Russia, Turkey, and Iran agreed to a Moscow-proposed deal Thursday to establish so-called “de-escalation” zones in Syria to try to end the six-year conflict in the country.
Representatives of the three Syria cease-fire guarantor nations signed a memorandum to that effect at the end of the latest round of peace talks in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan.
The proposal calls for taking measures to reduce fighting in four designated areas of Syria where rebels not associated with Islamic State terrorists control significant territory.
Progress on peace?
Despite what appears to be progress after four rounds of talks in Astana, there remains a great deal of skepticism about whether such a deal can be implemented.
No details were released on how the three countries, which support different sides in the conflict, would attempt to end the violence. And while the Syrian government voiced its support for the agreement, neither Damascus nor the Syrian rebels signed any deal.
Members of the Syrian opposition delegation in Astana walked out of the meeting Thursday, shouting their dissatisfaction with Iran being part of the talks. The head of the opposition delegation, Mohammed Alloush, did not attend the second day of talks.