‘Ahrar al-Sham may attend Astana talks, stabilising Syria de-escalation zone’

Representatives of the Ahrar al-Sham armed group, should they attend the Astana talks on Syria, will be proposed to engage in stabilisation in one of the four intended de-escalation zones, a source close to one of the delegations in Astana told Russian agency Sputnik.

“If they attend, they will be proposed to engage in ensuring de-escalation in one of the four zones that are being proposed, in the northern zone,” the source told Sputnik.

Ahead of the fourth round of talks in Astana, Russia has prepared a draft paper with proposals on creating four de-escalation zones in Syria – in Idlib province, north of the city of Homs, in Eastern Ghouta and in the south of Syria.

“Yesterday, as far as I know, Ahrar al-Sham representatives had consultations in Turkey, and they preliminarily agreed on engaging in de-escalation in the north. If they do come and sign this document, that would be proof that they separate themselves from the Nusra Front terrorist organisation,” the source added.