US, Russia reach deal for ceasefire in southwest Syria

In this photo provided by German government U.S. President Donald Trump, left, shakes hand with Russian President Vladimir Putin before the first working session of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, northern Germany. (Steffen Kugler/Presse- und Informationsamt der Bundesregierung via AP)

HAMBURG, Germany (AP) – U.S. officials say the United States and Russia have reached an agreement for a cease-fire in southwest Syria.

The cease-fire is set to take effect July 9 at noon Damascus time. Word of the cease-fire has emerged as President Donald Trump is meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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The officials weren’t authorized to discuss the cease-fire publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The deal marks a new level of involvement for the U.S. in trying to resolve Syria’s civil war.

A separate deal to create “de-escalation zones” was brokered Russia, Turkey and Iran, but not the U.S. 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.

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