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US Warns Against Syria Violations in De-Escalation Zone


Southwestern Syria

The U.S. State Department says the U.S. “will take firm and appropriate measures” in response to any Syrian government violations in southwest Syria within the boundaries of the de-escalation zone.

The accord for the de-escalation pact was negotiated last year by the U.S., Jordan and Russia.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement late Thursday the de-escalation pact and the cease-fire arrangement were initiatives by U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin “to de-escalate the Syrian conflict, save lives, and create conditions for the displaced to safely and voluntarily return to their homes.”

“A military offensive by the Syrian regime into this cease-fire zone would defy these initiatives,” Nauert said.

Nauert said the U.S. “remains committed to maintaining the stability of the southwest de-escalation zone and to the cease-fire underpinning it.”

The de-escalation zone borders Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. It is one of the remaining parts of the country still outside the control of the government of Bashar al-Assad.

Nauert said the “cease-fire must continue to be enforced and respected” and urged Russia “as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council to use its diplomatic and military influence over the Syrian government to stop attacks and compel the government to cease further military offensives.”

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