US, Russia reach Syria cease-fire deal

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The U.S. and Russia have reached a cease-fire agreement in southwest Syria, officials said Friday.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called the agreement the “first indication of the U.S. and Russia being able to work together in Syria,” according to a Bloomberg reporter.

The cease-fire will begin Sunday at noon Damascus time, The Associated Press first reported Friday, citing U.S. officials.

News of the cease-fire emerged as President Trump held his first bipartisan meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. 


An official told the AP that Jordan and Israel, who both share the southern Syrian border, are key players in the agreement. 

The deal is not part of the Russian-brokered “de-escalation zones” set up in the region. 

Follow-up talks will take place in Kazakhstan to finalize the agreement in other zones. 

The U.S. and Russia have brokered temporary cease-fires in Syria’s yearslong civil war in the past, including one reached in September under former President Barack Obama.

The deal comes after Tillerson announced this week that the U.S would be willing to work with Russia to implement measures, such as no-fly zones and cease-fire observers, to stabilize Syria. 

The U.S. and Russia have been on opposite sides of the Syrian conflict. Russia backs President Bashar Assad’s government, while the U.S. supports rebel groups seeking his ouster.

A U.S. Navy aircraft shot down a Syrian warplane in the southern part of Syria in June after the U.S.-supported Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) reportedly came under attack from pro-Assad forces. 

Russian ended a cease-fire agreement with the U.S. after the U.S. launched a missile strike on a Syrian air base. 

Updated: 1:35 p.m.

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