Turkish and Russian troops on Wednesday held their 22nd joint patrol along the key M4 highway in Idlib, northwestern Syria, said Turkey’s National Defense Ministry.
“According to the Turkey-Russian Federation Agreement/Protocol; 22nd TUR-RF Combined Land Patrol on M-4 Highway in Idlib, comprising the entire route between Trumbah and Ayn Al Havr, 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.
On July 14, the 21st patrol was carried out. During the patrol, a terrorist explosive hit Turkish and Russian vehicles, causing damage but no casualties.
There was no loss of life but two vehicles in the convoy suffered partial damage, the ministry said following the incident.
The terrorist group was not named, but the YPG/PKK has been active in the region.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US 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.
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 kilometers (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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