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.
Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit expressed concern in an interview with Sputnik that the zones of de-escalation in Syria may become permanent and fall under the influence of the ceasefire guarantor-countries.
Russia's military police in the de-escalation zones in Syria will carry only light weapons, the head of the Russian delegation at the talks on Syria in Astana, Alexander Lavrentyev, said Wednesday.
The armed Syrian opposition has not received official information on possible deployment of troops from different countries to the de-escalation zones, while the Free Syrian Army is against the deployment of Iranian servicemen, a member of the armed opposition delegation told Sputnik.
The de-escalation zones established by Russia, Iran and Turkey in Syria have led to "a discernible reduction in levels of violence", a UN commission said.
The Wall Street Journal reported citing US officials that the President Donald Trump's administration has been holding "secret talks" with Russia over the creation of a safe zone near al-Tanf where the US-led coalition had repeatedly bombed pro-Damascus allied forces.
The Russian General Staff said that the Syrian civil war has almost stopped.
There is a chance for intra-Syrian dialogue to be brought about in Geneva as a result of the ceasefire reached in Syria, bolstered by the establishment of de-escalation zones on the territory of the war-torn Arab state, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday.
The creation of de-escalation zones in Syria is not a sign of the country's looming partition, according to the Russian foreign minister.
The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross said the de-escalation zones in Syria should not become "prisons".
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.
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