Turkey, Russia, Iran finalizing designation of Syria de-escalation zones, Russian defense minister says


Turkey, Iran and Russia have nearly completed their work on documents regarding de-escalation zones in Syria, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Friday.

“Currently, alongside Iran and Turkey, we are finalizing the documents defining the boundaries of de-escalation zones, the order of their control and functioning,” Shoigu said during a teleconference with Russian military officials.

The Russian defense minister also said that the creation of the Syrian National Reconciliation Committee is expected to be discussed during the next talks on Syrian settlement in Astana.

Shoigu noted that “preparations for the fifth international meeting on Syria in Astana, which will be held July 4-5, are underway for the sake of significantly reducing military activity and violence in the country.”

Turkey, Russia and Iran are working on a mechanism of de-escalation zones in Syria involving the U.S. and respective zones assigned to each country, presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın said last week, adding that the Astana and Geneva processes will continue in order to establish permanent peace in Syria.

Turkey, Iran and Russia, the guarantor countries of a cease-fire agreement in Syria, previously agreed on the decision of the establishment of several de-escalation zones across Syria, including Idlib, parts of Aleppo, Latakia and Homs, Damascus/Eastern Ghouta and parts of Daraa and Quneitra.

Syria has been in a state of intense conflict since war erupted in March 2011, after the Assad regime turned weapons against its own people.

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