An open-ended ceasefire in southern Syria brokered by the United States and Russia has come into effect. The ceasefire, announced after a meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Hamburg last week, is the first initiative by the Trump administration in collaboration with Russia to bring some stability to war-torn Syria, reports the AP. It followed weeks of secretive talks in the Jordanian capital, Amman, to address the buildup of Iranian-backed forces, in support of the Syrian government, near the Jordanian and Israeli borders. The three brokering nations did not specify mechanisms to monitor or enforce the truce.
A resident and local opposition activist in Daraa, near the Jordanian border, reported calm in the opening minutes of the truce. “There’s still a lot of anxiety,” said Ahmad al-Masalmeh. “We’ve entered the cease-fire but there are no mechanisms to enforce it. That’s what concerns people.” US-backed rebels, Syrian government forces, and Islamic State militants are all fighting for control of southern Syria. The latest truce, which began at noon local time Saturday, is intended to allay concerns of neighboring Israel and Jordan about Iranian-backed and government-allied forces at their borders. The truce does not include ISIS. No ceasefire has lasted long in the six-year-old Syrian war.