Turkey's next area of activity will be east of the Euphrates, after the activities in Manbij, northern Syria, national defense minister said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the 38th meeting of the Turkish Defense Industry Council of Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) in central Kırıkkale province, Hulusi Akar said Turkey could not be insensitive to the problems near itself.
Recalling the Sept. 17 deal on Syria's Idlib province, signed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Akar said: "As a result of this, radicals and weapons in a 15-20 kilometer corridor were removed."
Ankara and Moscow also signed a memorandum of understanding calling for the "stabilization" of Idlib's de-escalation zone, in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
Under the deal, opposition groups in Idlib will remain in areas in which they are already present, while Russia and Turkey will conduct joint patrols in the area with a view to preventing renewed fighting.
"There will be [Turkish-Russian] joint patrols. So, a peace environment will be established and 3.5 million people will be able to live there," he said.
On the Manbij deal between Ankara and Washington, Akar said separate patrols were conducted until October.
"Then, there was a training process. It has been completed now, joint patrols will start anytime," he added.
He went onto say that the next steps would be withdrawal of YPG terrorists and heavy weapons from Manbij, and returning its administration to its residents.
The Manbij deal between Turkey and the U.S. focuses on the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from the city to stabilize the region, which is in the northeast of Aleppo province in northern Syria.