MOSCOW, May 23. /TASS/. Russia, Iran and Turkey have completed the establishment of observation points in the Idlib de-escalation zone, Head of the Main Operations Department at Russia’s General Staff Colonel General Sergei Rudskoi said on Wednesday.
"The establishment of observation points along the disengagement line has been completed," he said, adding that military servicemen from the guarantor countries of the Astana agreements - Russia, Iran and Turkey - had been deployed there. "Russia set up a total of ten observation points, another 12 were established by Turkey and seven by Iran. These observation points are being used to monitor the ceasefire between government troops and armed opposition units," Rudskoi added.
According to him, strong communication links have been created between the points to ensure constant exchange of information about the current situation and ceasefire violations. In addition, measures are being taken to prevent ceasefire violations and resolve conflict situations.
In accordance with a decision made by Russia, Iran and Turkey - the guarantors of the Syrian ceasefire - de-escalation zones were set up in Syria in 2017. They include Eastern Ghouta, an area in the north of the Homs province, the Idlib province and some parts of the neighboring provinces of Latakia, Hama and Aleppo, as well as some areas in the Daraa and al-Quneitra provinces in southern Syria.
The Russian Defense Ministry said that militant groups comprising more than 40,000 members had been active in these areas as of September 2017, when the establishment of the de-escalation zones had been completed.
According to relevant agreements, military activities between Syrian government troops and armed opposition units joining the ceasefire are prohibited in the de-escalation zones. In order to prevent incidents and clashes, security areas were set up along the borders of the zones, while local residents’ access to medical assistance and food aid was ensured. Russian, Turkish and Iranian military officers have been monitoring the ceasefire. However, the establishment of de-escalation zones does not imply that the fight against terrorists from the Islamic State, Jabhat al-Nusar and their affiliated groups is over.