11:52 GMT +324 September 2019
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    Free Syrian Army fighters are seen in al Baza'a village in the outskirts of al-Bab town, Syria

    Syrian Armed Opposition Expresses Hope for Deescalation Zones Around Country

    © REUTERS / Khalil Ashawi
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    The Syrian armed opposition hopes that the deescalation zone in southern Syria, recently brokered by Russia, the United States and Jordan, would be extended to rest of the country, Free Syrian Army's (FSA) Chief of Staff Ahmed Berri told Sputnik Monday.

    CAIRO (Sputnik) — On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced a ceasefire in southwest Syria reached by Russia, the United States and Jordan, which came into effect at noon on Sunday.

    "We want a comprehensive ceasefire … So that the truce will cover all Syria and not just one region," Berri said.

    According to the FSA chief of staff, the Syrian government will have to implement the ceasefire if the latter is reached by Moscow and Washington.

    "Damascus will try to avoid approval of the ceasefire by any means … However, if the regime feels that Russia and the United States want to secure this ceasefire, then it will be implemented [by the Syrian government]," Berri noted.

    The parties to July 7 ceasefire agreement also need to officially clarify their positions on the truce as it seems that the main goal of the deal is to protect the borders of Israel and Jordan, according to the FSA chief of staff.

    Earlier in the day, UN Secretary-General's spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that the agreement on deescalation zones represents a significant step toward diffusing violence and increasing humanitarian access in Syria.

    Immediately after the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his counterpart Donald Trump on Friday, Lavrov said that the experts from Russia, the United States and Jordan had agreed on a memorandum on the establishment of a deescalation zone. It covers Daraa, Quneitra and As-Suwayda provinces in southwestern Syria.

    Related:

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    de-escalation, Free Syrian Army (FSA), Ahmed Berri, Syria
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