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Russia, UN Agree: De-escalation Zones Are Reducing Violence in Syria

June 14, 2017 (EIRNS)—The Russian Defense Ministry reported, yesterday, that the situation in the de-escalation zones in western Syria is stable, with only five incidents of cease-fire violations over the previous 24 hours. The ministry also reported that 47 settlements, all in Idlib province, had joined the cease-fire over the same time period.

The UN agrees that, indeed, the de-escalation zones are working.

"The de-escalation zones agreed by Russia, Iran and Turkey, the guarantors of the last round of the Astana talks, have resulted in a discernible reduction in levels of violence in the zones around Idlib and western Aleppo,"

Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, chair of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, told the UN Human Rights Council, yesterday, though he added that hostilities continue in the zones around Homs, Damascus, and southern Daraa.

"The establishment of de-escalation zones is a step in the right direction. They potentially help to support the conditions necessary for more comprehensive political discussions within the Geneva framework led by [UN] Special Envoy [Staffan] de Mistura,"

Pinheiro noted.