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US-Russia Agree to Ceasefire, De-Escalation in Southwest Syria

09 Julio 2017

The US, Russia and Jordan have agreed to put in place a ceasefire across south-western Syria, which is due to begin on Sunday.

Previous similar ceasefires have failed to hold for long and it was not clear how much the actual combatants, Assad's government and the main Syrian rebel forces in the southwest, are committed to this latest effort.

The US had no apparent role in the deal, which included four zones that will be included, namely Homs, Idlib, Daraa and Eastern Ghouta countryside of Damascus.

The area covered by the ceasefire affects Jordan's security and what Tillerson calls a very complicated part of the Syrian battlefield. Both the U.S. and Russia oppose the Islamic State group in Syria.

The announcement came just a day after the yesterday's meeting between President Trump and Putin on the sidelines of the G20 Summit, in Hamburg, Germany. "This agreement is an important step towards these common goals", he said.

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Yet ahead of the meeting - Mr. Trump's first with the Russian leader - Tillerson signaled that Syria's civil war would be high on the agenda and potentially the most fruitful area for cooperation given the dismal state of relations between the U.S. and Russia overall. "So, . we welcome any ceasefire, but let's see it, let's see the results on the ground", Fallon said.

The United States has often called for the removal of Assad, who it blames for shootings of protesters at the start of the conflict and, more recently, chemical weapons attacks on civilians.

The Iranians and their proxies "have increased their activities in southern Syria", said Majidyar, director of the Iran Observed Project at the Middle East Institute, a Washington think tank.

Israel has also struck Syrian military installations on several occasions in the past few weeks after shells landed into the Israeli-controlled side of the Golan Heights Golan Heights.

US-Russia Agree to Ceasefire, De-Escalation in Southwest Syria