Turkey, Russia complete 9th joint patrol in N.Syria


Turkish and Russian troops have completed the ninth round of joint ground patrols in northern Syria under a deal reached last month.

“The ninth joint land patrol between Turkish and Russian units and UAV [unmanned aerial vehicles] support has been completed in the eastern Euphrates as according to plan,” Turkey’s National Defense Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

“A total of eight vehicles comprising of four from each side participated in the ninth joint land patrol along with UAVs in the Ras al-Ayn – Qamishli sector.

“Turkish and Russian units patrolled an area of 38 kilometers (24 miles) length and 9 kilometers (5.5) depth,” the statement added.

The first joint ground patrols, on Nov. 1, took place near Ras al-Ayn and Qamishli regions east of the Euphrates River.

On Monday, the eighth patrols were carried out in the Ayn al-Arab region.

Turkey on Oct. 9 launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate YPG/PKK terrorists from northern Syria 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 a safe zone can be created to pave the way for the safe return of some 2 million refugees.

On Oct. 22, Ankara and Moscow reached a deal under which YPG/PKK terrorists would pull back 30 km (18.6 mi) south of Turkey’s border with Syria, and security forces from Turkey and Russia will mount joint patrols there.

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 PKK’s Syrian offshoot.
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