Russia: Syria deal bans US-led coalition aircraft

Posted May 14, 2017

Iran and Russian Federation have been among the strongest backers of Assad while Turkey is a main supporter of opposition groups that have been trying to remove him from power.

"The implementation of the memorandum will allow for stopping the combat activities by warring sides and practically put an end to the civil war in Syria, which is why the document is of great importance for the political settlement in the country", Fomin said on Friday. He said third-party monitors could be invited provided Iran and Turkey agreed. But it is not yet clear when and where they will deploy. It called on the US and other Arab allied countries, to prevent the implementation of the deal.

The monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said there were no reports of violations in the first minutes past midnight.

Russian officials said on Friday that other countries could participate in enforcing the zones, but did not say who those countries might be. The Syrian government has said that although it will abide by the agreement, it would continue fighting "terrorism" wherever it exists, parlance for most armed rebel groups fighting government troops. Others, including a USA -based faction, said they would never accept Iran as a guarantor of any agreement.

It also called on the US and other Arab allied countries, to take "firm stances" to prevent the implementation of the deal.

Moscow's envoy said this means coalition air power can now only focus on "ISIS targets that are located in the area of Raqa, some populated areas in the region of the Euphrates, Deir Ezzor and further on to the territory of Iraq". Adrian J.T. Rankine-Galloway. ISIS is an alternative acronym for the Sunni militant group.

The Pentagon said the de-escalation agreement would not affect the USA -led air campaign against IS.

Despite the fact that the exiled opposition and some rebel groups opposed the deal, Shehadeh noted that Turkey's involvement in the deal is crucial to practice pressure on the rebels and other opposition factions to be onboard, particularly now that the Saudi-backed Higher Negotiation Committee (HNC) said the proposal to create the safe zones is "vague". The three signatories and guarantors of the agreement, Iran, Russia and Turkey, are all active participants in the war. She added that US has concerns, including about Iran's "guarantor" role in the Kazakhstan deal. He did not elaborate on which those countries might be.

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Osama Abo Zayd, a spokesman for the Syrian military factions at the Kazakhstan talks, told The Associated Press it was "incomprehensible" for Iran to act as a guarantor of the deal.

Russia's military says it wants to restore an agreement with the United States to coordinate air operations over Syria and reduce the risk of aircraft colliding. That arrangement was suspended last month after the U.S. Tomahawk missile barrage on a Syrian air base, fired in response to a deadly chemical gas attack in Syria that was blamed on Assad's government.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov talked with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the phone on Friday to discuss Syria.

According to the deal, the three guarantor states - Iran, Russia and Turkey - have a month to define the exact borders of the de-escalation zones.

Syrian regime forces and the opposition who have signed onto the deal will agree to halt all hostilities, including the use of warplanes, in the zones.

The statements came as officers from Russia's Defense Ministry and General Staff briefed reporters on Friday on the details of the agreement.

The armed opposition delegation to the talks in the Kazakh capital of Astana said in a statement released early Saturday that the truce should include all Syria and not just specific areas.

With the help of Russian Federation and Iranian-backed militias, the Syrian government has gained the military upper hand against rebel groups, including some supported by Turkey, the USA and Gulf monarchies.