Jul 24, 10:08 AM EDT

Russia deploys military police at 'safe zone' in Syria

AP Photo
AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

Documents
Indictment of Monzer al-Kassar
Latest Syria News
Kurdish official says US role essential in post-IS Syria

Syria activists: Despite truce, strikes near Damascus kill 8

Al-Qaida in Syria snuffs out competition in northwest

Russia deploys military police at 'safe zone' in Syria

The Latest: Lebanese town official slain in Syria

MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia has deployed military police to monitor the cease-fire in a safe zone in the eastern suburbs of Syria's Damascus, the chief of the Russian General Staff said on Monday.

Russia has been providing air cover for Syrian President Bashar Assad's offensive against the Islamic State group since 2015 and previously deployed a military police force to patrol the city of Aleppo last year.

Russia, Iran, which supports Assad, and Turkey, which backs rebels fighting his forces, in May approved a plan to create four "de-escalation" zones in Syria, pressing Assad's air force to halt flights over designated areas across the war-torn country.

Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi told a news conference Monday that Russia set up two checkpoints and four monitoring posts in one of the zones, in the area known as eastern Ghouta. The Russian Defense Ministry last week said that the Syrian government and the opposition reached an agreement on the boundaries of the zone, several days after bombardment and airstrikes in the area.

Rudskoi also said the Syrian government and the opposition are still discussing the boundaries of another zone in Idlib province in northern Syria where there is a large al-Qaida presence.

© 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.