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Agreement reached on Syria ceasefire, says Russian President Vladimir Putin; Turkey and Russia to act as guarantors

Russian President Vladimir Putin Claimed That The Truce Will Begin From Thursday Midnight And Subsequently Peace Talks Will Occur Between Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad's Government And The Opposition In Kazakhstan's Capital, Astana.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Rahul Mishra | Updated on: 29 Dec 2016, 08:38:45 PM
 Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Image Source: Getty)

New Delhi:

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that a Syrian ceasefire agreement has been reached in which Russia and Turkey will act as guarantors. 

Further, Putin claimed that the truce will begin from Thursday midnight and subsequently peace talks will occur between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government and the opposition in Kazakhstan's capital, Astana.

Russia's defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, said that the truce would constitute 62,000 opposition fighters across Syria and a hotline has been established by Russian and Turkish militaries to monitor compliance.

Turkish state-run news agency Anadolu said on Wednesday that Turkey and Russia had agreed on a nationwide truce plan for Syria but none of the key players in the conflict had offered any immediate confirmation.

Also Read: Iran troops to join Syria war; Russia targeting not only IS, but rebels trained by CIA

The Syrian army too said on Thursday that it would halt all military operations from midnight, under the deal brokered by Russia and Turkey.

"The general command of the armed forces announces a complete halt to all hostilities on Syrian territory from the zero-hour of December 30th," Syria's army said in a statement carried on state television.

It added that the halt excluded combat against the Islamic State group and the former Al-Qaeda affiliate previously known as Al-Nusra Front, now rebranded the Fatehal-Sham Front.

Syria's leading opposition National Coalition body, a political entity based in Turkey, confirmed its support for the truce. "The National Coalition expresses support for the agreement and urges all parties to abide by it," spokesman Ahmed Ramadan told AFP. He said key rebel groups including the powerful Ahraral-Sham and Army of Islam factions had signed the ceasefire deal, though there was no immediate confirmation from rebel officials.

The agreement comes after Syria's government recaptured the country's second city Aleppo from rebels, in the worst blow to opposition forces since the war began. The ceasefire will be the first nationwide halt in fighting since a week-long truce from September 12-19 that collapsed after several incidents of violence.

A previous truce was implemented in February, with both of those deals organised by Russia and the United States. Thursday's agreement is the first nationwide ceasefire brokered with the involvement of Turkey, a backer of the Syrian opposition. Russia is a key supporter of Syria's President Bashar-al-Assad and began a military intervention in support of his government in September 2015.

Despite backing opposing sides in the conflict, and souring of relations after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane in November 2015, Ankara and Moscow have worked increasingly closely on Syria. Tens of thousands of people were evacuated from Aleppo after a ceasefire was brokered earlier in December by Ankara and Moscow.

Also Read: Syrian war 'cancer on a global scale', says UN chief Antonio Guterres


With PTI inputs

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First Published : 29 Dec 2016, 05:39:00 PM