MESOP NEWS Syria Daily: Turkey & Russia to Oversee Opposition-Held Idlib?

By Scott Lucas – 23 June 2017 – eaworldview – Turkish Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin: “The negotiations between Turkish, Russian, and Iranian officials are ongoing on technical work, including whose troops will be stationed in these de-escalation zones.”Turkish and Russian personnel are deploying in opposition-held Idlib Province in northwest Syria, according to a spokesman for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Ibrahim Kalin said four de-escalation zones, including one covering Idlib and parts of neighboring province, would be discussed further in the next conference in the Kazakh capital Astana in early July.The zones were proposed by Russia, Turkey, and Iran in early May. They have reduced — but not eliminated — pro-Assad attacks in the northwest, while fighting and bombardment continues in other parts of Syria such as Daraa Province in the south and the Damascus suburbs.

“We will probably be most prominent in the Idlib region with the Russians; mostly Russia and Iran around Damascus, and a mechanism involving the Americans and Jordan in the south in the Daraa region is being worked on,” Kalin said.

He added, “Russians have a proposal: Maybe the Kyrgyz or Kazakhs would deploy a number of troops. They could also be involved in this task force.”

The Syrian opposition and rebels rejected the zones when they were announced, saying that they did not meet requirements for an end to sieges and bombing, and the release of detainees and that Iran could not be accepted as a guarantor. The opposition did not respond on Thursday, but a local source said flatly, “Idlib folks won’t accept any foreign forces.”