Syrian civilians flee a conflict zone in Syria's rebel-held northwestern region of Idlib, where government bombardment has killed hundreds since late April, near Maar Shurin on the outskirts of Maaret al-Numan, Aug. 22, 2019.
Syrian civilians flee a conflict zone in Syria's rebel-held northwestern region of Idlib, where government bombardment has killed hundreds since late April, near Maar Shurin on the outskirts of Maaret al-Numan, Aug. 22, 2019.

BEIRUT - The Russian military says Syrian government forces will begin a unilateral cease-fire in the northwestern province of Idlib in the coming hours.

The Russian military reconciliation center says the cease-fire will go into effect Saturday morning at 6 a.m. (0300 GMT).
 
 Friday's report comes as government forces have intensified their offensive over the past weeks capturing rebel-held areas in Hama province and nearby Idlib, the last major rebel stronghold in the country.

 The Russian military called on the opposition to end ``provocations'' and engage in peaceful settlement.

Russia is a main backer of Syrian government forces.

The announcement came as hundreds of protesters in Idlib marched toward a border crossing with Turkey demanding that Ankara either open the border or demand an end to the government attack.

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