U.S. And Russia Reach Deal On Syria Cease-Fire

Saturday, July 8th 2017, 7:40 am
By: News On 6

The U.S. and Russia struck an agreement Friday on a cease-fire in southwest Syria, crowning President Donald Trump's first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. It is the first U.S.-Russian effort under Mr. Trump's presidency to stem Syria's six-year civil war.  

The ceasefire in southwest Syria will go into effect Sunday, July 9, Jordanian Minister of Media Affairs Mohammed Momani announced Friday, according to Petra News Agency. Jordan and Israel are also part of the agreement. Both allies share a border with the southern part of Syria and have been concerned about violence from Syria's civil war spilling over the border.

In Hamburg, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confirmed that a cease-fire agreement had been reached and called it the "first indication of U.S. and Russia being able to work together in Syria."  Tillerson, who accompanied Mr. Trump in his meeting with Putin, said the understanding is designed to reduce violence in an area of Syria near Jordan's border and which is critical to the U.S. ally's security. 

A separate deal to create "de-escalation zones" was brokered Russia, Turkey and Iran, but not the U.S. Follow-up talks this week in Kazakhstan to finalize a cease-fire in those zones failed to reach a deal.

Previous cease-fires in Syria have collapsed or failed to reduce violence for long, and it was unclear whether this deal would be any better.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.