By Hakan Copur, Muhammed Bilal Kenasari and Kasım Ileri
The United States welcomes any “sincere effort” to reduce violence in Syria, a State Department official said Monday.
“We are encouraged that Turkey and Russia appear to have taken steps to avert a military offensive by the Assad regime and its allies in Idlib and welcome any sincere effort to reduce the violence in Syria. We hope de-escalation is made permanent,” the official told Anadolu Agency, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The official added that the U.S. was not involved in the negotiations between the Turkish and Russian governments in the Russian city of Sochi over the future of Syria’s northwestern Idlib province.
“As we have noted before, an offensive by the Assad regime and its allies against the densely populated Idlib province would be a reckless escalation and would have serious consequences for Syria and the surrounding region,” the official added.
The official said Washington remains “concerned by the Assad regime’s pattern of destabilizing actions in Idlib and elsewhere”, noting that the U.S. will continue to watch the situation and the regime’s actions closely.
“We reiterate something that both President [Donald] Trump and President [Vladimir] Putin agreed to in Da Nang, Vietnam: There is no military solution to this conflict,” the official said, adding that all parties should “redirect their energies to forging a durable political resolution in Syria”.
“As the United Nations Security Council has long emphasized, ending the conflict will require a political solution based on UNSCR 2254 and the Geneva process,” the official said.
“The United States supports any credible efforts that prevent a resurgence of violence and protects civilians. Civilians must be allowed freedom of movement, including the right to return home, and provided access to immediate humanitarian assistance and medical care,” the official added.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Pentagon spokesman Cmdr. Sean Robertson also affirmed U.S. support for the “de-escalation of violence in Syria, unhindered humanitarian access, an enduring defeat of ISIS and other terrorists and progress toward a credible political resolution”. He was referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, another name for Daesh.
“We continue to support the UN-led Geneva peace process to resolve the hostilities in Syria under the auspices of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254,” he added.