Russia FM Lavrov urges US to prevent 'provocations' in Syria


Moscow (AFP)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday urged US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to prevent "provocations" against Syrian government forces, the foreign ministry said.

In a phone call initiated by Tillerson, Lavrov "called on Washington to take steps to prevent provocations against Syrian government forces carrying out operations against terrorists," it said in a statement.

The communique was issued after Israel said it had fired on Syrian regime positions on Sunday in response to projectiles from Syria that landed in the occupied Golan Heights.

The incident occurred close to a zone of fierce clashes between regime forces and rebels.

Lavrov and Tillerson also spoke of the need to "strengthen the ceasefire in Syria" and "intensify the fight against terrorist groups," the statement added.

A new round of peace negotiations on Syria is scheduled to take place in the Kazakh capital of Astana on July 4-5.

The six-year conflict has killed more than 320,000 Syrians and forced millions from their homes.