Domingo, 25 Agosto, 2019

UN chief welcomes Astana agreements on Syria

US hopes Syria de-escalation agreement leads to reduced violence political settlement- State Dept Smoke rises from an emergency service point in Idlib province Syria
Eleena Tovar | 06 May, 2017, 05:58

Syrian, Russian, Turkish and USA -led coalition aircraft operate in different, sometimes same areas in Syria. He also said the proposed zones would be no-fly areas if fighting on the ground there stopped entirely.

Turkey, which supports Syrian rebels, and Iran, which backs Syrian President Bashar Assad, agreed earlier in the day to Russia's proposal for "de-escalation zones" in Syria, a move welcomed by the United Nations.

The three key powerbrokers signed off on a Russian plan Thursday to establish four "de-escalation zones" in rebel-held territory of the war-torn country in a bid to shore up a shaky ceasefire.

Russia, for its part, vowed to ensure that warplanes would not be used in the Syrian safe zones in Syria, according to Russian delegation head Alexander Lavrentyev.

The broad agreement on de-escalation or safe zones in Syria came into effect at midnight on Friday, the Russian Defence Ministry announced. "The aviation is located in the area of concentration of forces of this group near Raqqa and other settlements, near the Euphrates and Deir ez-Zor", Lavrentyev added.

It was unclear whether US officials were aware of the stipulation banning coalition flights in the "de-escalation zones" before it was announced on Friday.

Chief Syrian rebel negotiator Mohammad Alloush (C) of the Jaish al-Islam (Army of Islam) faction attends the first session of peace talks at Astana's Rixos President Hotel on January 23, 2017.

Deputy Defense Minister Aleksandr Fomin says the implementation of the safe zones in Syria may allow the war in Syria to finally stop.

A previous ceasefire signed in Astana in December reduced violence for several weeks before collapsing.

"We continue to have concerns about the Astana agreement, including the involvement of Iran as a so-called 'guarantor, ' read a US State Department statement".

"Iran is a criminal and we will not accept its signature", said Yasser Abdul Raheem, from Faleeq al-Sham who was in Astana for the talks.

The Syrian government said it would abide by the agreement but still fight "terrorism" - parlance for most rebel groups fighting government troops.

In a conflict like Syria's, which has raged on for almost a decade without an end in sight, any positive step is a thing to be celebrated.

Whether UN peacekeeping forces would be involved was unknown at this point, de Mistura said, although he did not rule it out.

Russian Federation and Iran have been Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's primary backer, while Turkey has primarily supported the opposition's Free Syrian Army (FSA). The U.S. sent its highest-level official yet to observe the talks in Astana - Acting Assistant Secretary of State Stuart Jones.