In a move that some see as a sign to Hezbollah and Iranian militias, it was stipulated that Moscow “immediately” remove “non-Syrian fighters” from the safe zone — a middle ground of five kilometers between regime forces and opposition factions.
In an article published in Asharq Al-Awsat, the text of the agreement they obtained is outlined. They report that the agreement stipulates that Russia must spread 10 monitoring points and two search points, in return for a pledge from Washington and Amman to immediately work with opposition factions fighting ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra, and Qaeda at the separation line in the ceasefire area of southwestern Syria.
According to Jordan’s Minister of State for Media Affairs, Mohammad Momani, the representatives of the three countries signed the agreement in the capital, Amman. These representatives who set up a temporary de-escalation zone in southern Syria to back the ceasefire along the confrontation lines in the southwest, never mentioned Hezbollah and the Iranian militias by name. However, according to Asharq Al-Awsat, the tripartite talks in Jordan were clearly tackling Tehran-linked militias fighting in Syria.
Previously, a US official asserted that the agreement “involves Iranian forces and militias backed by Tehran, including the Lebanese Hezbollah, in addition to foreign fundamentalist militias fighting with Jubhat al-Nusra and other extremist groups.”
A Russian official disavowed that explanation, saying it was “wrong.”
The most important item in the tripartite document is related to the establishment of a buffer zone free of foreign fighters, in a sign to Hezbollah and Iranian militias, said Western officials who received the text of the new agreement.
No foreign intelligence is allowed in the designated “buffer zone,” the text asserts, which is based on maps attached to the text, and is likely located five kilometers adjacent to opposition-controlled areas in the countryside of Daraa, Sweida and Quneitra.
The tripartite agreement is based on seven principals that are similar to the texts of the “de-escalation zones” reached in Damascus’ Ghouta, the countryside of Homs, and other areas.
The agreement has an additional item that stipulating that local administrative councils remain in the area, and also allows delivery of humanitarian aid and construction materials. As well, there is a Jordanian pledge to open the border crossings with Syria.
US President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met informally on the sidelines of a regional economic summit in Vietnam early this month. Regarding the agreement in Amman, they discussed an extensive statement on the conflict in Syria, that would reaffirm both leaders’ commitment to defeat ISIS in the country, and the necessity of keeping existing military communications open.