A Russian-led proposal to establish four designated “safe zones” in Syria is currently backed by Iran and Turkey and includes strict “no-fly” zones, according to reports on Friday.
Russian official Alexander Lavrentyev has reportedly said that all military aircraft would be banned from the designated zones, including… everyone. “The operation of aviation in the de-escalation zones, especially of the forces of the international coalition, is absolutely not envisaged, either with notification or without. This question is closed,” he said during peace talks on Friday.
Leaders in Iran and Turkey, as well as those in the United Nations, have welcomed the notion of “de-escalation zones,” which has been presented to the rebels in Astana. The proposal specifies four zones in Syria — including areas in the provinces of Idlib and Homs, the eastern Ghouta suburbs outside Damascus, and an area in the south of the country — where front lines between the government and rebels would be frozen and fighting stopped. Refugees could voluntarily return to their homes, and international observers would monitor the areas.
According to the Russian state-run news agency, the Russian initiative has the full support of Syria’s Foreign Ministry; however, the rebels, according to their representative, want to know why the cease-fire would only affect those four areas instead of initiating a nationwide cease-fire.
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