ANKARA

Turkish and Russian forces conducted the seventh joint patrol along a key highway in northwestern Syria, Turkey’s National Defense Ministry said Thursday.

“Within the framework of TUR-RF Agreement/Protocol, the 7th 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 sixth joint patrol was carried out on Tuesday.

Last month, 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” starting on March 6.

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) to the 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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