Russia announces ceasefire in Syria's Idlib from Saturday

Residents inspect the rubble of damaged buildings, looking for victims, after a deadly airstrike, said to be in Maarat al-Numan, Idlib province. [Reuters Photo]

The regime forces will unilaterally cease fire in the in 's Idlib region on Saturday morning, 's defence ministry was quoted by TASS news agency as saying on Friday. Russia has been the 's most powerful supporter in its eight-year-long war that has killed more than 370,000 people and displaced millions.

Russia on Friday announced that the regime forces would cease fire in the northwestern province of Idlib from Saturday morning.

An agreement was reached on "a unilateral by the Assad forces in the Idlib de-escalation zone, from 6:00 am on August 31," the Russian Reconciliation Centre for said in a statement.

The announcement came after Russian-backed regime forces advanced in the jihadist-held bastion, one of the last holdouts of opposition to 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.

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 jihadists.

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