Russian forces conduct first patrol in northern Syria
Move follows deal between Turkish and Russian leaders during ‘historic’ meeting in Sochi
Russian military police carried out their first patrol in northern Syria Wednesday under a deal between Ankara and Moscow that requires PKK/YPG terrorists to withdraw from a planned safe zone.
"In accordance with the memorandum of the deal that was signed between Turkey and Russia in Sochi on Oct. 22, today, Russian military police patrolled the designated route in northern Syria for the first time," Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement.
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.
Ankara agreed with Washington on Oct. 17 to pause its operation to allow YPG/PKK terrorists to withdraw from the planned zone.
On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held a "historic" meeting in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi just hours before the pause was set to expire.
Ankara and Moscow reached a deal under which PKK/YPG terrorists will pull back 30 kilometers (19 miles) from 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 deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK.
*Writing by Fahri AksutAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.