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U.S. warns Syria of taking action in de-escalation zone

Bashar al-Assad.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Photo: Joshua Eid/AFP/Getty Images

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert cautioned the regime of Bashar al-Assad, in a statement Friday night, against any action in the de-escalation zone of southwest Syria, saying the U.S. "will take firm and appropriate measures" if Assad violates the cease-fire in the area.

The big picture: Assad has already violated cease-fire agreements in de-escalation zones. Eastern Ghouta was designated as such, and was promptly torn apart by regime strikes. However, the Associated Press reports that the area in southwest Syria between Daraa and Golan Heights, is "a flashpoint in a wider standoff between regional archrivals Israel and Iran."