Turkey, Russia hold sixth round of joint patrols in northern Syria
“Turkish and Russian units accompanied by UAVs completed the sixth joint land patrol in the east of the Euphrates as planned,” said the Defense Ministry in a written statement.
“In the sixth land patrol carried out in the Darbasiyah region, four vehicles from each side constituting a total of eight was joined by UAVs. Turkish and Russian units completed the patrol in an area of 45 kilometers of length and 8.9 km of depth,” read the statement.
Turkey on Oct. 9 launched “Operation Peace Spring” to eliminate the YPG from northern Syria in order to “secure Turkey’s borders, aid the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.”
Ankara wants the YPG 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.
On Oct. 22, Ankara and Moscow reached a deal under which the YPG will pull back 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) south of Turkey’s border with Syria, and security forces from Turkey and Russia will mount joint patrols there.
In more than 30 years of clashes between Turkey and the PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union and which Ankara says has organic ties with the YPG, 40,000 people have died, including civilians.