ANKARA, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) -- Turkey and Russia on Monday started their fourth joint patrol in northern Syria in al-Darbasiyah region, as part of a deal that stipulates the withdrawal of Syrian Kurdish militia away from Turkey's border.
"The fourth joint land patrol between Turkish and Russian units has begun in the al-Darbasiyah region east of the Euphrates River with unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) support as part of the agreement made in Sochi on 22 October 2019," said a Turkish Defense Ministry statement.
Turkish and Russian troops previously held joint patrols in the east of Ayn al-Arab and west of Tal Abyad districts, between cities Qamishli and Derik, and in al- Darbasiyah region in a bid to monitor the withdrawal of the Syrian Kurdish fighters.
The patrols are part of a memorandum between Ankara and Moscow to remove fighters of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) 30 km from the Turkish border.
Ankara sees the YPG as the Syrian offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
On Oct. 9, Turkey launched a military incursion, named Operation Peace Spring, into northern Syria in a bid to drive Kurdish fighters out of the border region, following the pullout of U.S. troops.
The U.S. reached a deal with Turkey on Oct. 17, imposing a five-day cease-fire to allow the Kurdish forces to pull back from the planned "safe zone" that Turkey wants to create in northern Syria to ensure its border security.
On Oct. 22, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held a meeting in Sochi, Russia, agreeing on the pullout of the YPG fighters to 30 km south of Turkey's border within 150 hours and the launch of joint patrols between Turkish and Russian soldiers 10 km from the Turkish border in an agreed region that excludes the city of Qamishli.