Wednesday 12 July 2017 | 10:39 AM Damascus Local Time
  • New York Times: Truce southwest Syria Survives First Day


    Agencies (Qasioun) - The ceasefire, negotiated by the United States, Russia and Jordan, applies to a strategic area across southwest Syria, near its border with Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.


    The choice of southwest Syria for a truce reflected the relative stability of the front lines in the area and the small number of extremist fighters among the rebels who could act as spoilers, according to an official involved in the negotiations who the New York Times spoke to.


    Southwest Syria also has been viewed with increased concern, by both Israel and Jordan over what they describe as advances made by Iranian-backed militias fighting alongside the Syrian government, including Hezbollah. A successful cease-fire would stop such advances.


    But this truce was the first to be announced by the Trump administration. President Trump seized on it as a measure of diplomatic victory during his first meeting with his Russian counterpart, President Vladimir V. Putin, on Friday at the Group of 20 summit meeting in Hamburg.


    Asked about the southwestern Syrian truce, Mr. de Mistura suggested to reporters in Geneva on Monday that he was optimistic about it.


    “In all agreements there is a period of adjustment. We are watching very carefully,” de Mistura said at a news conference. “But we can say we believe it has fairly good chances of working out.”


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