Turkey, Russia hold eighth joint patrol in N Syria

Turkey, Russia hold eighth joint patrol in N Syria

Turkey, Russia hold eighth joint patrol in N Syria

Turkey and Russia have completed their eighth joint patrol in northeastern Syria, the Turkish Defense Ministry has announced.

“Turkish and Russian units completed their eighth joint land patrol according to a plan with the participation of UAVs east of the Euphrates,” read the statement issued by the ministry on Nov. 18.

“In the Ayn al-Arab region where the land patrol was conducted, UAVs also took part and were accompanied by four vehicles from each side, totaling eight. Turkish and Russian units patrolled an area of 34 km of length and 10 km of depth,” it added, using another name of the city of Kobane.

The two countries begun joint land patrols on Nov. 1, following an Oct. 22 deal between Turkey and Russia over the former’s “Operation Peace Spring” against the presence of the YPG troops across its borders.

Russian troops accompanied with the Syrian border guards have filled the void left by the withdrawal of the U.S. troops in northeastern Syria except for around a 120-kilometer-long strip of the border between Tal Abyad and Ras ul-Ayn. Turkey and Russia conduct joint patrols in areas outside this region under the control of the Turkish troops along with the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

YPG hands over base to Russia

In the meantime, Russian troops were deployed to a base which has been abandoned by the U.S. at the Tijrin Dam on Euphrates, Anadolu Agency reported on Nov 18.

Footage acquired by the agency features the arrival of a Russian military convoy at the base. It also shows that a handover ceremony has taken place at the base, as Şervan Derviş, a member of the YPG, and a Russian commander have exchanged flags.

The base was under the control of the U.S. troops since January 2016. The dam was controlled by the YPG since December 2015.

Last week, Russian troops were deployed to two different bases in the province of Ayn al-Arab while expanding an air base near Qamishli province near the Iraqi border.