Russia could send military to patrol de-escalation zone borders in Syria: report

Russia could send military to patrol de-escalation zone borders in Syria: report
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Russia could send troops within a few weeks to patrol the borders of de-escalation zones in Syria, Reuters reported Tuesday.

The announcement by Russian negotiator Alexander Lavrentyev comes as Russia, Turkey and Iran prepare to sign an agreement creating four de-escalation zones in the war-torn country. 

The agreement was first announced in May, but the three countries postponed a meeting in June to work out the details.

Lavrentyev said that Moscow, Ankara and Tehran hope to sign a finalized agreement on Wednesday. Negotiators have decided on the borders of two de-escalation zones but are still working on detailed maps and conditions for Idlib province in northern Syria and areas in the south.

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That agreement "provides for the presence of Russian military police in the buffer zones," but he stressed that the final conditions have not been agreed to yet.

"Depending on when the documents on safe zones are signed, I think one should expect concrete measures on the deployment of forces within 2-3 weeks," he said, according to Reuters.

Russia and Iran are both backing the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, while Turkey supports some rebel groups fighting to oust the leader's administration.

The announcement that Russia could send its military to police the boundaries came days before President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for ‘serious case of amnesia’ after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don’t want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE is set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.

While White House officials did not say what exactly the two leaders will discuss, the ongoing Syrian civil war is likely to be a key issue.