MESOP : QUESTIONING JOHN KERRY – France says they need details of US-Russia Syria deal

Reuters, Paris Thursday, 15 September 2016 – Al arabiya

France on Thursday called on the United States to share details of a ceasefire deal it struck with Russia on Syria saying that the information was crucial to ensure militants and not mainstream rebels were being targeted on the ground.Under the deal, the US and Russia are aiming for reduced violence over seven consecutive days before they move to the next stage of coordinating military strikes against the former Nusra Front and ISIS, which are not party to the truce. “The Russians cannot unilaterally continue to bomb saying that they are only striking terrorist groups,” Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said in remarks confirmed by his entourage.

“The agreement with the Americans, for which we don’t know all the details – and that’s the problem actually – makes provisions so that the Americans and Russians can check exactly location by location on a map where the terrorists we need to strike are located,” he said. “But if there is confusion… then there is also a risk of the moderate opposition being hit. At one point we’re going to be asked to support in greater detail this Russo-US plan, so to do that we will need to have all the information,” Ayrault said during a visit to Ukraine. France, a member of the US-led coalition against ISIS, is a key backer of rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and allied militias, and has previously voiced its concerns over how Washington negotiates with Moscow.

Last Update: Thursday, 15 September 2016 KSA 14:28 – GMT 11:28