16:59 GMT +319 November 2019
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    A convoy of Turkish armoured vehicles drive towards Bab al-Hawa crossing point between Syria and Turkey on a highway in the northern countryside of the Syrian province of Idlib on June 20, 2019.

    Idlib De-Escalation Zone Ceasefire to Begin Early Morning Friday - Reports

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    BEIRUT/MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A ceasefire agreement in the Idlib de-escalation zone will come into force on Friday morning but only if the Sochi agreement is applied, local media reported on Thursday, citing a military source.

    "A ceasefire will be implemented in case Sochi agreement is applied. The agreement stipulates terrorists to retreat nearly 20 km in depth from the line of the de-escalation zone of Idleb and to withdraw the heavy and medium weapons", the source told SANA news agency in a statement.

    Earlier in the day, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentyev welcomed the Syrian government’s decision to announce a ceasefire in Idlib.

    In September 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to set up a 9-12 mile demilitarized zone in Idlib along the contact line between the armed opposition and the government forces during their talks in the Russian resort city of Sochi.

    The withdrawal of heavy weaponry operated by the militants is also part of the agreement.

    The Syrian military conflict started in 2011, causing massive out-migration. Russia, Turkey and Iran are the ceasefire guarantors in the conflict. Russia carries out humanitarian operations across the country on a regular basis and helps Damascus provide safe passage for the return of Syrian refugees.


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