WASHINGTON, August 4. /TASS/. The USA welcomes the ceasefire agreement in Syria’s Idlib signed between the Syrian government and opposition, the US State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a statement published on Saturday.
"The United States welcomes news that a ceasefire has been declared in Northwest Syria, but what is truly important is that attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure must stop. We will appreciate any efforts undertaken towards this important goal," the statement published on the US State Department website reads.
"We commend efforts by Turkey and Russia working together to restore the cease fire they agreed in Sochi in September 2018," the spokesperson continued. "The United States believes there can be no military solution to the Syrian conflict, and only a political solution can ensure a stable and secure future for all Syrians."
"We also commend the UN Secretary-General for his personal engagement in the Idlib tragedy, including by establishing a Board of Inquiry on the Idlib situation from September 2018 forward," the US diplomat continued. "We further believe the only viable path to a political solution is the UN-led political process in Geneva. <…> We will continue to support the work of UN Special Envoy Geir Pedersen and the United Nations to advance a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political process that would create a permanent, peaceful, and political end to the conflict."
Earlier, the Syrian TV announced the government’s decision to establish a ceasefire in Idlib if the Sochi agreements are adhered to - the militants will retreat from the de-escalation zone by 20 km and remove all heavy artillery from the zone.
During their meeting in Sochi on September 17, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to create a 15-20 kilometers wide demilitarized zone along the line of contact in the Idlib province. However, Ankara asked for additional time before the launch of joint patrols, as Turkey was unable to ensure security.