Middle East Syria

Iran, Russia, Turkey Sign Memorandum on Establishing De-Escalation Zones in Syria

Astana (GPA) – Participants of the intra-Syrian negotiations that wrapped up in the Kazakh capital city of Astana on Thursday have adopted a document on creating four security zones in the Arab country, a report said.

According to the document, Russia proposed to set up security zones in the Idlib province, to the north of the city of Homs, in Eastern Ghouta and in the south of Syria during the two-day talks.

The guarantor states, Iran, Russia and Turkey, under the project of creating zones of de-escalation vowed to create a working group for its implementation within five days after signing the relevant memorandum, according to the signed document obtained by Sputnik on Thursday.

“Guarantors within five days after signing the memorandum will create a working group at the level of authorized representatives to determine the boundaries of disarmament, areas of tension and security areas, as well as to address technical issues related to the implementation of the memorandum,” the text reads.

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The preparation of the necessary maps of the “areas of tension and de-escalation areas” will be complete by May 22.

The memorandum envisages safe areas along the zones’ borders to prevent direct fire between the warring sides: “Along the borders of the de-escalation zones, it is envisaged to create safe areas to prevent incidents and direct clashes between the warring parties.”

The signing ceremony was interrupted by some members of the Syrian opposition who expressed their protest, some of them left the hall, according to Sputnik.

Diplomatic efforts to end fighting in Syria have gained momentum in recent months with the announcement of a ceasefire in the Arab country in early January.

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The truce excludes terrorist groups such as Daesh (ISIL or ISIS) and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.

Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with various terrorist groups controlling parts of it.

According to a report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.

This post originally ran on Tasnim News Agency.