Turkish, Russian joint patrols to start in Syria safe zone

Turkish, Russian joint patrols to start in Syria safe zone

Turkish, Russian joint patrols to start in Syria safe zone

Turkey and Russia will start joint military patrols in the safe zone area in Syria, Turkey’s national defense minister said on Oct. 29.

Turkey and Russia will soon conduct joint military patrols in the safe zone in Syria, Hulusi Akar said.

Russia announces 'full implementation' of Syria deal
Russia announces full implementation of Syria deal

The intended joint military patrols were planned in a meeting held between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin where also a deal on northern Syria was made on Oct. 22.

Under the Turkish-Russian deal, the YPG had 150 hours, started at noon on Oct. 23, to withdraw from almost the entire northeastern border of Syria, from the Euphrates river to the Iraqi border.

Russia and the Syrian regime’s forces would move in to ensure that the YPG pulls back 30 kilometers (about 20 miles) from the border. The 150-hour timespan expired on Oct. 29.

Russia informed Turkish authorities that terrorists withdrew from northern Syria,  Erdoğan said on Oct. 29.

After the finalization of the withdrawal, joint Turkish-Russian patrols would begin along a 10-kilometer-(roughly 6 miles) wide strip of the border.

The only exception for the joint patrol will be the Qamishli town at the far-eastern end of the border.

Turkey, Russia discuss implementing Syria deal on ground

Turkish and Russian military delegations discussed the implementation of the Sochi agreement on Syria on the ground, Turkey's Defense Ministry said on Oct. 30.

“Turkish and Russian military delegations discussed tactical and technical aspects of the implementation of the agreement in field,” the ministry said in a statement.

The mutual negotiations -- held between Oct. 28-30 in Ankara, Turkey's capital, to plan the military activities under the Oct. 22 Sochi deal -- completed, according to the ministry.

Describing the negotiations “positive and constructive,” the ministry said, “the coordination will continue,” it added.

Russian military police carried out their first patrol in northern Syria on Oct. 23 under a deal between Ankara and Moscow that requires PKK/YPG terrorists to withdraw from a planned safe zone.

On Oct. 25, Russia has sent hundreds of additional troops to Syria to help patrol the country’s Turkey-Syria border after a deal between Moscow and Ankara, the Russian Defense Ministry had said.

The ministry said that about 300 military police have arrived in Syria to patrol the northeastern areas along the border with Turkey and oversee the pullout of the YPG/PKK terrorist organization.

Military cargo planes also airlifted armored vehicles for the mission, the ministry's statement said.

The military police, who arrived from the Russian region of Chechnya, will work to ensure the safety of the population and help the YPG withdraw to a line 30 kilometers from the border, Moscow said.

Troops from Chechnya, known for their fierce warrior spirit, have regularly been sent to Syria on rotation bases in recent years.

The Russian military did not release the total number of its contingent in Syria, and it did not say on Oct. 25 how many troops will be involved in the patrol mission on the Turkish border.

Russia had delivered dozens of armored vehicles to the Khmeimim Air Base that it controls in Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Oct. 26.