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Turkey Says Idlib Truce With Russia Seems To Be Holding


A displaced Syrian child looks to the camera as Turkish soldiers gather on a highway near the war-torn province of Idlib earlier this week.

A truce between Russia and Turkey in Syria’s Idlib Province appears to be holding, according to the Turkish defense minister.

Hulusi Akar said on March 7 that there had been no violations of the cease-fire.

"We will continue to be a deterrent force to prevent any violation to the cease-fire. None occurred since [the] cease-fire entered into force," Akar said.

The cease-fire was reached in Moscow after talks to contain a conflict which has displaced nearly a million people in three months.

Turkey will use self-defense rights if there is any attack targeting its forces or bases in the region, Akar also said.

The deal also calls for joint patrols by Turkish and Russian forces in Idlib, including along a major road, starting on March 15.

Turkey has started to work on the procedures and principles of a safety corridor around the road, Akar said, adding that a Russian military delegation will visit Ankara next week to discuss steps to take.

Russia and Turkey back opposing sides in Syria's nine-year conflict, with Moscow supporting President Bashar al-Assad and Turkey backing some rebel groups.

Several previous deals to end the fighting in Idlib have collapsed.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters
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