REUTERS – June 15, 2018
The US will “take firm and appropriate measures” in response to Syrian government violations in a so-called de-escalation zone in the southwest of the country, the State Department said in a statement on Thursday.
The southwest of Syria, bordering Jordan and the Israeli Golan Heights, is one of the remaining parts of the country still outside the control of the state after seven years of conflict.
President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have recovered swathes of territory from rebels with the help of Russian air power and Iran-backed militias, and he has repeatedly pledged to take back “every inch” of the country.
Experts have investigated reported use of chemical weapons by Assad’s government. More than 500,000 people have been killed in the fighting, which has drawn in global powers and neighboring states.