Turkey, Russia carry out most extensive joint patrol in Syria

Turkish and Russian forces have carried out their longest joint patrol in northern Syria to date, pan-Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat reported on Sunday.

Russian forces and their Turkish counterparts carried out the patrol for over 100 km in northeastern Syria, into the al-Qamishli district of al-Hasakah, it said, citing the Russian defence ministry.

The joint patrols are part of the ceasefire agreement made in March 2020 by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to end fighting in Idlib between Turkish-backed rebel forces and the Syrian military, which is backed by Russia.

“The uniqueness of this patrol is the long distance of the route, as it included a large number of towns,” Asharq Al-Awsat cited Commander of the Russian forces convoy, Brigadier General Andrei Titov, as saying.

Meanwhile, Turkish border guards detected a tunnel dug from Syria to Turkey, state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Saturday, citing the defence ministry.

The approximately 100-metre-long tunnel between the Turkish border province of Hatay and the northern Syrian village of Atmeh in Idlib has been destroyed by Turkish troops, the agency said.