Russian document on creating de-escalation areas in Syria

Moscow, SANA – Russian sources revealed on Thursday the content of the document of proposals put forth by Moscow on the establishment of de-escalation zones in Syria.

The document affirmed that the Russia, Iran and Turkey are guarantors to ensure that the cessation of hostilities regime is respected in the Syrian Arab Republic and will be referred to as “the guarantors”.

The document called for the creating of reduction-of-tension zones in Idleb province, to north of Homs and in Damascus’s Eastern Ghouta by the guarantors, and in southern Syria by the guarantors and other concerned parties, with the aim of putting an immediate end to the hostilities and improving the humanitarian situation and creating favorable conditions for the advancement of the political settlement of the crisis in Syria.

The document noted that within the de-escalation areas, hostilities will be controlled between the parties, including the use of any type of weapons, unhindered immediate and safe humanitarian access will be provided under the supervision of the guarantor, required conditions will be created for providing medical aid to the population and meeting the commercial or other needs of civilians, measures will be taken to restore social infrastructure, water supply and other life-supporting systems and conditions will be created to ensure the safe and voluntary return of refugees and the work of local governing bodies.

“Along the borders of the de-escalation zones, it is envisaged to create safe areas to prevent incidents and direct clashes between the warring parties,” the document said.

It added that the de-escalation areas will include checkpoints to ensure the free movement of unarmed civilians and the delivery of humanitarian assistance as well as economic activities and monitoring posts to ensure the implementation of the provisions of the cessation of hostilities regime.

The document noted that the representatives of the Syrian Arab Army and the armed opposition groups, which have joined the cessation of hostilities agreement, will carry out their tasks at checkpoints and monitoring posts.

The document noted that the guarantors should ensure that the parties fulfill the agreements and take all necessary measures to continue the fight against ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorist groups and organizations in the tension areas, in addition to helping the governmental forces and the “armed opposition” to continue fighting against ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra and individuals, groups and organizations affiliated to them as well as other terrorist organizations listed by the United Nations positioned outside the areas of tension and continuing activities to include “armed opposition” groups which have so far not participated in the peaceful settlement into the cessation of hostilities agreement.

The guarantor states under the project of creating de-escalation areas vowed to create a joint working group for its implementation within five days after signing the relevant memorandum.

“Guarantors within five days after signing the memorandum will create a working group at the level of authorized representatives to determine the boundaries of disarmament, areas of tension and security areas, as well as to address technical issues related to the implementation of the memorandum,” the text reads.

The preparation of the necessary maps of the “areas of tension and de-escalation areas” will be complete by May 22.

According to the document, the team will report to the meetings related to the settlement of the crisis in Syria within the framework of the Astana process.

M. al-Frieh/H. Said

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