Russian, US Diplomats Discuss a New Syria Ceasefire

Russian FM: US Needs to Stop Provocations Against Syrian Troops

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke on the phone today, discussing the ongoing war in Syria, and the possibility of a new ceasefire being declared, to allow the shift of focus in the conflict to fighting Islamist groups.

Technically speaking, the ceasefire negotiated by Russia, Iran, and Turkey is still in place, though the US was never formally a party to that, and there was very limited rebel participation. The lack of involvement by the US, and Turkey’s refusal to let the Kurds participate, is a growing problem if the focus is to be on fighting ISIS.

That’s because the US and the Kurdish YPG are in the process of invading the ISIS capital, and Syrian allied forces are trying to attack other ISIS targets further south, but every time they’ve gotten close, they’ve come under fire from US warplanes.

Lavrov insisted that the US needs to stop its provocative actions against Syrian troops and simply let everyone cooperate against ISIS. The US position isn’t clear, though at times they’ve given lip-service to the idea that they would welcome Syria attacking ISIS forces.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.