A joint Russian-Turkish patrol scheduled for Monday in the area of Syrian Ain al-Arab has been cancelled due to the shooting of Turkish troops by Syrian government troops in Idlib, the Sabah newspaper reported.
The Turkish Defense Ministry earlier reported that six Turkish soldiers were killed when Syrian government forces fired on them in Idlib. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said his country will not leave unanswered the attacks by the SAR army.
According to the newspaper, head of the Defense Ministry Hulusi Akar inspects units of the Turkish Armed Forces on the Turkish-Syrian border.
According to an agreement reached in May 2017 during the negotiations in Astana (now Nur-Sultan) by representatives of Russia, Iran and Turkey, four de-escalation zones were created in Syria. The territory of three of these zones was placed under Damascus control in 2018. The fourth zone, located in the province of Idlib and parts of the neighbouring provinces of Latakia, Hama and Aleppo, remains outside the government’s control. However, most of it was captured by terrorists from Jabhat al-Nusra. In September 2018, Russia and Turkey agreed to establish a demilitarized zone in Idlib, where more than a dozen different formations are located.
On 22 October 2019, the Russian Federation and Turkey signed a memorandum of understanding on 10 points, in particular on the introduction on the Syrian side of the border with Turkey outside the zone of Turkish Operation “Source of Peace” of Russian military police units and Syrian border guards to facilitate the withdrawal of Kurdish detachments and their weapons 30 kilometres from the Syrian-Turkish border. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that the withdrawal of Kurds was completed ahead of schedule. After that, joint Russian-Turkish patrols began.Libyan crisis: what can be expected?