US says will ‘take firm, appropriate measures’ against Syria violations
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The US will “take firm and appropriate measures” in response to Syrian government violations in a so-called de-escalation zone in the southwest of the country, the State Department said in a statement.
The southwest of Syria, bordering Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, is one of the remaining parts of the country still outside the control of the state after seven years of conflict.
President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have recovered swathes of territory from rebels with the help of Russian air power and Iran-backed militias, and he has repeatedly pledged to take back “every inch” of the country.
Since last year, a “de-escalation” deal brokered by Russia, the United States and Jordan has contained fighting in the southwest.
As a member of the UN Security Council, Russia “is duly responsible” to “use its diplomatic and military influence over the Syrian government to stop attacks and compel the government to cease further military offensives,” the state department said in its statement.