Issue Brief on “Joint Plan for the Establishment of New Safe Zones in Syria”

An agreement to set up “de-escalation zones” in Syria came into effect at midnight on May 5, 2017, but it will be at least another month before all the details are worked out and the safe areas are fully established, according to Russian officials.[1] According to the plan for the safe zones released by the Russian Defence Ministry, 4 “de-escalation” zones would be set up across the north, central, and southern parts of Syria.

The plan was proposed and agreed upon by Russia, Iran and Turkey on May 04, 2017 while highly opposed by the Syrian opposition (rebel groups) who were apprehensive and rejected Iran’s role in the peace making process. In theory, the creation of these de-escalation zones will provide relief to hundreds and thousands of Syrian civilians and also encourage the refugees to return home who fled due to the ongoing civil war in the country. However, the rebel opposition groups and the United States of America have their reservations about these safe zones.

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