Middle East

Syria ceasefire: US and Russia-backed deal in effect

Deraa, 22 June 2017 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Deraa, in southern Syria, is among the cities devastated by the conflict

A ceasefire brokered by the US and Russia has come into force in south-western Syria.

It was announced after Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin met for the first time at G20 talks on Friday. The truce is also backed by Jordan.

It is in force along a line agreed by Syrian government forces and rebels.

About 300,000 people have been killed in Syria's conflict, which began with protests in 2011. Another 11 million have been forced from their homes.

Russia and the US have backed opposing sides, with Moscow supporting the Damascus government while Washington has called for the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Russian forces and a US-led coalition have been carrying out air strikes in their respective campaigns.

The ceasefire, which Russia has said covers the regions of Deraa, Quneitra and Sweida, was reported to result from months of undisclosed talks between Russian and US officials.

Speaking after the meeting between Mr Putin and Mr Trump in the German city of Hamburg, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said: "This is our first indication of the US and Russia being able to work together in Syria."

Mr Tillerson said Friday's meeting also showed that the two countries eventual aims for Syria were "exactly the same" - but they differed on how they should be achieved.

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