Turkeys Ministry of Defense confirmed on the 8th that the Turkish army launched armored vehicles from the southeastern border into northern Syria on the same day, carrying out ground patrols with the U.S. troops stationed there. According to the media of Turkey and the United States, this is the first joint patrol of ground forces of both sides in Syrias security zone.
Turkeys Ministry of Defense said in a statement that the Turkish and American forces began to patrol the security zone of Syria jointly, dispatching armored convoys, helicopters and UAVs to carry out tasks.
Turkish state media Anadolu news agency reported that six Turkish armored vehicles entered Syria on the 8th through the Turkish border town of Akchakale, and jointly patrolled with US military vehicles for the first time east of the Euphrates River.
Reuters reported that the U.S. and Turkish forces had carried out joint helicopter patrols in Syria, the ground patrol is still the first time.
Associated Press reporters in the Syrian border town of Taylor Abyed saw more than a dozen armored vehicles with Turkish flags entering Syria, US military vehicles waiting a kilometer or two away, at least one helicopter roaring in the air; the two sides then patrolled together, led by US military vehicles.
Sources said the Turkish side had previously complained to the US about a convoy of the two armies visiting a camp of Syrian Kurdish armed forces to check whether the latter had dismantled military bunkers as required.
In early August, Turkey and the United States reached an agreement on the establishment of a security zone in northeastern Syria. They agreed to set up a joint operation centre in Turkey to build the security zone into a peace corridor.
However, the two sides have so far failed to negotiate the details of the safe zone plan. The United States is negotiating separately with Turkish and Syrian Kurdish forces.
Turkey also offered to resettle 1 million Syrian refugees fleeing to Turkey in Syrias security zone. There are about 3.6 million Syrian refugees in Turkey.
Turkey has repeatedly expressed its dissatisfaction with the progress of the safe zone and urged the United States to implement it as soon as possible. Turkish President Regep Taip Erdogan said that Turkey was determined to build asafe zoneby the last week of September.
Erdogan threatened on May 5 that Turkey would be forced to allow Syrian refugees to travel to Europe without setting up a security zone in northeastern Syria as scheduled.
Turkey is the main pedal for many Middle East refugees and illegal immigrants to Europe. In order to stop the refugee flow, the European Union reached an agreement with Turkey on refugee resettlement in 2016. The European Union pledged to provide Turkey with funds in exchange for Turkeys restrictions on refugeesaccess to Europe through Turkey. The Turkish side complained many times that the funds were not all in place.
The idea of a safe zone was put forward by US President Donald Trump last year to create a buffer zone between Syrian Kurdish forces and Turkey, two US allies.
Syrian Kurdish armed forces are allies of the United States in its military operations against the extremist organization Islamic States, and are the main support targets of the United States in Syria. The Turkish government regards the Syrian Kurdish armed forces as a branch of the separatist forces in Turkey in Syria and classifies them as terrorist organizations. Tumei is tense because of this disagreement.
The Syrian Government condemns the military presence of the United States and Turkey in northern Syria as a violation of Syrian sovereignty. (Wang Hongbin) (Special Release of Xinhua News Agency)
Source: Xinhua responsible editor: Li Zaixing_NBJS9026