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Syria ceasefire pressures Turkey to create demilitarised zone

A ceasefire that came into effect on Friday night has brought some interval for people living in southern Idlib and northern Hama in northwest Syria.

The ceasefire was brokered by the backers of the opposition and the government, Turkey and Russia.

But the truce is conditional and puts pressure on Turkey to create a demilitarised zone around Idlib province, free of weapons and fighters in line with the so-called Sochi Memorandum.

The U.S. State Department on Saturday said it welcomed news of a ceasefire in Northwest Syria – the last rebel bastion in the country – and urged for an end to attacks on civilians.

“The United States believes there can be no military solution to the Syrian conflict, and only a political solution can ensure a stable and secure future for all Syrians,” the State Department said in a statement.

The region – including Idlib province and parts of nearby Hama – was part of the last major stronghold of armed opposition to President Bashar al-Assad, who has vowed to reclaim all of Syria.

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