Turkey will send more troops into Syria's Idlib province after striking a deal with Russia that has averted a government offensive and delighted rebels who said it kept the area out of President Bashar al-Assad's hands.
The deal unveiled on Monday by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Assad's most powerful ally, and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan will create a demilitarized zone from which "radical" rebels must withdraw by the middle of next month.
Damascus also welcomed the agreement but vowed to continue its efforts to recover "every inch" of Syria. Iran, Assad's other main ally, said that "responsible diplomacy" had averted a war in Idlib "with a firm commitment to fight extremist terror".
The agreement halted a threatened Syrian government offensive. The United Nations had warned such an attack would create a humanitarian catastrophe in the Idlib region, home to about 3 million people.