The joint patrolling of northern Syria by Russia and Turkey was called off on Monday, the the TV channel NTV reported, without mentioning their sources.
The patrolling was meant to be carried out in the vicinity of the city of Ayn al-Arab (Kobane) in northern Syria, on the border with Turkey. The reports did not state why the patrol had been canceled.
The patrolling was canceled after Turkish soldiers were shelled in Idlib by Syrian forces. According to the Turkish Defense Ministry, six people were killed in the attack. In response, Turkey bombarded the Syrian army’s position. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that 30 to 35 Syrian soldiers had been “neutralized during the operation”.
Previously the Russian Defense Ministry explained that the situation arose because Turkey had not warned Russia about the movements it was planning to make through the region. Ankara is opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and does not maintain contact with him, and so instead Turkey exchanges information with Russia about its activities in Syria. Both parties are acting as guarantors of security in the country.
At the start of October, Turkey began its so-called “Peace Spring Operation” against the Kurdish armed groups in northern Syria, which it considers terrorists. In mid October during talks in Sochi on the Syrian conflict, Putin and Erdogan signed a memorandum, according to which Turkey would cease its operation. The document also proposed a number of steps for establishing peace in northern Syria. In particular, Russia and Turkey agreed to start joint patrols in the region. The patrol area included Ayn al-Arab (Kobane).