U.S. Envoy McGurk: U.S.-Russian Cooperation in Syria Working Well
Aug. 5, 2017 (EIRNS)—Brett McGurk, the U.S. special envoy for the anti-ISIS war, delivered a detailed update on the status of the campaign in both Iraq and Syria, yesterday. During his remarks, he stressed, among other things, the importance of U.S. cooperation with Russia, which he said is working very well. Since the June 18 incident in which a U.S. Navy jet shot down a Syrian jet,
"we have drawn what we call a deconfliction line with the Russians to help accelerate the campaign in Raqqa and to basically make clear where their forces will be and where our forces will be. This has held extremely well. This is now in place. Our military personnel speak with the Russians every day, and we, of course, have diplomatic consultations on issues like this far less frequently but whenever we need to."
Later on, McGurk said that the ceasefire in southwest, jointly negotiated with Russia and Jordan, is working well. "So we’re well into the third week of it now, and the results have been quite promising thus far. The fighting has largely stopped," he said.
"We’re now seeing civilians beginning to return to this area, which is very promising, and beginning to see landmines being removed as the fighting has stopped."
In response to a question, McGurk said that there has been no effect on the cooperation with Russia from the scandalizing in Washington of U.S.-Russia relations. "So far we’ve not seen an effect on our engagement with the Russians when it comes to Syria," he said.
"And most of those engagements, as I mentioned, are professional military-to-military engagements, literally airmen talking to airmen to make sure we avoid accidents."