MOSCOW, October 23. /TASS/. Russian military police have begun to patrol the security zone in northern Syria in accordance with the memorandum of cooperation signed between Russia and Turkey, the Russian Defense Ministry told reporters on Wednesday.
"Today, the Russian military police have begun to patrol the approved area in northern Syria in accordance with the memorandum of cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Turkey signed in Sochi on October 22," the message states.
The Russian military also met with the local government of the city of Kobani to discuss the articles of the memorandum.
On October 22, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a memorandum on joint actions in northeastern Syria. According to the document, as of noon October 23, Russian military police and Syrian border guards have started to monitor the withdrawal of Kurdish military formations to the depth of 30 km from the border. Russia and Turkey will begin the joint patrolling of the area 150 hours later.
Turkish operation in Syria
On October 9, Turkey launched a military incursion into northern Syria, codenaming it Operation Peace Spring, with the Turkish Armed Forces and the Ankara-backed Free Syrian Army carrying it out. Erdogan’s military campaign kicked off with airstrikes on the positions of the previously US-backed Kurdish units. The Erdogan government claimed that its goal is to clear the border area of what it calls ‘terrorists’ (Turkey’s broad label of the Kurdish forces) and establish a 30 km-long buffer zone in Syria’s north, where over 3 million Syrian refugees in Turkey would resettle. Ankara’s incursion into Syria has triggered an outcry in the region and across the world. The Syrian SANA news agency branded the operation as an act of aggression, while the international community condemned Erdogan’s military operation.
On October 17, the United States, represented by Vice President Mike Pence, reached a deal with Erdogan to pause Operation Peace Spring. Turkey consented to a 120-hour ceasefire so that Kurdish units making up the coalition of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) could leave the areas of the border security zone that Ankara is attempting to create. The ceasefire has run out on October 22.