Although Iran, Turkey and Russia have signed an agreement to create four de-escalation zones in Syria, the implementation of the plan will face major challenges, writes , an outlet affiliated with former Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (I.R.G.C.) chief commander Mohsen Rezaei. “While the Syrian government has voiced support for this proposal, neither the Syrian government nor opposition groups have signed it,” it adds. “Another challenge,” it continued, “is that the makeup of the peacekeeping forces for these security zones is unclear.” The outlet also warns that the presence of foreign troops “from any external players in any of these four zones” could trigger new conflicts. It quotes Israeli media as saying that the Israeli military will not tolerate the presence of Iranian forces in areas close to its border.

According to Tabnak, Russia hopes that the de-escalation zones will reduce violence and expedite the process of separating terrorist groups from other armed opposition groups in Syria. “If this plan helps halt fighting in these areas, it may also lead to an agreement for no-fly zones in Syria as well,” it adds – citing recent discussions between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “Complete details of this proposal have not been leaked yet. After the details are known, we can apparently see major challenges to this plan,” it concluded.

Comment: Iran, Turkey and Russia reached an agreement to create four “de-escalation zones” in Syria at the end of a Syria summit in Kazakhstan yesterday. The three guarantor states will form a joint working group to map out the four suggested areas by this month’s end. The plan includes regions in five Syrian provinces: Homs, Idlib, Quneitra, Daraa and Rif Damashq. According to the Iranian media, the three sides have also agreed to continue the fight against the Islamic State and other terrorist groups, including in the suggested security regions.The difference of view between Iran and Turkey about which armed groups in Syria are terrorists will be another challenge to the implementation of the agreement.