TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Russia and Turkey have brokered a complete ceasefire in Syria’s Idlib province between Syrian forces and militants, a report said.
The Russian military said the ceasefire applied to the Idlib de-escalation zone and had led to a significant reduction in violence on Wednesday, Russian news agencies cited the Russian military as saying on Wednesday.
“As a result, the number of attacks of illegal armed groups has significantly decreased…The Syrian government troops have not opened retaliatory fire (after two attacks in the nearby province of Hama), respecting the reached agreements,” the Russian Center for Syrian Reconciliation said in the statement.
Major General Viktor Kupchishin, head of the Russian center, also said there was “a significant decline in the number of shots fired from the direction” of the militants, according to Interfax.
The Russian official said that on Wednesday there were only two episodes of shelling in Hama Province.
The Russian reports did not say how long the cease-fire would last.
Moscow, a Damascus ally, and Ankara, which backs a number of militant groups in Syria, signed an agreement last September to create a demilitarized zone in Idlib that would be evacuated of all heavy weapons and militants.
Russia and Turkey, along with Iran, are guarantors of a Syria-wide ceasefire. The trio has been mediating a diplomatic process between the Syrian government and armed groups since early 2017.
Idlib remains the only large area in the hands of anti-Damascus militants after government forces — backed by Iran and Russia — managed to undo militant gains across the country and bring back almost all of Syrian soil under government control.
In recent weeks, Syrian armed forces have been conducting counter-terrorism operations in areas surrounding Idlib.
The Syrian army has warned civilians to leave Idlib amid preparations for a final military campaign to flush terrorists out of the region.