Turkey and Russia reportedly agree ceasefire plan for Syria

Turkish media reports say the plan could see weapons silenced by midnight tonight

Turkey and Russia are reportedly close to agreeing terms for a ceasefire in Syria.

The two countries have been supporting opposing sides in the conflict and according to the Turkish Anadolu news agency, the deal could see weapons silenced from midnight tonight.

As yet there has been no comment from the Syrian government.

Several rebel groups told the Associated Press they are withholding their approval of any potential agreement until they see details on its terms.

Russia, Iran and Turkey announced their willingness to help broker a peace deal last week after holding talks in Moscow where they adopted a declaration setting out the principles any agreement should adhere to.

However on Wednesday, Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the country will not budge on its insistence that Syrian president Bashar al-Assad must go.

“There are two texts ready on a solution in Syria. One is about a political resolution and the other is about a ceasefire. They can be implemented any time,” Çavuşoğlu told reporters on the sidelines of an awards ceremony at the presidential palace in Ankara.

He said Syria’s opposition would never back Assad.

“The whole world knows it is not possible for there to be a political transition with Assad, and we also all know that it is impossible for these people to unite around Assad.”

Last week, Russia’s foreign minister said Russia, Iran and Turkey had agreed that the priority in Syria was to fight terrorism and not to remove Assad’s government.

Following the Anadolu news agency report on the potential ceasefire, the Kremlin said it could not comment and suggested the deal may have been announced prematurely.

Russian president Vladimir Putin has said that Russia, Iran, Turkey and Assad have agreed that Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan, should be the venue for any new Syrian peace talks.

The UN has said it will restart its stalled peace talks in Geneva in February - raising the possibility of two parallel peace processes.