Turkey, Russia begin joint patrols in northeast Syria

Turkey, Russia begin joint patrols in northeast Syria
© Getty Images

Russia and Turkey on Friday began jointly patrolling northeastern Syria after a deal that stopped Turkey's military offensive in the region and forced the withdrawal of Kurdish forces.

A starting patrol covered a 54 mile-long area and had the assistance of drones, the Turkish Defense Ministry said, according to The Associated Press

ADVERTISEMENT

"The first joint patrol was completed as planned,” the ministry reportedly said in a statement. 

Russia's defense ministry said nine military vehicles including a Russian armored personnel carrier were used, according to the AP.

The wire service reported that the two nations will patrol to the east and west of Turkey's activities in Syria. 

It also noted that Russian flags were seen after the patrol, although neither country's flag was flown during the action. A journalist with the AP who was near the Syria-Turkey border also reported seeing a Syrian flag on a building in Syria.

Turkey launched an offensive in Syria after President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Official testifies that Bolton had 'one-on-one meeting' with Trump over Ukraine aid Louisiana governor wins re-election MORE announced the withdrawal of U.S. troops last month. The White House move sparked bipartisan criticism, with lawmakers saying it put U.S. security and allies at risk.

The operation was halted during cease-fires to allow Syrian Kurdish forces to exit the area.