'Cautious calm' in southern Syria ceasefire despite regime violations


Iran Foreign Ministry on Monday said the U.S. -Russia ceasefire partial ceasefire be expanded to all of Syria, if it is to be successful. Rather, the region is home to forces backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and opposition forces like Tahrir al-Sham that used to be known as al-Nusra.

Commenting on the modest outcome of the talks, Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov admitted there was "room for further improvement in certain areas". The deal marks the first peace-making effort in the Syrian war by the USA government under Trump.

Lavrov was speaking at the G20 summit in Hamburg where he sat in on talks between US President Donald Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin - their first face-to-face meeting. It's part of our ongoing discussions that we, the USA, have had with Russian Federation and with Jordan over the past few weeks and months about de-escalating the violence in southern Syria.

Israel has made a number of demands, Haaretz reported, including that negotiations on the safe area on its borders be separate from the talks taking place in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, in which both Turkey and Iran take an active role in.

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A Syrian official indicated that Damascus approved of the ceasefire deal, describing the government's silence over it as a "sign of satisfaction".

Russian Federation has since been seeking to quell the violence by creating de-escalation zones around Syria in cooperation with the other regional powers who wield influence in Syria.

The cease-fire began in the provinces of Daraa, Suweida and Quneitra along the Jordanian border. "Astana is particularly meant for producing a ceasefire, what they call a de-escalation, and that is why we believe that Astana does deserve patience and support, and there is more energy and time required - and we are with them in trying to make sure this will happen".

Israel opposes the Russian army's supervision of safe zones which have been established along the Syrian border.

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"Our forces and allies captured several areas, villages, hilltops and commanding positions in the eastern countryside of Sweida after eliminating large numbers of IS terrorists", state news agency SANA said.

The truce brought with it a mix of optimism and cynicism from people involved in the conflict, which has left more than 400,000 people dead since March, 2011.

Iran said they launched six Zolfaghar medium range missiles at an ISIS target in Syria 450 kilometers away. The southwest has always been a redoubt of mainstream rebel groups who oppose both Assad and extremist groups, owing in part to support from the United States and Jordan, Syria's neighbor to the south. Assad and allied forces have intensified attacks on rebel-held areas in the south since February. In June, hostilities escalated again when American forces shot down a Syrian government warplane that attacked USA -allied militias on the ground eastern Syria.

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