Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

US, Russia Agree To Keep Iran Away From Jordan | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A fighter from SDF flies a drone in western Raqqa province on June 18, 2017. Rodi Said / Reuters

London- Russia, US and Jordan agreed on a memorandum of understanding that includes the principles of establishing safe zones in Deraa and its countryside and the absence of non-Syrian forces in the area stretching 30 kilometers from the Jordanian borders, in a sign to “Hezbollah” and other Iranian-backed militias.

Western sources told Asharq Al-Awsat on Wednesday that the US-Russian-Jordanian talks, which started mid-May in Amman, produced late last week an agreement that includes the principles of a safe zone southern Syria, the absence of non-Syrian forces near the Jordanian border, and a ceasefire between regime forces and the Free Syrian Army factions, which means extending a truce between those forces announced two days ago.

The agreement also tackles the presence of local councils, the delivery of humanitarian aid, and the return of refugees from Jordan.

In return, the Syrian regime is allowed to fly its flag and have a symbolic presence in the area. The regime is also allowed to move from the city of Deraa to the Ramtha crossing at the Jordanian border and to open the commercial line, which is also used to transfer products from Lebanon to Jordan.

The Syrian regime and the opposition factions should also pledge to fight terrorist organizations, in a sign to the ISIS-linked Jaish Khalid ibn Al-Walid extremist group, and Jubhat al-Nusra.

The sources said that Russia played the role of a mediator between Washington and each of Tehran and Damascus to demarcate the conflict lines near the Iraqi border, which led to the dismantling of al-Zakaf military base north al-Tanf camp.

Meanwhile, officials said that Moscow further intensified its military efforts in the last few days to achieve small deals between Washington and Tehran and help contain any escalation.