Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have announced a military ceasefire in Idlib, aiming to halt intense fighting that has sparked a humanitarian disaster and raised fears of their armies clashing.
Both the leaders agreed on the ceasefire after a meeting in Moscow today (Friday) that lasted six hours.
Idlib, the northwestern province of Syria where Ankara is battling Moscow-backed government forces since last December.
Turkish President told journalists in Moscow at midnight, “At 00.01 tonight, as in, from midnight, the ceasefire will be put in place.”
Erdogan warned that Turkey would not remain silent if Syrian government forces continued attacks, adding that Ankara would retaliate with full force.
Russian President said, “Russia did not always agree with its Turkish partners but hoped the deal will serve as a “good basis for ending the fighting in the Idlib de-escalation zone.”
Erdogan further informed that the two leaders agreed to help these refugees return to their homes.
Both the countries also agreed to establish a secure corridor along a key east-west highway in Syria’s Idlib and hold joint patrols on it as of March 15.
Since last December, more than 300 civilians, including at least 100 children, have been killed in Idlib.