ANKARA

18 people, alleged to be Syrian regime’s elements, were captured alive in Syria’s Ras al-Ayn, Turkey’s Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.

During the search in the southeastern region of Ras al-Ayn, 18 persons, claimed to be elements of Syrian regime, were held alive, the ministry said on Twitter.

The ministry added that the incident is being examined in coordination with authorities of Russia.

On Oct. 9, Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate 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.

On Oct. 22, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held a meeting in Russia’s Black Sea resort town of Sochi.

Ankara and Moscow reached a deal under which YPG/PKK terrorists will pull back 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) south of Turkey’s border with northern Syria within 150 hours, and security forces from Turkey and Russia will conduct 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 the European Union — has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK.

Read more: Syria: 18 people captured alive in Ras al-Ayn