Monday 11 November 2019

First joint patrol as Turks and Russians tighten grip on Kurds

Syria

Turkish and Russian patrol is seen near the town of Darbasiyah, Syria. Photo: Baderkhan Ahmad/AP
Turkish and Russian patrol is seen near the town of Darbasiyah, Syria. Photo: Baderkhan Ahmad/AP

Mehmet Guzel

Turkey and Russia have launched their first joint patrol in north-eastern Syria.

The move comes as part of a deal that halted a Turkish offensive against Syrian Kurdish fighters who were forced to withdraw from the border area following Ankara's incursion.

Turkey's defence ministry tweeted that the patrols started in the al-Darbasiyah region, involving Turkish and Russian troops, armoured vehicles and drones.

The patrols will cover two sections in the west and east of Turkey's operation zone, with a depth of 10km, and will exclude the city of Qamishli, according to a ministry statement.

The Turkish-Russian deal requires Syrian Kurdish fighters to pull back 30km from the Turkish border, which Russia says has been completed.

The joint patrols will determine whether that is the case and secure the area.

Irish Independent

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