16 Вер De-Escalation Agreement Syria
The creation of de-escalation zones and security zones is a temporary measure with an initial duration of 6 months and will be automatically renewed on the basis of the consensus of the guarantors. “These de-escalation zones are used to allow the regime to choose the battles it wants to fight at any given time, while other areas are degenerated,” said Faysal Itani of the Atlantic Council. Turkey sent troops to Idlib in October with the stated aim of imposing respect for the de-escalation zone. However, instead of deploying on the front line between the rebels and the regime, Turkish observers were sent to areas bordering the Kurdish enclave of Afrin, now under attack by Ankara. This has led some to accuse Turkey of using the deal to advance its own agenda in northern Syria, instead of working to ensure respect between the belligerents. De-escalation zones were established in the Idlib agglomeration (including parts of Latakia and Aleppo under armed rebel control), the Rastan sac in Homs governorate, Eastern Ghouta, including the Damascus countryside, and southern Syria (parts of Daraa governorates and which will be under insurgent control). De-escalation zones have excluded the US-controlled At-Tanf bag, areas controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces in northern and eastern Syria, and Turkish-controlled areas in the north. The Pentagon said the de-escalation agreement would not affect the U.S.-led air campaign against ISIS. But the reduction in fighting in the de-escalation zones was likely because pro-government forces were heading east Syria to fight IS in its last strongholds. As soon as fighting weakened in eastern Syria, the government activated the front lines in Idlib, Hama and Eastern Ghouta, leading some analysts to question whether the agreement on the de-escalation zone was used to help the Syrian government time its fighting. The guarantors shall take steps to complete, by 4 June 2017, the preparation of the maps of the de-escalation zones and the security zones and to separate the armed opposition groups from the terrorist groups referred to in paragraph 5 of the memorandum.
“If it`s a de-escalation, I`d hate to imagine what an escalation looks like,” said Sara Kayyali, Syria researcher at Human Rights Watch. The Syrian government has said it will abide by the agreement, but will continue to fight “terrorism” wherever it exists – language for most armed rebel groups fighting against government forces. The Joint Working Group shall, on the above-mentioned date, prepare the maps of the de-escalation zones and the security zones to be agreed by consensus of the guarantors, as well as the draft regulations of the Joint Working Group. In May 2017, Russia, Iran and Turkey agreed to create four de-escalation zones in Syria. The three States should guarantee relative peace in these regions. The zones were established in areas controlled by some rebel groups: Idlib province (1), parts of Hama, Hims and Aleppo provinces (2), the damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta (3), and the provinces of Daraa, Suwayda and Quneitra (4). . . .