in Syria has issued a stern warning against the implementation of safe zones, saying those groups who adhere to the Astana accord would be deemed traitors of the Syrian revolution.
The implementation of the de-escalation zones deal in Syria could have a positive effect on at least 2.6 million people, the UN special envoy for the country said.
US Secretary of Defense James Mattis questioned the Russian-sponsored plan on Syrian safe zones saying that Washington is going to study Moscow's proposal.
Damascus intends to adhere to the memorandum on de-escalation zones in Syria, but is ready for a resolute response should armed groups violate it, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said Monday.
On May 4, the guarantors of the Syrian ceasefire, Russia, Iran and Turkey, signed a memorandum to establish four safe zones (also referred to as "de-escalation zones") in the war-torn country. The plan officially came into effect as of midnight of Saturday.
The situation in Syria’s areas, where the memorandum on the creation of de-escalation zones came into force, remains stable, the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation said Sunday.
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