The United States and Russia have reached agreement on a ceasefire in southwest Syria, three US officials said as President Donald Trump held his first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The deal marks a new level of involvement for the US in trying to resolve Syria’s civil war. Although details about the agreement and how it will be implemented weren’t immediately available, the cease-fire is set to take effect Sunday at noon Damascus time, said the officials, who weren’t authorised to discuss the cease-fire publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Jordan and Israel also are part of the agreement, one of the officials said. The two US allies both share a border with the southern part of Syria and have been concerned about violence from Syria’s civil war spilling over the border.
The deal is separate from “de-escalation zones” that were to be created under a deal brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran earlier this year. The US was not a part of that deal. Follow-up talks this week in Kazakhstan to finalise a cease-fire in those zones failed to reach agreement.
The US and Russia have been backing opposing sides in Syria’s war, with Moscow supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Washington supporting rebels who have been fighting Assad. Both the US and Russia oppose Isis group in Syria.