BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:30 A.M.) – The U.S. State Department released a statement on Thursday evening that warned the Syrian government against launching their planned southern Syria offensive.
According to the first part of the statement, the U.S. is concerned about this government operation because it violates the de-escalation zone agreement in southwest Syria.
“The United States remains concerned by reports of impending Syrian government operations in southwest Syria within the boundaries of the de-escalation zone,” the statement began.
The State Department then threatened to issue a decisive response if the government goes through with this operation.
“We affirm again that the United States will take firm and appropriate measures in response to Syrian government violations in this area,” they continued.
Furthermore, the U.S. State Department called on Russia to step in to dissuade the Syrian government from launching this offensive against the militant groups in the Dara’a and Al-Sweida governorates.
“Russia is duly responsible as a permanent member of the UN Security Council to use its diplomatic and military influence over the Syrian government to stop attacks and compel the government to cease further military offensives,” the statement added.
The de-escalation zone agreement that the U.S. State Department is referring to is in the provinces of Al-Sweida, Dara’a, and Al-Quneitra.
Due to the fact that rebel groups have refused to reconcile with the government, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has increased their presence in the Dara’a and Al-Quneitra governorates.
The reason for this large deployment of Syrian military personnel is to launch an offensive that is similar to their previous operations in the East Ghouta, eastern Qalamoun, and northern Homs regions.
As of now, the Syrian government is negotiating with the rebel forces and town elders in both the Dara’a and Al-Quneitra governorates; they are attempting to convince them to reconcile in order to avoid a military confrontation.