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Russian army announces ceasefire in Syria’s Idlib

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A ceasefire has been established in the northwestern Syrian region of Idlib, the TASS news agency reported, citing a Russian defence ministry official on Thursday.

The ceasefire in Idlib, the country’s last opposition stronghold, was established following a deal with Turkey.

“According to the agreements with the Turkish side, the ceasefire regime was introduced in the Idlib de-escalation zone starting from 14:00 Moscow time (1100 GMT) on January 9, 2020,” Russian major-general Yury Borenkov was quoted as saying.

Turkey had asked Russia to establish a ceasefire in the region and it sent its delegation to Moscow in December to discuss the issue.

That month, the Syrian government and allied Russians launched a large-scale campaign against rebels in Idlib. As the offensive intensified, in December alone, almost 300,000 people fled to safer areas towards Turkey from southern Idlib, according to the UN.

The civil war in Syria has killed more than 370,000 people since it started in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.

In total, 11,215 people – including more than 1,000 children – were killed in 2019, the least deadly year on record since the beginning of the conflict.

SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES

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