US, Russia agree on ceasefire in south Syria from Sunday: Lavrov

Hamburg (AFP) –


Russia and the United States have agreed to a ceasefire in southern Syria starting from midday on Sunday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced Friday in Hamburg.

"Today in Amman Russian, American and Jordanian experts... agreed on a memorandum of understanding to create a de-escalation zone" in the regions of Daraa, Quneitra and Sweida, he said. "There will be a ceasefire in this zone from midday Damascus time on July 9."

Russia, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has been engaged in talks this year with Turkey and Iran over four so-called de-escalation zones in the war-torn country.

Negotiations in Astana this week failed to reach an agreement on the policing and precise borders of the zones, however.

Lavrov said that the ceasefire set to begin Sunday would be supervised by Russian military police "in coordination with the Jordanians and Americans".

The US has led a multi-national coalition since 2014 battling the Islamic State group in Syria and neighbouring Iraq.