Safe zones in Syria will be ‘No Fly’ zones for US coalition
5 May, 2017
US-led coalition warplanes banned from Syria safe zones – Russian envoy… from Russia Today, Moscow
The US has been useless in preventing jihadi atrocities, such as the refugee-convoy bombing
[ Editor’s Note: This was a strange twist of fate, but not a surprising one. The US has officially been out of the Astana talks, and not unfairly so. That is because during the two previous ceasefires, the US failed to separate its opposition forces from Al-Nusra and ISIS, or else Turkey and the Gulf State-US coalition members refused to do so.
Nor do we forget the US bombing of Syrian positions in Deir Ezzor, which were quickly followed by an ISIS attack to capture a strategic hill. Russia’s calls on the de-confliction hotline went unanswered, with no one apparently on duty at the US end of the line. It was a cheap move by the US, and one that burned up any chances of another joint ceasefire with Russia.
But this act today was basically for show, as the US has not been bombing much in Idlib for fear of hitting all the coalition officers that are in the jihadi command centers. The US will not be the big threat to these safe zones, but not having proper, enforceable procedures in place will be.
That will come from the details not mentioned in the Astana agreement. How, once again, are the opposition forces and terrorists going to be separated? Is a database going to be built up of all their respected IDs and fingerprints? Once the various forces are separated and refugees begin returning, what provisions will be made to prevent jihadi re-infiltration?
What will prevent weapons and ammo from continuing to flow into these areas hidden inside the Turkish humanitarian convoy trucks? Are all ammo dumps going to be surrendered, including all the TOWS? Inquiring minds would love to know… Jim W. Dean ]
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– First published … May 05, 2017 –
The four safe zones to be established in Syria will be closed for flights by US-led coalition warplanes, said the Russian envoy to the Astana peace talks, where the zones were agreed upon.
He added that the flight ban was not part of the memorandum establishing the safe zones, but assured the coalition would not fly over them.
He added that the US-led coalition would continue airstrikes near Raqqa, the Syrian stronghold of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), near some towns near the Euphrates River and close to the city of Deir ez-Zor.
The Russian Foreign Ministry was less definitive on the alleged ban of US warplanes, stating that “these issues are being discussed at the military level.”
On Thursday, a memorandum was signed in Astana establishing four “safe zones” in Syria, where so-called “moderate opposition” fighters are expected to stay safe from airstrikes and keep jihadist groups out. The zones are set in provinces of Idlib, Latakia and Homs, as well as parts of Aleppo.
Russia, Iran and Turkey serve as guarantors of the arrangement, which carries hopes of deescalating violence in the war-torn country.
The move was cheered by the United Nations and welcomed with reservations by Washington.*
5 May, 2017
The Russian-proposed safe zones in Syria – where no fighting between the government and opposition is allowed – came into force at 21:00 GMT May 5. RT sums up what’s already known about the initiative aimed at resolving the conflict in the country.
Airspace over safe zones
Opposition compliance under question
Syria Safe Zones Declared: Will The Killing Finally End?
Early today, Russia, Iran, and Turkey signed an agreement to establish "de-escalation" zones at four locations in Syria. The plan is supposed to separate the "moderate" rebels from the extremists and allow citizens to receive humanitarian aid. What will the US do?