Russia confirms proposed Syria cooperation with United States

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A young boy walks among buildings destroyed during airstrikes by Syrian regime forces in the rebel-held town of Nawa, about 30 kilometres north of Daraa in southern Syria, on July 11, 2018. Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's regime is determined to retake control of the key southern province of Daraa bordering Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, seven years after protests there sparked Syria's civil war. / AFP PHOTO / Ahmad al-Msalam

 

MOSCOW: Russia’s Defence Ministry confirmed on Saturday that it had proposed cooperating with the United States on Syrian refugees and de-mining in a letter sent to the top U.S. general in July.

The proposals on refugees concerned a refugee camp in Rukban, the ministry said in a statement.

In the letter, Valery Gerasimov, chief of the Russian military’s General Staff, said Moscow was ready to discuss with Damascus safety guarantees for refugees stranded at Rukban, as well as creating conditions for their return home.

Rukban lies within a 55 km so-called de-confliction zone set up by the United States to ensure the safety of its garrison close to the Iraqi-Syrian border.

“A proposal was also made to coordinate humanitarian de-mining, including in Raqqa, and other priority humanitarian issues,” the Russian ministry said.

Reuters reported the letter on Friday, citing a U.S. government memo.