MOSCOW, November 11. /TASS/. The Russian military police and the Turkish border service have concluded the fourth joint patrol in northeastern Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry informed on Monday.
"The Russian military police and the Turkish border service have concluded the fourth joint patrol of a new area of the Syrian-Turkish border in northeastern Syria," the message informed.
The ministry noted that the route covered about 80 kilometers. The patrol lasted for about two hours, with Russian and Turkish troops inspecting the situation in Syrian settlements.
About 50 troops from both states took part in the patrol. The patrol included Tigr and BTR-80 armored vehicles of the Russian military police and Kirpi armored vehicles of the Turkish border service, 8 units of military equipment in total.
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 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 US reached a deal with Turkey 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 ran out on October 22.
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 started to monitor the withdrawal of Kurdish military formations to the depth of 30 km from the border. On the outcomes of the agreement, Ankara stated that it had suspended its large-scale military operation in the area. However, Turkey retains control over the territories where it plans to relocate Syrian refugees in the future.
The deadline for the Kurdish forces to withdraw expired on October 29. Turkey and Russia began joint patrolling in northeastern Syria on November 1.