Turkey and Russia will carry out joint patrolling in northern Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi.
“Within 150 hours, the People’s Protection Units must leave the 30-kilometer zone. The countdown will begin tomorrow at 12:00. After the 150 hours run out, Turkey and Russia will begin joint patrolling of the area to the east and to the west of the Peace Spring operation zone,” Erdogan said.
According to Erdogan, joint patrolling will be carried out on the Syrian territories 10 kilometers away from the Turkish border.
The new Russian-Turkish agreements on patrolling Syrian territories require additional equipment and forces, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu commented.
The talks between Russian President Putin and his counterpart – Turkish President Erdogan lasted for over six hours. The Anadolu Agency lauded the agreement between Ankara and Moscow as historic.
Operation Peace Spring
Erdogan declared that the “Operation Peace Spring will neutralize terror threats against Turkey and lead to the establishment of a safe zone, facilitating the return of Syrian refugees to their homes,” adding that Ankara seeks to preserve Syria’s territorial integrity and liberate local communities from terrorists.
Turkey has already carried out two military operations in Syria – Operation Euphrates Shield and Operation Olive Branch. As a result, a buffer security zone was established between border towns of Azaz and Jarabulus, while the town of Afrin was occupied.
Meanwhile, the SDS (Syrian Democratic Forces) leadership threatened Ankara with the start of “total war” in the event that Turkey decides to intervene. According to SDS spokesman Mustafa Bali, the Kurds and their Arab allies are trying to maintain stability in the region, but they are ready to stop the Turkish aggression.
Kurdish sources indicate that the SDS formations are on alert against the background of “suspicious” actions by the Turkish military just a few hundred meters on the Turkish side of the border from the Kurdish-controlled Syrian city of Kobani (Ain al-Arab).
Turkey has a 911-kilometer border with Syria and it has long denounced the threat from terrorists east of the Euphrates and the formation of a “terrorist corridor” there. Turkey plans to resettle 2 million Syrians in a 19-mile (30-kilometer) wide safe zone to be set up in Syria, stretching from the Euphrates River to the Iraqi border, including Manbij.