Russia Proposes 4 ‘De-Escalation Zones’ In Syria

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Russia Proposes 4 'De-Escalation Zones' In Syria

Russia’s special envoy on Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev

Moscow has proposed to four de-escalation zones in Syria at the new round of the Astana peace talks.

According to an official statement, this effort is another attemt amed at separatiing terrorists from the so-called moderate opposition.

“We believe that [the creation of de-escalation zones in Syria] can really help to move along the long-standing problem of separating the moderate Syrian opposition from terrorist organizations, primarily the Islamic State [ISIS] and Jabhat al-Nusra [now known as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham], and will help significantly reduce the level of armed confrontation between the Syrian armed opposition and government forces,” Russia’s special presidential envoy for Syria, Aleksandr Lavrentiev, said at a press briefing summarizing the first day of the peace talks.

“We decided to go this way to create such zones in which the fight against terrorist organizations will be directly taken up by the moderate opposition themselves with the support of the guarantor countries,” he added.

No additional details about the four proposed de-escalation zones are available.

However, there are serious doubts that such a plan could be implemented on the ground. Yesterday, the Syrian “moderate opposition” announced that it was suspending participating in the Astana peace talks blaming Moscow and Damascus for violations of the ceasefire.

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  • dutchnational

    The details is where it starts to get interesting.

    Also, will the rest be areas of escalation?

    • Bill Wilson

      That depends if HTS goes into panic where they’re surrounded by other rival extremist groups, moderates and SAA forces.

  • Derapage

    Balkanization begins.

  • Joe Doe

    First step to divide Syria

    • Barba_Papa

      Russia does not have much choice. The Assad regime is broke, utterly dependent on its foreign backers and militarily unable to retake the country in any foreseeable short term. That would take years. Just look at how slow the Hama operation goes. On average about a week to take a single village or town. Expand that rate for the whole of Idlib and we’re looking at years. And I doubt Russia is interested in maintaining its military operations for that duration. Russia simply does not have the same deep pockets and massive war machine as the US. It’s an economy the size of France. Under sanctions. The only reason Russia can punch above its economic weight is because of the inherited arsenal of the former USSR.

      I suspect the goal now is holding the line in Idlib and Daraa, clearing the pockets around Damascus, relieving Deir Ezzor and as much of the oil and resource areas in former ISIS territory. Giving the regime the heartlands and as much economic resources and space to remain viable. The Kurds can then have their own area in the North and the Idlib and Daraa headchoppers their areas at the periphery..

      • Jonathan Cohen

        Trump at least eventually will go after ISIS and HTS wherever they are. So anything Moscow leaves to them will eventually become US occupied.

      • Bill Wilson

        This is part of the long-term strategy worked out by the Russian, Syrian and US Generals with Assad’s consent to concentrate their efforts on eliminating the extremists without ruining much more of the country’s infrastructure and people’s lives.
        The “moderates” control a heckuvalot more territory than HTS and have been refusing to co-operate with them for many good reasons, the main one being knowing they’ll eventually lose so why throw away their lives and have their villages and towns destroyed when that can be avoided? HTS has been short on manpower so forced small militias to join them or else plus has been allowing ISIS fighters to join, such as that rag-tag bunch in SW Dara that’s been stuck in that corner for years. HTS made nice with them to swell their ranks for the Dara offensive that was short lived. If you look at the current Syrian situation map and consider the recent activities by the SAA then their strategy becomes rather obvious. In Dara, the SAA is pushing aside HTS from the highway south of Saran before moving down in force to regain control of the border and crossings. The US/Jordan have troops there to prevent the extremists from retreating into Jordan while allowing in people fleeing the fighting. That operation will cut off the moderates from outside supplies thru Jordan so the only game left in town for them will be to join-up with the SAA to eliminate the rest of the Islamic extremists down there. In the Palmyra region, ISIS is stuck by the phosphate mines, the al-Talila Crossroads and holding a defensive position at Arak. They obviously cleared out from the west so the SAA has been moving thru there regaining control of territory. They’ll keep moving north past the Ithriya Highway and up into “moderate” controlled territory in eastern Idlib and southern Aleppo provinces to secure more safe roads to Aleppo. Up there al-Nusra had muscled they way into villages and towns that were strategically important to them. That didn’t set well with the “moderates” plus many of their villages and towns have been free from fighting for quite some time so probably would like to see that continue. HTS in Idlib is surrounded by “moderate” groups which can choke off their supply routes from Turkey and take areas to contain HTS in pockets which can be eliminated one by one. HTS also has to contend with desertions by members of other militias that were forced to join them along with local recruits that just joined to earn some sort of income and eat a decent meal at least once a day, along with worrying if some are informants for the SAA and if some may turn their guns against them during battles before surrendering.
        In the meantime the SDF will take care of ISIS in the east and along the rivers with the SAA mopping up the rest stuck in the west and desert. Their forces at Deir Azzor will be liberated with ISIS wadded up at Mayadin to be waited out as their supplies dwindle away.

  • beano

    its very easy to see what they’re trying to do here, basically halt the fighting in the west and south of the country so they can move the majority of their assault troops (tiger forces etc) east and retake the as much territory as possible from a floundering and retreating isis before the SDF and new syrian army establish huge gains in the area. very smart from the russians.

    • Barba_Papa

      I agree. Other then clearing the remaining Damascus pockets there’s little to be gained in Western Syria in the short term. Or even the long term.

    • NeoLeo

      I don’t think so. If the SAA move the majority of their best troops east, they will be attacked no matter what… you can’t trust any of these ‘rebel’ groups, and you can’t trust their masters either. They’ll use these “safe zones” to launch surprise attacks on SAA, and then to return to safety if they fail. This is a mistake.

  • Bill Wilson

    This announce is a slick move that was planned in advance. It’s common knowledge that the moderate groups dislike and distrust the extremists plus that the extremists are leery of each other. The SAA’s Hama Offensive revealed that the extremists were reluctant to assist HTS with the moderates flat out refusing to help them at all. Then they started fighting each other outside Damascus over accusations of co-operating with Assad’s forces. This proposal was designed to throw HTS and the other extremists into a panic since they’re surrounded by moderates, the SAA, SDF and each other. Now we get to sit back to judge their reactions.

  • Real Anti-Racist Action

    Iran has the better idea, the enemies must be smashed, and not negotiated with.
    Russia keeps wrongly believing that some sort of peace with the invaders ie(Turkey Israel US Terrorist) will somehow in never never land actually work, haha.
    Iran understands what war actually is, where as Russia has forgotten.
    The terrorist must be killed, Turkey must eat their own shit, and Israel must come under counter strikes with metric tons of explosives to teach them how to better treat their neighbors.

    • VGA

      Dude the SAA wants to concentrate​ its forces in a couple of fronts and concentrate airstrikes there, too, for maximum effect.

      So they can liberate Daraa, clear the desert around Palmyra and move towards Deir Ezxor or whatever plans they have. BEFORE the US-backed FSA reach Deir Ezzor from Jordan or the US-backed SDF reach it from the north. Then Iran will be forever cut off from Lebanon and Syria. It is the Shia Crescend.

      To concentrate their forces on these operations they need to deescalate in Idlib/Hama/Aleppo etc.

    • LaserEye

      The US military are the ones that wouldn’t let Obama use the US military to invade Syria and were also the ones that gave Russia the intel in Syria to create ground operations. You are way behind on your understanding of what is really going on here. Get caught up, so you can see more clearly.

  • gfsdyughjgd .

    Wrong move and wrong turn in Erdogans favour.Thanx to quick decision maker Putin.Russia go ahead and sell S400 which Erdogan will use to harras USA/Nato for his own destruction.

  • gfsdyughjgd .

    If Erdogan is taken out of the way peace Will come to Syria.

  • gfsdyughjgd .

    Why is Putin always include terrorist supporter Erdogan in Syrian internal decision making.If Putin think it is good to use Erdogan to force USA/Nato then he got it wrong.USA/Nato are powered their can take Phosphorus strait from Turkey in minutes if their want without security council decisions.S400 are nothing against USA/Nato if use by Turkey.CIA is using Erdogan against Russia and friends.