Moscow: security zones and no-fly zones to strengthen ceasefire in Syria

Russian President Putin spoke with US President Trump and his Turkish counterpart Erdogan. The aim is to facilitate the return of refugees and the delivery of aid to the population. It is also expected that foreign troops will be sent as observers. The rebels have suspended participation in Astana talks in protest of government air raids.

Moscow (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Russia, the United States, Turkey and Syria are about to reach agreement, which will lead to the creation of "security zones" in Syria, aimed at ensuring the full implementation and effectiveness of ceasefire . That is according to Russian President Vladimir Putin who added that there are also plans for no-fly zones.

According to the Kremlin, US President Donald Trump is in favor of creating safe areas in Syria. He expressed his agreement during a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart Putin on May 2.

A definitive decision on this will be taken during ongoing talks in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan, mediated by Tehran, Ankara and Moscow, in the presence of US observers. The discussions began yesterday, but the leaders of the rebels' delegation suspended their participation in protest at continued Damascus air raids.

The Russian plan foresees the introduction of "security zones" in rebel-controlled territories in Idlib's northwestern province, in parts of the province of Homs, in the center of the country, in the south and in the Ghouta enclave, east of capital. It is an attempt to put an end to violence, facilitate the return of refugees and facilitate the delivery of aid to a population out of the conflict.

Presiding areas would have checkpoints controlled by both rebel militias and government soldiers. In addition, provision is made for the allocation of foreign troops as observers.

"One of the ways of enduring ceasefire”, Putin said, in the wake of the meeting with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi, “is to create safe zones or to de-escalate the conflict."

"Russia has held preliminary consultations - added the Kremlin leader - with Damascus and Tehran. We all agree on the mechanism to be created to ensure the end of the blood bath and create the conditions for starting a political dialogue. "


Turkish President Erdogan, the supporter of the anti-Assad front, was more cautious anddid not want to make a direct reference to the Russian proposal; On the contrary, he spoke of buffer zones to mitigate the effects of the conflict in Idlib province.

Over the next few weeks new meetings will be held between leaders to determine how these "security zones" will be controlled.