Partial ceasefire deal reached in Syria, in Trump’s first peace effort

Tillerson said the USA and Russian Federation had agreed on what forces would monitor the cease-fire but refused to identify them.Russian Federation is now pushing a plan along with Iran and Turkey to establish four “de-escalation zones” on the ground where air strikes would be halted.On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, after talks between Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin that the United States, Russia and Jordan agreed on ceasefire in southwestern Syria starting at noon on July 9.Tillerson did reiterate the US government position, which has wavered somewhat under the Trump administration, that Syria must eventually have new political leadership.The United Nations has welcomed an agreement between the United States and Russian Federation for a cease fire in south west Syria.Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Washington’s offer to cooperate in Syria is a “step in the right direction” but further information is needed about the USA proposal to create “no-fly zones” there.Several ceasefires have crumbled since the onset of the conflict and it was not clear how much the combatants – Syrian government forces and the main rebels in the southwest – were committed to this latest effort.Russia, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has been engaged in talks this year with Turkey and Iran over four so-called de-escalation zones in the war-torn country.Former US President Barack Obama struggled to find a strategy to end Syria’s civil war, which killed almost half a million people, turned cities into ruins and forced millions to flee overseas.Al Jazeera’s Natasha Ghoneim, reporting from the Turkey-Syria border town of Gaziantep, said the focus on the southern region is down to worries by USA allies in the region.Despite the ceasefire deal, Tillerson said the United States still sees “no long-term role for the Assad family or the Assad regime”.The Syrian regime had already announced its own unilateral ceasefire on Monday but fighting had continued on frontlines in the three provinces.