Associated Press: Russia and Syria deal bans US-led coalition aircraft
The "de-escalation zones" to be established in Syria will be closed to military aircraft from the U.S.-led coalition, the Russian official who signed the new agreement said Friday.
Alexander Lavrentyev spoke a day after he and officials from Turkey and Iran agreed to establish the zones, in the latest attempt to reduce violence in the Arab country.
"We will continue the work we have commenced with Americans to find the most effective mechanisms of interaction on the Syrian soil," the envoy noted. Under the Russian plan, President Bashar Assad’s air force would halt flights over the designated areas across the war-torn country.
Lavrentyev suggested that all military aircraft, including Russian and Turkish, also were prohibited. Full details of Thursday’s agreement have not yet been released. The Russian Defense Ministry said it would do so at a briefing later Friday.
Lavrentyev, whose remarks were carried by Russian news agencies, said "the operation of aviation in the de-escalation zones, especially of the forces of the international coalition, is absolutely not envisaged, either with notification or without. This question is closed."
He said the U.S.-led coalition aircraft would still be able to operate against the Islamic State group in specific areas.