Russia, Turkey agree on ceasefire in Syria's Idlib

Russia, Turkey agree on ceasefire in Syria's Idlib after weeks of deadly regime attacks
2 min read
13 June, 2019
Russia and Turkey have agreed on a complete ceasefire in Syria's Idlib province between Syrian regime forces and rebels.
The ceasefire applied to the so-called Idlib de-escalation zone [Getty]
Russia and Turkey have agreed on a complete ceasefire in Syria's Idlib province between regime forces and rebels, Russian news agencies cited the Russian military as saying on Wednesday.

The Russian military said the ceasefire applied to the so-called Idlib de-escalation zone.

The truce, whose length has not been specified, had reportedly led to a substantial reduction in violence on Wednesday.

Intensive shelling continued to target towns and cities in southern Idlib countryside and northern Hama countryside after midnight, when the ceasefire was supposed to take effect, civil defence told Reuters.

On Monday, aerial strikes killed at least 25 people, mostly civilians, in northwestern Syria in the sixth week of a Russian-led military offensive that has so far killed hundreds of civilians.

The violence in Idlib province and a strip of nearby Hama has marked the biggest military escalation between al-Assad’s Syrian regime and armed rebels since last summer.

Read more: Syrian regime pounds Idlib, ignoring Trump ceasefire call

Tens of thousands of people have fled their homes, many of them sheltering at the Turkish border from air strikes that have killed scores of people.

More than 300,000 people are believed to have been displaced as a result of the regime’s offensive.

Most of Idlib province has been under rebel control since 2012.

The Syrian conflict began in 2011, when the regime of President Bashar al-Assad responded to protests calling for freedom and reform with brutal suppression.

Idlib province is the last area standing in Bashar al-Assad's way as he seeks a final victory against the armed opposition after eight years of civil war.

Besides Idlib, other parts of Syria in the northwest and northeast remain out of his control, held by Turkey-backed fighters or Kurdish-led forces backed by the United States.

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