President Trump’s national security advisor said Saturday that the cease-fire set to take effect in southwest Syria was an important step toward ending the six-year civil war and advancing the fight against ISIS terrorists.
The cease-fire or “de-escalation zone” in southwest Syria that the U.S., Russia and Jordan brokered is set to take effect Sunday at noon Damascus time.
“Such zones are a priority for the United States, and we’re encouraged by the progress made to reach this agreement,” the president’s national security advisor, U.S. Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, said in a statement.
“The United States remains committed to defeating ISIS, helping to end the conflict in Syria, reducing suffering, and enabling people to return to their homes. This agreement is an important step toward these common goals,” he said.
The deal reflects a new level of involvement by the U.S. in Syria’s civil war. Mr. Trump had previously stepped up U.S. actions with airstrikes against chemical weapon stashes of the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria.
The agreement also came as Mr. Trump took part in a highly anticipated meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, including talks about ending the Syrian civil in which the two former Cold War rivals are supporting opposite sides.
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 without U.S. participation.
U.S. and Russian officials had been discussing a potential deal for some time, but it didn’t reach fruition until the run-up to Mr. Trump’s meeting with Mr. Putin on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.
Mr. McMaster, who was traveling with Mr. Trump in Europe, said the president discussed the recently finalized agreement at the summit with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Teresa May and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Copyright © 2017 The Washington Times, LLC.