Russia says Syria safe zones will be shut for US warplanes

Russian news agencies reported on Friday that U.S. and coalition warplanes will not be allowed to fly over safe zones in Syria.

Putin on Wednesday said he had a “very good” conversation over the phone with Trump, and that his U.S. counterpart agreed to a proposal to establish Syrian safe zones to protect civilians in the war-torn country.

But the White House only confirmed that the two leaders discussed the safe zones, not that there were any agreements.

It is unclear how Russia would enforce this reported no-fly zone for coalition forces.

russianegotiations_small Russia says Syria safe zones will be shut for US warplanes World News

Reuters reported that countries like Iran and Turkey have agreed on Moscow’s proposal for the “de-escalation zones.” The United Nations also reportedly welcomed the plan.

The proposal presented to the rebels in Astana delineates four zones in Syria where front lines between the government and rebels would be frozen and fighting halted, according to a statement made by rebels. The four include areas in the provinces of Idlib and Homs, the eastern Ghouta suburbs outside Damascus, and an area in the south of the country.

The zones, according to the document received by rebels, would be monitored by international observers and allow for the voluntary return of refugees.

Late Wednesday, Syria’s Foreign Ministry said Damascus is “fully backing” the Russian initiative on the four cease-fire areas, according to the state-run SANA news agency.

But Ahmed Ramadan, an opposition representative, told The Associated Press that rebels requested a written answer on a number of questions, including why the cease-fire would only be in effect in the four areas instead of a nationwide truce.