Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced, after their summit in Moscow, today, that they reached an agreement on a cease-fire in the Idlib governorate, northwestern Syria.
"At midnight (Thursday local time) (22:00 GMT), the implementation of the ceasefire will begin," Erdogan told a joint press conference with Putin, stressing that he and his Russian counterpart would strive to make it "permanent".
In return, the Turkish president warned that his country reserves the "right to respond with all its force and everywhere to any attack" launched by Damascus.
The Turkish Defense Ministry announced the killing of two soldiers on Thursday, by Syrian soldiers.
Erdogan indicated that Turkey and Russia will work together to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid "to all who need it" and to make people who have been displaced by the violence to return "voluntarily" to their areas.
The two Presidents were speaking after a very important meeting that lasted for several hours.
Putin, who spoke before Erdogan, announced that the two countries "have agreed on a text that will be a solid basis for ending the battles in the Idlib de-escalation zone in Idlib."
Putin said he agreed with Erdogan on a formula he hoped would lead to a cessation of military operations in Idlib province. Putin added that his talks with Erdogan lasted for more than six hours.
"We do not always agree with the Turks on Syria, but our high-level relations with Turkey have allowed us to bridge differences over Idlib," Putin added.
He continued, "The intensive work with the Turks ended with positive results on Idlib. We signed a joint document with Erdogan to stop the hostilities in Idlib. ”
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced during his joint statement that the Russian and Turkish armies will conduct joint patrols on the M4 highway as of March 15, knowing that it is a strategic axis crossing the Idlib region.
The text of the agreement stated that the two countries will establish a "security corridor" with a depth of six km on each side of the aforementioned road, which means a 12 km wide buffer zone.
He added that the details of this region will be determined by Ankara and Moscow within seven days.
The summit between Putin and Erdogan was held after a major escalation in Idlib, in light of an attack by Syrian forces that began in December to recover the region from the combat factions it controls and which Ankara supports a number of.