BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on the conflict in Syria (all times local):
President Donald Trump has called for expanded cooperation with Russia over Syria as a cease-fire brokered by the two powers and Jordan came into effect.
The agreement followed weeks of secretive talks between the U.S., Russia and Jordan in Amman to address the buildup of Iranian-backed forces near the Jordanian and Israeli borders.
An uneasy calm marked the early hours of the truce, which covers three war-torn provinces in southern Syria. A local opposition activist says “a lot of anxiety” remains, because residents see no mechanisms to enforce it.
The cease-fire is the first tangible outcome following months of strategy and diplomacy between the new Trump administration and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Moscow.
Shortly after the agreement came into effect, Trump tweeted that the cease-fire “will save lives.”
President Donald Trump says a cease-fire in southern Syria brokered by the U.S. and Russia “will save lives” and is calling for further cooperation with Moscow.
In a tweet published shortly after the truce came into effect on Sunday, Trump wrote: “We negotiated a ceasefire in parts of Syria which will save lives. Now it is time to move forward in working constructively with Russia!”
The cease-fire between the Syrian government and the rebels was brokered by Russia, the U.S. and Jordan. Both Jordan and Israel fear that Iranian-backed forces allied with the Syrian government will establish a lasting presence along their borders.
Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on the cease-fire on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg last week.
Several cease-fires have been declared over the course of Syria’s six-year-old civil war. None have lasted very long.
Israel says it would “welcome a genuine cease-fire” in southern Syria so long as it doesn’t enable a military presence for Iran and its proxies along Israel’s border.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s comments were Israel’s first since the cease-fire brokered by U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin went into effect midday Sunday.
Israel has repeatedly said it will not allow Iran, which is a close ally of the Syrian government, to set up a permanent presence in Syria. It has carried out a number of airstrikes in Syria against suspected shipments of “game-changing” weapons bound for Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Netanyahu says he conveyed his country’s concerns once again last week to both Putin and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Netanyahu says both said they understand Israel’s position and took it into account.
An open-ended cease-fire in southern Syria brokered by the United States and Russia has come into effect.
The cease-fire, announced after a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Hamburg last week, is the first initiative by the Trump administration in collaboration with Russia to bring some stability to war-torn Syria.
No cease-fire has lasted long in the six-year-old Syrian war.
U.S.-backed rebels, Syrian government forces, and Islamic State militants are all fighting for control of southern Syria.
The latest truce, which began at noon (0900 GMT) Saturday, is intended to allay concerns of neighboring Israel and Jordan about Iranian-backed and government-allied forces at their borders. The truce does not include the IS group.