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Syria truce holding, US says

Syria truce holding, US says
'The violence is lower in comparison to previous days and weeks,' State Department says

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) – A nationwide cease-fire in Syria is largely preventing the wide-scale violence previously experienced in the country, the State Department said Tuesday.

“We have seen, as I said, some reports of sporadic violence, but thus far, the arrangement as a whole seems to be holding and the violence is lower in comparison to previous days and weeks,” spokesman Mark Toner told reporters.

The U.S. is assessing reports of violations to determine who is responsible, Toner said.

If the lull in violence continues for seven consecutive days and if humanitarian access is sustained during that span, the U.S. and Russia “would begin coordinating with Russia on airstrikes specifically targeting Nusra in a strategic, very calculated way,” Toner said.

The group recently rebranded itself Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.

Toner was uncertain on how long it would take to make the Joint Implementation Center operational.

At that point, Syrian warplanes would also be restricted from flying in an area agreed upon by Moscow and Washington.

Still, Toner stressed that the U.S. reserves the right "to say we're setting the clock back to zero" if there are credible claims of violations.

"We also reserve the right if this goes on and on and on to a point where we believe it's no longer in anyone's interest to continue this, to simply walk away and say the agreement is null and void," he added.

source: News Feed
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