“The thirteenth joint land patrol between Turkish and Russian units has been completed with UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] support in the eastern Euphrates as according to plan. A total of eight vehicles comprising of four from each side participated in the thirteenth joint land patrol along with UAVs in the Ayn al Arab sector,” the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Turkish and Russian units patrolled an area of 56 km [34.7-mile] length and 7 km [4.3-mile] depth,” the statement added.
The first joint ground patrols, on Nov. 1, took place near Ras al-Ayn and Qamishli regions east of the Euphrates River.
The 12th patrol was carried out in Qamishli and Derek regions on Nov. 30.
Turkey on Oct. 9 launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate YPG/PKK terrorists from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.
Ankara wants YPG/PKK terrorists to withdraw from the region so a safe zone can be created to pave the way for the safe return of some two million refugees.
On Oct. 22, Ankara and Moscow reached a deal under which YPG/PKK terrorists would pull back 30 km (18.6 mi) south of Turkey’s border with Syria, and security forces from Turkey and Russia would mount joint patrols there.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the PKK's Syrian offshoot.