News ID: 219329
Published: 0208 GMT August 04, 2018

Report: Russia confirms proposed Syria cooperation with US

Report: Russia confirms proposed Syria cooperation with US
A boy walks along a damaged street at the city of Douma in Damascus, Syria, on April 16, 2018.

Russia’s Defense Ministry confirmed on Saturday that it had proposed cooperating with the United States on Syrian refugees and demining in a letter sent to the top US general in July, Interfax news agency reported.

The proposals on refugees concerned a refugee camp in Rukban, the report added.

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

According to a US government memo, Russia used a closely guarded communications channel with America’s top general to propose the two former Cold War foes cooperate to rebuild Syria and repatriate refugees to the war-torn country.

The proposal was sent in a July 19 letter by Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian military’s General Staff, to US Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to the memo which was seen by Reuters.

The Russian plan, which has not been previously reported, has received an icy reception in Washington.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed terrorism and war since March 2011.

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