Iran ready to help ensure security of Syria de-escalation zones: Official

Tasnim– Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani said the Islamic Republic is prepared to deploy its forces to Syria to maintain the security of the de-escalation zones in the war-torn country.

“Iran is very serious in fighting terrorism and establishing peace and stability in Syria,” Shamkhani said in an interview with the Russian newspaper Kommersant.

“If Iran is requested to perform additional actions (in Syria), such as sending troops to maintain order and security in the de-escalation zones, we are prepared to consider this issue,” he said.

Shamkhani also voiced Tehran’s opposition to the US military’s involvement in ensuring the security of the de-escalation zones.

“The Americans openly support terrorism and instability in Syria, and the Syrian government does not want to see them operating on their soil,” he explained.

Earlier this month, Iran, Russia, and Turkey agreed on a proposal to establish four de-escalation zones in Syria, following diplomatic talks in the Kazakh city of Astana.

The largest of the four de-escalation zones is in northern Syria and includes Idlib province and adjoining districts of Latakia, Aleppo, and Hama with a total population of over 1 million.

The zones are intended to halt conflicts in specific areas between Syrian forces and rebels, and would potentially be policed by foreign troops.

According to Russian defense officials, the fact that the de-escalation agreement was supported by the United Nations, the US and Saudi Arabia guaranteed its implementation.

Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with various terrorist groups, including Daesh (also known as ISIS or ISIL), controlling parts of it.

According to a report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.