WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US-led coalition has not been ordered to create safe zones in Syria, but is weighing in potentially needed resources, Operation Inherent Resolve commander Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend said at a press briefing on Wednesday.
"We are considering what it might take to do safe zones. We have not been directed to establish any safe zones," Townsend stated when asked about safe zones in Syria.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov discussed the Washington's proposal to establish safe zones with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the sidelines of the February 16 G20 ministerial meeting in Bonn. Russian envoy to the UN Office in Geneva Alexei Borodavkin said last Thursday that Russia was cautious about the proposal and stressed the need to coordinate such projects with the Syrian government.
Since 2011, Syria has been engulfed in a civil war, with government forces fighting against numerous opposition and terrorist groups, including al-Nusra Front and Daesh, banned in a range of countries, including Russia.