Damascus (GPA) – The United States and Russia have agreed on a ceasefire for Syria which will go into effect on July 9th at noon as per Damascus time.
Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov made the announcement shortly following a meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit of world leaders in Germany. But the real discussion took place between military officials and diplomats in Amman, Jordan where the Syrian peace talks were held. Rex Tillerson later made a similar announcement:
“I think this is our first indication of the US and Russia being able to work together in Syria, and as a result of that we had a very lengthy discussion regarding other areas in Syria that we can continue to work together on to de-escalate the areas,”Reuters cited Tillerson as saying.
Part of the agreement is that the United States and Russia will coordinate to set up de-escalation or safety zones within Syria with the purpose of “securing humanitarian access and setting up contacts between the opposition in the region and a monitoring center that is being established in Jordan’s capital,” Lavrov said.
The current 48 hour ceasefire taking place during the peace talks has already been violated by jihadi rebels this morning when they began shelling the Syrian army.
De-escalation zones are expected to be set up in southwest Syria near Jordan where there are currently ongoing battles between the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Syrian Arab Army (SAA). Will this allow the extremist rebels to regroup in Jordan? Will the “moderate rebels” adhere to the ceasefire and de-escalation zones? Will the US use this as an opportunity to put more US troops in Syria or shuffle in weapons? Hopefully with Moscow’s oversight the United States will be kept in-line.
Also published on Medium.