Turkey, Iran and Russia have signed a deal in Astana to set up 4 “de-escalation zones” in Syria, expanding safe areas for civilians and effectively leaving the U.S. out of the latest settlement in Syria.
Countries that signed the agreement are now guarantors of 4 “de-escalation zones” in northern, central and southern Syria, but it is not clear how they will reduce the violence in these areas.
The Syrian opposition stormed out of the talks in Astana over Iran’s participation in the Syrian war that killed nearly 400,000 people, mostly civilians. Syrian government airstrikes on Wednesday also added to the opposition’s anger. Russian media reported that the opposition returned to the talks on Thursday.
The countries agreed to create safe zones in Idlib, Homs, eastern Ghouta suburb of Damascus and an area in southern Syria. International observers will monitor these areas to make sure that ceasefire is preserved and violence halted. Syrian aircraft won’t fly over these areas as long as the ceasefire holds.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said on Wednesday that the fight against groups enlisted as terrorists such as the Islamic State or Nusra would continue.
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