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Sunday, July 9


July 8, 2017

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in response to a reporter’s question about US President Donald Trump’s claim that Russia might been aware of the Syrian chemical attack beforehand. “Maybe they’ve got the right approach and we’ve got the wrong approach”. Tillerson has explained that USA may not have all the answers, in what some may interpret as a recognition that USA has made mistakes in Syria.

Tillerson said that Putin and Trump spent more than two hours meeting in Hamburg to discuss Syria. Tillerson added: “But there’s a lot more commonality to that than there are differences. So we want to build on the commonality, and we spent a lot of time talking about next steps.”

Tillerson also said that the defeat of ISIS is near, and considered that the long duration of war had made various parties more willing to agree than before. “In many respects, people are getting tired. They’re getting weary of the conflict,” he said. However, Tillerson hasn’t formally disclosed any details of a cease-fire deal in southern Syria.


July 8, 2017

Following yesterday's semi-official announcement of a ceasefire agreement in the Syrian south at the end of talks between Russian President Putin and US President Trump, some additional details of the agreement appeared on Saturday. A US official said the agreement was the result of months of negotiations.
According to US officials, Russia, the United States and Jordan have set the ceasefire terms. Al-Qaeda, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), may not abide by the agreement or might even even act against it. From its side, Moscow confirmed that the government of President Bashar al-Assad will fully respect the agreement.
“Russian, American and Jordanian experts … agreed on a memorandum of understanding to create a de-escalation zone” in the regions of Deraa, Quneitra and Suweida, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday.
From his side, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the agreement includes Suweida, Quneitra and Daraa. On the mechanism of implementation of the ceasefire Lavrov said: “At first, security around this de-escalation zone will be guaranteed by the forces and means of the Russian military police , In coordination with the Americans and Jordanians”.
However, US officials have said no ceasefire monitoring mechanism has been agreed upon so far. [emphasis mine]
The Arab and Israeli media reported that the agreement includes a buffer zone on the Golan front with a width of 30 km supervised by the Russian Military Police, with the withdrawal of some Syrian Arab Army (SAA) allies from the area such as Hezbollah and Iran. However, these claims have not been confirmed by any official sources so far.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said yesterday that the United States doesn’t see a future for President Assad and his family in Syria. It’s believed that the United States is again trying to exploit another agreement with Russia to achieve its agenda in Syria. Some experts believe that this could be seen as a bad sign, as this US behavior had foiled a previous deal in northern Syria by the end of 2016.

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