Russia on Friday announced that Syrian government forces would cease fire in the northwestern province of Idlib from Saturday morning.
An agreement was reached on “a unilateral ceasefire by Syrian government forces in the Idlib de-escalation zone, from 6:00 am on August 31,” the Russian Reconciliation Centre for Syria said in a statement.
The announcement came after Russian-backed regime forces advanced in the militant-held bastion, one of the last holdouts of opposition to President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime.
The statement said the ceasefire aimed “to stabilise the situation” in Idlib and urged anti-government fighters to “abandon armed provocations and join the peace process”.
After months of intense bombardment, regime forces launched a ground offensive against Idlib earlier this month.
Syria’s war has killed more than 370,000 people and displaced millions since it started in 2011.
Russia launched a military intervention in support of Assad’s regime in 2015, helping his forces to reclaim large parts of the country from opposition fighters and militants.
Earlier on Friday, Turkey’s foreign minister said Russia had assured Turkey its observation posts in northwest Syria would not be attacked.
Speaking in Oslo, Mevlut Cavusoglu warned that continued attacks by Russian-based Syrian government forces in rebel-held Idlib province could unleash another wave of Syrian refugees to Europe. He added that Turkey’s military, which backs some Syrian rebel groups, would leave the region only when a political solution was found.