Newly-brokered truce comes into force in southwestern Syria
A ceasefire recently brokered by Russia, the US and Jordan has taken effect in southwestern Syria in a bid to curb violence in the Arab country.
The truce came into force at noon Damascus time (0900 GMT) on Sunday.
The trilateral agreement on the cessation of hostilities was announced on Friday after a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his American counterpart, Donald Trump, on the sidelines of the G20 summit in the German city of Hamburg.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who was also present at the meeting, said Moscow, Washington and Amman had issued a joint memorandum on establishing a de-escalation zone in the Syrian provinces of Dara’a, Quneitra and Suwayda.
The accord includes “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,” he added.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also confirmed that the area covered by the ceasefire affects Jordan’s security and is a “very complicated part of the Syrian battlefield.”
Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy, the United Nations deputy special envoy for Syria, hailed the truce deal as positive, saying it could help efforts to reach permanent peace in the Arab country.
The truce deal is the first of its kind between the US and Russia, which support opposite sides in the Syria crisis that began in 2011.
Backed by Russian air cover, the Syrian military is engaged in an operation to rid the country of foreign-sponsored terrorist groups.
Over the past few months, Syrian troops have made sweeping gains against Takfiri elements who have lately increased their acts of violence across the country following a series of defeats on the battlefield.
Back in December 2016, a nationwide Syria ceasefire took effect with the mediation of Russia and Turkey as well as Iran’s support.