November 01, 2019
- The patrols will begin in Al-Darbasiyah area
Russia has earlier patrolled the area with Kurdish forces. (File/AFP)
KIZILTEPE, Turkey – Turkish troops on Friday began joint patrols with Russian forces in northern Syria as part of a deal to ensure the withdrawal of Kurdish fighters from the border, an AFP journalist reported.
The patrols began at around midday (0900 GMT) in a village in the Al-Darbasiyah region, the journalist reported from the Turkish side of the border where government officials had invited reporters to witness the event.
The soldiers headed to the east of Al-Darbasiyah in around a dozen Turkish and Russian military vehicles to patrol a strip of territory several dozen kilometers long, according to Turkish military sources.
Also on Friday, the Turkish defense ministry said in a tweet that a meeting with a Russian military delegation was planned in Ankara to discuss “tactical and technical issues.”
Kurdish forces were given a 150-hour deadline to withdraw from a band of territory along the border, under an agreement hammered out in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi last week after Turkey’s cross-border offensive into Syria.
The deadline expired on Tuesday evening.
As a result of the Sochi deal and another pact with the US reached a few days earlier, Turkey halted the offensive it had launched against Kurdish forces on October 9.