Russia, Iran, Turkey sign on 'de-escalation zones' in Syria

Russia, Iran, Turkey sign on 'de-escalation zones' in Syria

Russia, Iran, Turkey sign on 'de-escalation zones' in Syria

Tuesday's phone call came just hours before the start of a new round talks in the Kazakh capital Astana, aimed at finding a solution to Syria's war.

The Astana talks, which involve armed rebel groups, are the latest attempt to reduce the violence in Syria, where a six-year conflict has killed more than 400,000 people.

A memorandum on the creation of the de-escalation zones was discussed Wednesday at the talks in Astana, and there were reports that an agreement could be reached on Thursday. The head of the opposition delegation, Mohammed Alloush, did not attend the second day of talks.

A auto bomb killed at least five people and wounded several others in a rebel-held town in northern Syria on Wednesday in an attack Syria's political opposition said targeted its officials and local headquarters.

The talks, focusing on the cease-fire that came into effect on December 30, have been brokered by Turkey - which backs the Syrian opposition - and Russian Federation and Iran, who support the Bashar al-Assad regime.

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.

Erdogan yesterday discussed with Russian President Vladimir Putin a plan floated by Moscow for "de-escalation zones" to be set up in several areas in Syria.

"Every time we have been having a meeting or a discussion about cessation of hostilities, or de-escalation in this case, there have been some incidents produced by one side or the other", he said. "They all feed on blood, chaos and tears".

Putin said Wednesday that "as far I could tell" the United States leader broadly supported the idea in a phone call they held on Tuesday.

Putin's priorities include consolidating Russia's leading role in Syria, preserving a delicate entente with Turkey in leading the Syrian "peace process", and continuing to try to coax it away from Europe and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as part of a broader strategy of weakening the Western alliance.

"Russia, Turkey and Iran are always thinking of how to secure a ceasefire". Just over a year ago, Putin was accusing Turkey of abetting the Islamic State, while Turkish forces shot down a Russian jet.

But analysts say there is much yet to be negotiated on Syria and remaining differences between Turkey and Russian Federation. She says the USA supports any effort that can lower violence.

Turkey, Russia and Iran are acting as guarantors to the agreement. The Turkish view is to create no-fly zones as well as territories to collect refugees. But officials have expressed skepticism, stressing that safe zones have not had an encouraging track record.

"Now we can say with certainty that the recovery period in Russo-Turkish relations is over", the Kremlin strongman said.

Lavrentyev said Russian Federation would do all it could to ensure Syrian warplanes no longer operate over the de-escalation zones, according to Tass.

The United States and some Arab countries are also backing rebel groups that want to overthrow Assad. Previously, the USA ambassador to Kazakhstan George Krol had attended the talks as an observer.

Moscow/Sochi: Russian President Vladimir Putin continued his diplomatic push for a plan to establish safe zones in Syria backed by peacekeepers as he began talks with Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Wednesday.

More details, concerns and objections are expected to be aired in the coming weeks.

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