- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 6, 2017


Russia, Iran, and Turkey, in talks in Kazakhstan to find a way to bring peace to the Syrian conflict, set up ‘de-escalation zones’ in Syria and declared U.S. aircraft cannot fly over the areas.

Russian officials added that Syrian aircraft will also be prohibited from flying in the airspace and that civilians will be sheltered from harm while they receive international aid. The Kremlin declared that President Trump had agreed to the safe-zone proposal but the White House would only confirm that Russian President Putin had spoken to Trump about the issue during their recent phone conversation.

“The case is that in the de-escalation zones, the work of aviation, especially the coalition forces, is absolutely not envisaged, with or without notification,” Alexander Lavrentyev, the head of Russia’s delegation in peace talks and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy for Syria said.

“The only place where the coalition’s aviation can operate is certainly on targets of the Islamic State. The aviation is located in the area of concentration of forces of this group near Raqqa and other settlements, near the Euphrates and Deir ez-Zor,” Lavrentyev added. “As for their actions in the de-escalation zones, currently all of them are closed for their flights,” reported UPI.

Syrian opposition forces have not signed on to the deal and walked out of the Kazakhstan talks in protest over previous violations by Assad forces and their Russian supporters.

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