Middle East News

Russia Says Syrian Safe Zone To Go Into Effect At Midnight

Russia says safe zones that have been set up in Syria, via a deal between Russia, Iran, and Turkey negotiated in Kazakhstan, will go into effect at midnight tonight, although many details will take up to a month to work out. The rebel Syrian forces, opposed to the Assad government, have not signed onto the deal, leaving its effectiveness in doubt.

Russian general staff official Col.-Gen. Sergei Rudskoi declared that the three nations would enforce the safe zones but that other countries could participate, although he did not say how, reported Associated Press. Russian official, Alexander Lavrentyev, said U.S. coalition aircraft would not be allowed over the areas, nor would aircraft from the Syrian air force.

“The coalition will continue to target ISIS wherever they operate to ensure they have no sanctuary,” said Pentagon spokesman Marine Maj. Adrian J.T. Rankine-Galloway, again reported AP.

Rudskoi also declared Russia wants to reinstate the agreement with the United States and coalition forces to coordinate air activities within the Syrian theater, to prevent an accidental military conflict.

“The operation of aviation in the de-escalation zones, especially of the forces of the international coalition, is absolutely not envisaged, either with notification or without. This question is closed,” said Lavrentyev.

Syrian opposition forces walked out of the talks.

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