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Russia, Turkey call ceasefire in Syria's Idlib province, Russian media says

Russia and Turkey have brokered a complete ceasefire between Syrian government forces and rebels in Syria's Idlib province, Russian news agencies cited the Russian military as saying on Wednesday.

Ceasefire reports follow aerial strikes that killed at least 25 people on Monday

A boy holds the Free Syrian Army flag during a protest calling for an end to the strikes and for Ankara to open the frontier at the Atmeh crossing on the Syrian-Turkish border in Syria's Idlib province on May 31. Russian media are reporting a ceasefire has been declared in Idlib, where a Russian-led military offensive has killed hundreds of people recently. (Khalil Ashawi/Reuters)

Russia and Turkey have brokered a complete ceasefire between Syrian government forces and rebels in Syria's Idlib province, Russian news agencies cited the Russian military as saying on Wednesday.

The Russian military said the ceasefire applied to the so-called Idlib de-escalation zone and had led to a significant reduction in violence on Wednesday, Russian news agencies reported.

They did not say how long the ceasefire would last. Idlib is the last significant rebel stronghold.

Intensive shelling continued to target towns and cities in the southern Idlib countryside and northern Hama countryside after midnight, when the ceasefire was supposed to take effect, civil defence told Reuters.

Aerial strikes on Monday killed at least 25 people, mostly civilians, in northwestern Syria in the sixth week of a Russian-led military offensive that has so far killed hundreds of civilians, according to residents and civil rescuers.

The violence in Idlib province and a strip of nearby Hama has marked the biggest military escalation between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his insurgent enemies since last summer.

Tens of thousands of people have fled their homes, many of them sheltering at the Turkish border from air strikes that have killed scores of people. Turkey had complained to Moscow, which backs the Syrian government, while Russia had said the onus was on Ankara to rein in the rebels.

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