ANKARA 

Turkish and Russian military elements have carried out their 15th joint patrol along a key highway in Idlib, northwestern Syria, near the Turkish border, Turkey’s National Defense Ministry said on Thursday.

“Within the framework of TUR-RF Agreement/Protocol, the 15th TUR-RF Combined Land Patrol on M-4 Highway in Idlib was conducted with the participation of land and air elements,” the ministry said on Twitter.

The M4 highway, also known as the Aleppo-Al Hasakah road, is about 30 kilometers (19 miles) from Turkey’s southern border.

The fourteenth joint patrol was carried out Tuesday.

This March, Ankara and Moscow agreed on a protocol urging parties to “cease all military actions along the line of contact in the Idlib de-escalation area.”

The protocol said joint Turkish-Russian patrols would begin on March 15 along the M4 highway from the settlement of Trumba – 2 km (1.2 miles) west of Saraqib – to the settlement of Ain al-Havr.

Idlib has long been under siege by Assad regime forces and its allies, and previous cease-fires for the region were plagued by violations.

Turkey has worked to protect the local civilian population as well as rid the wider region of terrorist elements.

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