US-Russia Agree to Ceasefire, De-Escalation in Southwest Syria

  • Militants from the U.S.-backed "Free Syrian Army" opposition group.

    Militants from the U.S.-backed “Free Syrian Army” opposition group. | Photo: AFP

Published 8 July 2017
Rex Tillerson praised the agreement as indicative of future cooperation in Syria, but also said that the United States still sees no “long-term role” for the Assad government.

The United States and Russia have cooperated to negotiate a ceasefire in the southwest region of Syria, an agreement which will involve a ceasing of all attacks on Syrian government positions in the region including by U.S.-backed militant groups.

RELATED:
Syrian Army Extends Cease-Fire Prior to Peace Talks

“In this zone the ceasefire regime will take effect on July 9th starting at noon Damascus time. The United States took an obligation that all militant groups located there will comply with the ceasefire,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced according to RT.

The ceasefire is the result of efforts from officials in Russia, the United States, and Jordan to negotiate the creation of a de-escalation zone, having held talks on Syria in Amman.

Lavrov said that the de-escalation zone will be monitored and maintained primarily by Russian military police, with “cooperation” from Jordanians and Americans.

The announcement comes on the tails of the first meeting between Russian President Vladmir Putin, and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump at the G20 summit.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the deal is an early indication of potential future cooperation between Russia and the United States in Syria, and hinted at possible other de-escalation deals in the future.

“I think this is our first indication of the US and Russia being able to work together in Syria, and as a result of that we had a very lengthy discussion regarding other areas in Syria that we can continue to work together on to de-escalate,” Tillerson said according to Reuters.

In spite of claiming to desire de-escalation, Reuters also quoted Tillerson as saying that the United States still sees “no long-term role for the Assad family or the Assad regime.”

It is unclear what level of commitment will be secured from the ceasefire.

A previous ceasefire in Syria in September 2016 was betrayed by the United States after the Pentagon bombed a Syrian Government position.

In spite of early rhetoric from the Trump administration moving away from goals of “regime change” in Syria and claiming to prioritize the fight against the Islamic State group, under Trump the United States escalated its role in the country by engaging in direct attacks on government targets.

A seperate de-escalation deal is being brokered by Russia, Turkey, and Iran, between the Syrian Government and opposition representatives, but a final agreement has not been signed yet.

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Bolivia’s Morales Says ‘Most Polluted, Industrialized’ US Cannot Deny its Environmental Damage

  • Bolivia

    Bolivia’s President Evo Morales at UN headquarters in New York, February 20, 2013. | Photo: Reuters

Published 7 July 2017 (7 hours 50 minutes ago)

Morales has consistently spoken out against climate change and its underlying causes, blaming capitalism and imperialism.

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales says the United States must accept that it is responsible for causing damage to the planet.

“The US, the most industrialized and most polluted country in the world, cannot deny its responsibility for the damage it causes to the environment,” he tweeted, in response to the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

RELATED: 
Recognize Capitalism as a Threat, Bolivia’s Evo Morales Urges at UN Ocean Summit

Last month, ´the United States President Donald Trump pulled out of the accord, which has been signed by 195 countries.

Morales said Trump cannot be “blind” to the effects of climate change, “nor deaf” to the “clamor of his people and the world.”

For the Indigenous Bolivian President, humanity has an “immense” debt to Mother Earth.

“She gives everything to live, but we consume and overexploit without limits”, he said in another tweet.

That G20 meeting has been met with scores of protesters, who are decrying exploitation on part of the countries involved, and who have been met with riot police repression for their demonstrations.

RELATED: 
Running Battles at G20 Protests on First Day of Hamburg Summit

Morales has consistently spoken out against climate change and its underlying causes.

Just last month at the U.N. Oceans Summit, he declared the need to include capitalism as a major threat to the world’s waters.

He believes that the system as a model of production, stands to threaten “humanity” and “mother Earth.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s