Turkey And Russia Launch First Joint Patrol In Syria

Armoured vehicles and drones are being used in the operation, Turkey's defence ministry has said.

Library image of Turkish army tanks on a military offensive into northern Syria on October 10 (Picture: PA).

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

It is part of a deal designed to stop Turkey's offensive against Syrian Kurdish fighters in the northern border region.

Last month, President Trump decided to pull American troops out of northern Syria, paving the way for Turkey to launch a military offensive against Kurdish-led forces.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces had previously worked with the United States in the fight against so-called Islamic State.

Turkey's defence ministry now says it is working with Russian forces in the border region and using armoured vehicles and drones as part of the operation.

It added that the patrols will cover a depth of six miles in the al-Darbasiyah area, over two sections in the west and east of Turkey's operating zone.

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (Picture: PA).
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands on Syrian deal (Picture: PA images).

It will, however, exclude the city of Qamishli.

The agreement requires Syrian Kurdish fighters to pull back 19 miles from the border with Turkey, which Russia says has been done.

President Erdogan has previously said he plans to create a zone extending more than 20 miles into Syria where he plans to resettle up to two million Syrian refugees that are currently in Turkey.