On September 5, representatives of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups in the Eastern Qalamoun region signed an agreement with Syrian and Russian officials to establish a new de-escalation zone in the Eastern Qalamoun region in the Rif Dimashq Governorate (the “Governorate of the Countryside of Damascus”).
The agreement was approved by the Following FSA groups:
– Ahmad al-Abdo Forces
– Jaysh Usud al-Sharqiya
-Liwa Shuhda’a al-Qaryaten
The new de-escalation zone includes al-Dumayr and al-Ruhaybah towns; Jayrud, al- Mansoura, al- Nasiriyah villages, as well as Mansoura and al-Mughr mountain areas.
According to the agreement Russian Military Police will be deployed in several positions around the de-escalation zone. Moreover, four crossings will be established in al-Dumayr, al-Ruhaybah, Jayrud and al- Nasiriyah villages to allow humanitarian aid to enter the de-escalation zone.
The agreement is expected to be held up properly because a number of the FSA groups already had agreements with the Syrian government. The agreement was approved by all combat effective forces in the Eastern Qalamoun region.
On September 6, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that another de-escalation zone was established around Tell Rifaat town east of Afrin city in the northern Aleppo countryside. The Tell Rifaat de-escalation zone will include Tell Rifaat town and many other Arabian villages under the control of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) east of Afrin.
“In order to prevent provocations and possible clashes between detachments of the Free Syrian Army formations in the north of Syria and the Kurdish militia, with the assistance of the Russian reconciliation center, a deconfliction zone has been established in the Tell Rifaat area,” said chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian General Staff, Colonel General Sergey Rudskoy.
Gen. Rudosy announced that SDF units left the de-escalation zone, while the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) deployed its forces in it. So it means that the SDF hands over these areas to the SAA.
“Units of the Syrian government troops replaced Kurdish armed groups that left the area. In order to prevent possible provocations and maintain the regime of cessation of hostilities, a unit of military police of the Russian Armed Forces was deployed to the de-confliction zone,” Rudskoy said.
From its side, the FSA operation room in Euphrates Shield (ES) areas “Ahl Adar” announced that FSA didn’t approve the de-escalation agreement. Furthermore, Ahl Adar said that FSA groups would continue its military operation in this area. However, the FSA will have to obey the agreement because it has been apparently approved by Turkey, the FSA only sponsor in the northern Aleppo countryside.