Turkey, U.S. start joint land patrol in northern Syria's safe zone

Source: Xinhua| 2019-09-08 19:00:12|Editor: xuxin
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ANKARA, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- Turkey and the United States on Sunday kicked off joint land patrol in the safe zone in northern Syria accompanied with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), said Turkish Defense Ministry.

"TSK [Turkish Armed Forces] and U.S. personnel started their first joint land patrol within the scope of safe zone facility activities in the north of Syria and east of the Euphrates with the participation of land vehicles and UAVs on the Syrian side in the south of Akcakale [district of Turkey]," the ministry stated on its Twitter account.

The joint patrols are part of an agreement reached on Aug. 7 between the two NATO allies to set up a safe zone and develop a "peace corridor" in northern Syria which would address Ankara's security concerns about a Kurdish faction that controls the territory.

The deal envisages withdrawal of the People's Protection Units towards the south of the safe zone. The safe zone would also facilitate the return of displaced Syrians currently living in Turkey to their home country.

Turkish drones have already started operating in northern Syria as part of the agreement. The military officials from the two countries also established a joint operation center in Akcakale on Aug. 29.