US, Russia and Jordan agree to southwest Syria ceasefire

Geneva Matthews
July 8, 2017

Sources told the Associated Press while the Hamburg meeting was underway that the ceasefire would take place Sunday in the Syria's southwest region bordering Jordan and Israeli-controlled Golan, which the Syrian government considers Syrian territory.

According to the memorandum, the government and opposition forces will halt fighting in four zones, including the northwestern province of Idlib, the central province of Homs, the eastern Ghouta countryside of Damascus, and areas in the Daraa and Qunaitera provinces in southern Syria.

Russia, along with Iran, is the main backer of Bashar al-Assad's regime in the six-year conflict, which has seen more than 400,000 people killed according to the United Nations special envoy for Syria.

However, both sides know that keeping the cease-fire will require hard work, as past USA administration of Barack Obama has announced after an agreement with Putin a cease-fire that had a short life.

The report added that Israeli officials have been on the sidelines of recent discussions between the U.S. and Russian Federation over the future of Syria.

Both countries are looking ahead to how to stabilize Syria, he said, with the fight against ISIS "progressing rapidly".

Before the Trump-Putin meeting, Tillerson signalled that Syria's civil war would be high on the agenda.

"The United States is prepared to explore the possibility of establishing with Russian Federation joint mechanisms for ensuring stability, including no-fly zones, on the ground ceasefire observers, ..." "Disarmament groups and other proponents of the treaty said they had never expected that any nuclear-armed country would sign it - at least not at first", The New York Times explains.

"If our two countries work together to establish stability on the ground, it will lay a foundation for progress on the settlement of Syria's political future", said Tillerson.

As the fight against Islamic State winds down, Tillerson said Russian Federation has a "special responsibility" to ensure Syria's stability. In retaliation, Russian Federation threatened to target USA and coalition aircraft flying west of the Euphrates River.

Tillerson said the difference this time is Russia's interest in seeing Syria return to stability. Tillerson clarified that the U.S.no longer saw a future for Assad at the helm of Syria, but would instead focus on defeating ISIS in Syria. Trump's administration has approached the notoriously strained relationship by trying to identify a few limited issues on which the countries could make progress, thereby building trust for a broader fix of ties.

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