Last week the Syrian conflict returned to the spotlight. On Thursday Russia, Iran and Turkey signed a memorandum on creating “de-escalation zones” in Syria. It encompasses four areas: the northern province of Idlib, Eastern Gouta, the central province of Homs and southern part of Syria along its border with Jordan. In practice analysts say that these zones cover almost all areas controlled by rebels, who are allegedly not connected with the Islamic State. The signed agreement stipulates establishing checkpoints on the ground and unarmed civilians would be permitted to freely move between territories held both by government and opposition. According to the agreement, all military activities, including air strikes, should be ceased inside the zones. The agreement expressly excludes attacks on terrorists, such as Islamic State and al-Qaeda affiliates.