Last Saturday in Syria came into force an agreement on the creation of a "de-escalation areas", after Russia, Iran and Turkey signed a memorandum in Astana. Representatives of the Syrian armed opposition left the negotiations. They said they could not accept the creation of "safe zones" in Syria, because it poses a threat to its territorial integrity. In addition, representatives of the opposition objected to Iran's participation in this agreement. They believe that Iran is a country-occupier, and therefore it should withdraw its armed forces from Syria.
In accordance with this agreement, four zones of tension reduction are being created in Syria, in which the cessation of hostilities and shelling is planned: in Idlib province and in neighboring regions (Latakia, Ham and Aleppo), in areas north of Homs province, in eastern Guta, in areas of southern Syria (the province of Dar'a and El Quneitra). This agreement is aimed at suspending the conflict in order to be able to help the Syrians who have been subjected to violence and hunger for the past seven years. Reducing violence can help start serious negotiations on the future of Syria.
This agreement provokes conflicting feelings among local, regional and international forces because of the Russian vision of the concept and mechanisms for creating "de-escalation zones". Russia proposes to suspend hostilities between the conflicting parties, which implies a ceasefire in these areas and a ban on military aviation flights. However, the Russian president stated in his statement that these rules will operate provided that there is no military activity in these areas. And this does not mean that the fight against terrorist organizations will be stopped. He explained that the fight against terrorist organizations "IGIL" ("banned in Russia" - editorial note) and "Fatah Al-Sham" will continue even after the creation of these zones.
Russia's proposal to create "safe zones" differs from all previous proposals that have been put forward for many years and have been the subject of endless disputes at the international level. This is especially true of the proposal of Turkey, which proposed to create a buffer zone in Syria. Such a proposal requires the approval of the Security Council and the decision to impose a ban on aviation flights, as well as the presence of the necessary armed forces on the ground to prevent attacks on civilians. While the Russian proposal to create buffer zones does not require international approval or the presence of armed forces in Syria. The special envoy of the Russian president for the settlement in Syria, the head of the Russian delegation to the talks in Astana, Alexander Lavrentiev, said that the guarantor countries of the ceasefire in Syria will inform the UN Security Council about the creation of "de-escalation zones" in Syria, noting that there is no Security Council sanction for taking decisions not required. Alexander Lavrentiev said that de-escalation zones in Syria are closed to the work of the aviation of the international coalition led by the United States and the guarantor countries intend to closely monitor all actions in this direction.
The establishment of zones of reducing tension will lead to the expansion of the territory, which is defined as an area of "ceasefire", which borders agreed upon by all parties to armed conflict. The establishment of such zones would lead to the suspension of hostilities and the establishment of security in preparation for the arrival of humanitarian aid and evacuate the wounded, as well as serve as the beginning of the process of peaceful settlement of the conflict.
The signing of the armistice agreement, which served as a guarantor of Russia, Iran and Turkey, is cautiously optimistic. It has shown the ability of Russia to reach agreement with major regional players and the international community. Russia's success in getting the international and American support for the signing of an agreement to reduce tension marks a new stage in the settlement of the Syrian conflict.