The Trump administration has been holding secret talks with Russia to try to set up a de-escalation zone in southwest Syria, where Syrian government forces and rebels would be separated in hopes of ending hostilities in the region, officials familiar with the talks said. This was reported by the Wall Street Journal.
At least two meetings have taken place so far, the last of which took place about two weeks ago in Jordan, where Jordanian officials also took part. The third meeting, which was scheduled for this week, had to be postponed because of the mismatch of the participants’ working schedules. The new terms of this round of consultations have not yet been established, the source says.
On the American side, the negotiations are conducted by the US President’s special representative on issues of interaction with other countries in the fight against the terrorist group Islamic State Brett McGurk and Syrian special envoy for Iraq Michael Ratney.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Americans are counting on agreeing with Russia ways to defeat ISIS and the means necessary for this.
If the talks on the de-escalation zones in the south-west of Syria are successful, the parties are ready to continue the dialogue aiming to establish such zones in other parts of the Arab Republic, the sources of the agency note.
Earlier it was reported that Syrian media reported of massive strike on ISIS positions, killing more than 70 militants. It is reported that air and artillery strikes were carried out against the headquarters of the ISIS.