Turkish, Russian troops complete 8th patrol in northern Syria

Reuters photo

Turkish and Russian troops have completed the eighth round of joint ground patrols in northern Syria under a deal reached last month.

"In the Ayn al-Arab region where the land patrol was conducted, UAVs also took part and were accompanied by four vehicles from each side totalling eight," Turkey's National Defense Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

The statement also said that the patrol took place 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from Turkey's border and stretched 34 km (21.1 mi).

The first joint ground patrols, on Nov. 1, took place near Ras al-Ayn and Qamishli regions east of the Euphrates River

On Saturday, the seventh patrols were carried out in the Qamishli and Derik regions.

Turkey on Oct. 9 launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate YPG/PKK terrorists from northern Syria in order to secure Turkey's borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria's territorial integrity.

Ankara wants YPG/PKK terrorists to withdraw from the region so a safe zone can be created to pave the way for the safe return of some 2 million refugees.

On Oct. 22, Ankara and Moscow reached a deal under which YPG/PKK terrorists would pull back 30 km (18.6 mi) south of Turkey's border with Syria, and security forces from Turkey and Russia will mount 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 the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the PKK's Syrian offshoot.

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