An agreement on the de-escalation zone north of the city of Homs have been reached between representatives of the Russian Defense Ministry and the so-called moderate opposition, the Russian state-run news agency TASS reported on Thursday.
The ceasefire will start in the area on August 3 starting at 12:00 p.m. local time. This is the third de-escalation zone established in Syria with the Russian support.
“On July 31, a new round of talks between representatives of the Russian Defense Ministry and the moderate Syrian opposition was held in Cairo,” Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said, accroding to TASS. “The meeting’s participants reached an agreement concerning the functioning of the third de-escalation zone north of the city of Homs, which will include 84 settlements with a population of more than 147,000.“
The Russian Military Police will establish two checkpoints north of Homs and three observation posts to monitor the agreement. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) and ISIS are excluded from the ceasefire.
“Konashenkov said that military police were entrusted with the tasks of separating the opposing sides, monitoring the implementation of the ceasefire and ensuring the unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid, as well as medical and casualty evacuation. “All the sick and wounded will be provided with an opportunity to undergo medical treatment either at the Russian military hospital or Syrian hospitals,” Konashenkov noted.
“The opposition, in turn, will unblock the section of the Homs-Hama highway passing through the de-escalation zone,” he added. According to the Russian Defense Ministry’s spokesman, local councils will address the issues of everyday life in the de-escalation zone,” TASS’ article reads.
In late July, the participants of the Syria peace talks in Astana agreed to establish 4 de-escalation zones in Syria. Two of them were established in southwest Syria and in the Damascus countryside.