Middle East, Asia - Pacific

Russia announces 'full implementation' of Syria deal

Russian military police, Syrian border guards entered safe corridor on Syrian-Turkish border

Elena Teslova   | 29.10.2019
Russia announces 'full implementation' of Syria deal File Photo - Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation Army General Sergey Shoygu makes a speech during the opening of the Conference at the VII Moscow Conference on International Security in Moscow, Russia on April 04, 2018. ( Sefa Karacan - Anadolu Agency )

MOSCOW

The deal reached between Turkey and Russia regarding Syria is proceeding smoothly, Russia’s defense minister said Tuesday.

Sergey Shoigu announced the "full implementation" of the Russian-Turkish memorandum at a meeting with his Armenian counterpart David Tonoyan in the capital Yerevan.

"The withdrawal of armed units from the territory where the safe corridor is to be created has been completed ahead of schedule. Both Syrian border guards and our military police went there," Shoigu said.

He also praised the experience the Russian military gained in Syria, especially in mine removal.

In a statement following Shoigu's announcement, the Defense Ministry specified that as of Oct. 29, 68 PKK/YPG units totaling 34,000 personnel and more than 3,000 units of weapons and military equipment had been pulled back 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) from the contact line with the Turkish Armed Forces.

The ministry said Syrian border guards have organized 84 border checkpoints -- 60 in Qamishli and 24 in Kobani.

Russian military police continue their patrols which began Oct. 23 in the 10-kilometer security zone on the Jerablus-Quran, Qamishli-Fakir and Qamishli-Simalka routes, it added.

The Turkish side is informed on a daily basis about all actions carried out by the Russian side and Syrian armed forces, it said.

On Oct. 9, Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity. 

Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held a meeting in Russia's Black Sea resort town of Sochi. 

Ankara and Moscow reached a deal under which YPG/PKK terrorists will pull back 30 kilometers south of Turkey’s border with northern Syria within 150 hours and security forces from Turkey and Russia will conduct joint patrols there. 

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union -- has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK.

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