With Presidents Trump and Putin having spoken for over two hours on the sidelines of the G-20 meeting in Hamburg, well over the 30 minutes initially scheduled, the US press was going berserk with speculation over what the two were discussing for so long – surely CNN’s anonymous sources had already disclosed that Trump was about to announce some tax-efficient handover of the US to Moscow…
… there was a surprise announcement, because as AP reported, the US and Russia did announce a cease-fire agreement in southwest Syria.
As the WSJ adds, the U.S. and Russia have been “meeting secretly in recent months to discuss setting up what officials call a de-escalation zone in southwest Syria,” in which Syrian government forces and rebels would be separated in hopes of ending hostilities in the region.
Officials hope that the first such zone will help reduce violence and that the U.S. and Russia can work to set up other zones around the country.
A separate deal to create “de-escalation zones” was brokered between Russia, Turkey and Iran, but not the U.S., but follow-up talks this week in Kazakhstan to finalize a cease-fire in those zones failed to reach a deal.
The U.S. and Russia have been backing opposing sides in Syria’s war.
This is a positive sign that there is some rapprochement between the two nations, but John McCain and the neocons won’t like it, so expect a new barrage of unsourced “intel” published by the WaPo and NYT over the next 24 hours, confirming once again “beyond a doubt,” and without any evidence, that Trump is just a two-bit KGB spy.