A ceasefire agreed by Russia and Turkey has gone into effect in Syria’s northwestern region of Idlib, activists and a monitoring group confirmed Friday. The temporary stop in fighting was agreed to amid concerns of a proxy war between Turkey, which supports certain rebel groups in the Syrian war, and Russia, the main military backer of the Syrian regime. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said shortly after midnight that cautious calm was prevailing on major fronts in Idlib. The Observatory said Russian and Syrian airstrikes had halted but added that there was “artillery fire… by Syrian regime forces on the positions of insurgent groups” in areas controlled by jihadis in parts of Aleppo and Hama bordering Idlib province in northwestern Syria. Hope of end to civilian suffering Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that he hoped the deal would reduce the civilian suffering in the city, which has forced thousands more refugees to flee the destruction. “We have agreed a joint document,” Putin said, adding that he hoped it would “serve as a good basis for ending fighting in the Idlib de-escalation zone.” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for his part, said that the Syrian “regime is to blame” for… Read full this story
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