Russia, Turkey and Iran continue cooperation on de-escalation zones in Syria

TASS – Turkey continues cooperating with Russia and Iran on fulfilling agreements on de-escalation zones in Syria, Turkey’s Minister of National Defense Fikri Isik told the NTV channel on Friday.

“It is necessary to maintain permanent ceasefire to prevent a more serious conflict,” Isik said. “To ensure ceasefire, more forces of the guarantor-countries will be deployed.”

“We continue cooperating with Russia and Iran. Currently, talks are underway on where our soldiers will be present, their number and with whom particularly they will work,” he said.

On Thursday, Turkish Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said that “Turkish and Russian military may be sent to Syria’s Idlib province as part of agreements on de-escalation zones.”

On May 4, Russia, Iran and Turkey agreed to set up four de-escalation zones in Syria. Under a memorandum signed at the talks in Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana, these four zones include the Idlib Province and some areas in the neighboring provinces (of Aleppo, Latakia and Hama), an area north of Homs, the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta, and a couple of provinces in southern Syria – Daraa and Al-Quneitra. In those areas, outlawing combat operations, along with the establishment of a no-fly zone for military aircraft, were set as of May 6. The memorandum was concluded for six months and can be extended automatically.