The United States has no plans to carry out military patrolling in Syria’s de-escalation zones, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters on Monday answering a relevant question that the US had no plans to carry out military patrolling in Syria’s de-escalation zones.
“That has not been discussed, the US military policing them,” he said.
When asked about the US strategy on Syria’s de-escalation zones, the defense secretary said that it is worth expanding them in order to let civilians return home.
“You keep broadening them. You try to de-mil one area and then de-mil another, and just keep it going, try to do the things that will allow people to return to one [another],” Mattis added.
The Defense Secretary reminded that such a zone has been established in southwestern Syria, however, there are no guarantees that a similar zone can be established in some other area.
“The ones down in the southwest, which, you know obviously has Russian MP’s [military police] down there, and that sort of thing, but each area is different, so you won’t have a template where one size fits all, and that can be looked at,” Mattis added.
On Saturday, US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin had a brief on-the-go meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnam, during which they approved a joint statement on Syria.
The paper, prepared by experts from the two countries and coordinated between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US State Secretary Rex Tillerson, stipulates that the two leaders confirmed their determination to jointly fight against the Daesh terrorist group, banned in Russia, until its full defeat.
The two leaders also agreed on the continuation of the Amman Monitoring Center’s work to observe the ceasefire regime in Syria’s southwestern de-escalation zone.