UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres hopes the latest deal between Turkey and Russia will end hostilities in northwestern Syria to protect civilians, his spokesman said Thursday.

“The Secretary-General hopes that this agreement will lead to an immediate and lasting cessation of hostilities that ensures the protection of civilians in northwest Syria, who have already endured enormous suffering,” said Stephane Dujarric in a statement.

Referring to an endorsed roadmap for a peace process in Syria, the UN chief also called for a return to the UN-facilitated political process mandated by Security Council Resolution 2254 (2015).

The statement came hours after Ankara and Moscow agreed to a ceasefire effective as of midnight Thursday amid recent clashes between the Turkish military and Syrian regime forces that left many dead on both sides.

As part of the agreement, all military activities will end in Idlib and a security corridor will be established 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) deep to the north and to the south from the M4 highway.

Joint Turkish-Russian patrols will also begin on March 15 along the M4 highway from the settlement of Trumba -- 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) to the west of Saraqib -- to the settlement of Ain-Al-Havr, according to the deal.