Everything you need to know about the Syria ceasefire

Updated: 


A nationwide ceasefire has been reached between Syrian government forces and opposition rebels, Russian president Vladimir Putin said.

Here's everything you need to know about the agreement.

How did it come about?

After several previous attempts to halt the civil war failed, Russia, Turkey and the Syrian military all agreed to a ceasefire.

Putin announced three documents had been signed: the first, between the Syrian government and armed opposition on a ceasefire. The second, a measure that will help support the ceasefire. And the last, an agreement to start peace talks on Syrian settlement.

The agreement comes on the heels of the Syrian army regaining control of Aleppo, the country's largest city, putting an end to the opposition's four-year hold over parts of the city.

What does it mean?

Armed Syrian fighters
(STR/AP/PA)

The ceasefire has been guaranteed by both Russia and Turkey, but excludes extremist groups such as the so-called Islamic State, and envelopes all areas of Syria. It will come into effect at midnight on Friday.

Putin said he'd ordered the Russian military to scale down its presence in Syria, while Turkey's foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said all foreign fighters - including those from Hezbollah - should withdraw from Syria.

Syria's military said the nationwide truce will pave the way for reactivating negotiations to end the conflict.

What happens next?

Vladimir Putin
(Mikhail Klimentyev/AP/PA)

Putin did not actually say how many troops will be withdrawn from Syria but he did say Russia will continue "fighting international terrorism in Syria" and supporting Syrian president Bashar Assad's military.

The Russian military will maintain its presence at both an air base in Syria's coastal province of Latakia and the naval facility in the port of Tartus, Putin said.

Peace talks between Assad's government and its opposition are due to be held in Kazakhstan.

Russia's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said President-elect Donald Trump's administration is also welcome to join the Syrian peace process once he takes office.