Russia President Vladimir Putin Thursday announced a nationwide ceasefire deal to come into effect across Syria from midnight and that the warring parties had agreed to sit down for peace talks, informs AFP.

The deal brokered by Russia and Turkey could represent a major breakthrough in nearly six years of war in Syria. Although on opposing sides in the conflict, Turkey and Russia have been working intensively to find a ceasefire after the fall of Aleppo, in a process that conspicuously does not include the United States.

Putin said in televised comments that Damascus and the "main forces of the armed opposition" had inked the truce agreement and a document expressing a readiness to start peace talks.

After the Kremlin announcement, Syria's army said it would halt all military operations from midnight, and the opposition National Coalition also said it backed the truce.

Putin also said he would reduce Moscow's military contingent in Syria, which has been flying a bombing campaign in support of President Bashar al-Assad since last year.

The Kremlin strongman, however, said that Russia would continue to fight "terrorism" in the war-torn country and maintain its support for the government in Damascus.

Russia and Turkey have both said that the peace talks they will supervise are meant to supplement UN-backed peace efforts, rather than replace them entirely.

Syria's conflict began with a 2011 uprising against Assad but quickly morphed into a complicated civil war that has now killed more than 310,000 people and forced millions more from their homes.

Source: AFP