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Rudskoy: Civil War in Syria Has Stopped

June 10, 2017 (EIRNS)—Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoy, the chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian General Staff, told reporters at the Defense Ministry in Moscow that the situation in Syria significantly improved after the signing of the Astana memorandum on setting up de-escalation zones. "In fact, the civil war in Syria has stopped," he asserted.

"Schools are being renovated so that children could resume their studies. In just one month, international organizations sent a total of 14 humanitarian convoys, which made life much easier for the locals."

Hours later, at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis thanked the Russians for cooling things down around al-Tanf, Syria. "We asked the Russians to help," and the Russians have been "very helpful" in limiting clashes between the partnered force at the border town of al-Tanf and forces of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad backed by Hezbollah fighters. Davis said the border area was fairly calm June 9 as opposed to June 8, when a U.S. F-15 shot down a large unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone, that had dropped a munition on an area controlled by the U.S.-backed force.

Reuters reported, yesterday, citing anonymous U.S. and regional officials, that the United States and Russia are negotiating a "de-escalation zone" in southwestern Syria, one which would exclude Iranian participation. The Russian and U.S. special envoys for Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev and Michael Ratney, and other officials have met at least twice in the Jordanian capital Amman in the past two weeks and will talk again soon, these officials said. The proposed de-escalation zone would include the provinces of Deraa, which borders Jordan, and Quneitra, which borders the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

"The two sides are in the process of drafting its borders ... and which outside forces will be on the ground. But there are many flaws on how to implement it,"

an unnamed regional intelligence official told Reuters.