Turkey and Russia military personnel completed the first joint ground patrol in northern Syria as a part of planned safe zone east of Euphrates River, the Turkish National Defense Ministry said on Friday.
The joint patrol of Turkey and Russia took place in northern Syria at 40 kilometers (25 miles) east of Ras al-Ayn and 30 km (18.6 mi) west of Qamishli city, the ministry said in a statement.
The patrol, which lasted for four hours, was supported by an unmanned aerial vehicle and eight armored vehicles, it said.
After the patrol, Turkish military personnel returned to Turkey-Syria border line.
Ras al-Ayn and Tal Abyad were cleared of terrorists during Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring — launched on Oct. 9 to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.
Ankara wants YPG/PKK terrorists to withdraw from the region so that a safe zone can be created to pave the way for the safe return of some 2 million refugees.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK.
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