Turkey, Russia start second joint patrols in N.Syria


Turkish and Russian troops have started second joint ground patrols east of Euphrates as part of the Sochi deal on northern Syria, according to Turkey’s National Defense Ministry on Tuesday.

“Within the framework of the agreement reached with the Russian Federation in Sochi on October 22, 2019; the second joint land patrol began with the participation of Turkish and Russian military elements and UAVs in the Ayn al-Arab region to the east of the Euphrates,” the ministry said on Twitter.

Turkish and Russian troops will carry out patrols east of Ayn al-Arab and west of Tal Abyad districts.

On Nov. 1, Turkey and Russia military personnel completed the first joint ground patrol, which lasted for four hours.

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.

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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