The Russian Defence Ministry and Syrian opposition have agreed to create a new “de-escalation” zone north of the city of Homs.
The Russian Defence Ministry spokesperson, Igor Konashenkov, said that the ceasefire in the area is set to take affect at 1200 (0900 GMT) on Thursday.
He said: “on July 31, Cairo hosted regular negotiations between representatives of the Russian Defence Ministry and moderate Syrian opposition. Agreements on the functioning of the third de-escalation zone in Syria, north of Homs, were reached at the meeting.”
The spokesman added that 84 settlements with a population of more than 147,000 people were in the zone.
Mr. Konashenkov stressed that the ceasefire regime in the Homs zone, as in the other two zones, did not cover the militants of the Jabhat Fatah al Sham, formerly known as Nusra Front and Islamic State.
The spokesman added that in accordance with the reached agreements, the moderate opposition took a commitment to push out from the zone all the units that have joined the above-mentioned terrorist groups.
In May, the participants of the talks in Astana agreed on establishing four safe zones in Syria as part of the de-escalation process.
The first one, in the north of the country, covers the province of Idlib and neighbouring districts of Latakia, Aleppo and Homs.
The second is in the north of the province of Homs.
The third is located in the south of Syria, in the Quneitra and Daraa provinces, while the fourth one is in the Eastern Ghouta.
On July 24, Sergei Rudskoy, the chief of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operational Directorate, said that borders of de-escalation zones north of the Syrian city of Homs and in the eastern Ghouta region were agreed upon during the fifth round of international meetings in Astana in early July.
He said consultations on another zone in the Idlib province continued.