Russia 'to monitor' south Syria ceasefire

Russia 'to monitor' south Syria ceasefire
Details of the ceasefire in south west Syria have come to light, with Russia emerging as the monitor of the cessation in violence committed mainly by Russians.
2 min read
08 July, 2017
Russia and Syrian have broken three ceasefires in the past [Anadolu]
The United States and Russia agreed that Russia would be responsible for policing a new "de-escalation agreement" in south west Syria on Friday.

The US and Russian presidents agreed the deal on the sidelines of a G20 meeting in Hamburg, with a ceasefire to take hold as of 9am on Sunday morning.

"Security in SW Syria de-escalation zone will be ensured by Russian military police in coordination with US and Jordan," Russia's embassy in the US said in a statement.

The US secretary of state had earlier declared the ceasefire to be the "first indication of the US and Russia being able to work together in Syria".

"As a result of that we had a very lengthy discussion regarding other areas in Syria that we can continue to work together," said Rex Tillerson.

Russia has been responsible for many airstrikes and much of the military coordination against rebel groups in the region for many months.

The deal includes "securing humanitarian access and setting up contacts between the opposition in the region and a monitoring centre that is being established in Jordan's capital," Russia's foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov said.

The United States has made a commitment that all the groups present there will observe the ceasefire," he added.

Yet despite the deal, Syrian rebel spokespersons said they held reservations over the Russian-monitored ceasefire on the sidelines of the Astana peace talks earlier this week.

The rebels said in a statement they held "great concern over the secret meetings between Russia and Jordan and America to conclude an individual deal for southern Syria in isolation from the north".

The British defence secretary welcomed the news, but said he'd wait to see if the ceasefire would hold.

"The recent history of the Syrian civil war is littered with ceasefires and it would be nice ... one day to have a ceasefire," said Michael Fallon.