MATTIS: US REVIEWING SYRIA SAFE ZONES

Copenhagen – Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the U.S. owes it to the people of Syria to take a close look at the Russian proposal to create several “safe zones” in Syria. But Mattis also said the plan poses many unanswered questions, including whether it would be effective.

Speaking to reporters traveling with him to Copenhagen, Mattis said the borders of the proposed cease-fire areas are still being worked out, although the general locations are “well understood.” And he suggested that it’s still not yet clear what impact the plan could have on the U.S.-led fight against Islamic State militants.

“It’s all in process right now,” said Mattis, who was offering some of the first extensive public U.S. comments on the agreement reached Friday by Russia, Turkey and Iran. “Who is going to be ensuring they’re safe? Who is signing up for it? Who is specifically to be kept out of them? All these details are to be worked out and we’re engaged.” According to activists in Syria, there already have been skirmishes on the edge of a large cease-fire zone in the northwest portion of the country.

The U.S. is not part of the agreement, and the Syrian government and the opposition haven’t signed on to the deal.

“The devil is always in the details, right? So we have to look at the details, see if we can work them out, see if we think they’re going to be effective,” he said.(QNA)

Source: Qatar News Agency

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