Units of the Russian Military Police and the Turkish military conducted on August 14 a joint patrol around the key city of Tell Rifaat in the northern Aleppo countryside, chief of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Sides in Syria announced.
“On August 14, 2019, from 12:00 to 12:40, the Russian and Turkish military police units jointly patrolled the Tell Rifaat deconfliction zone,” Maj. Gen. Alexei Bakin told reporters, according to the Russian news agency, TASS.
The Russian commander said that the joint patrol’s route ran between the villages of Herbol and Shaykh Issa, east of Tell Rifaat.
Tell Rifaat, one of the biggest urban centers in northern Aleppo, is jointly held by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA). Units of the Russian Military Police have been deployed near the city for more than two years now.
Last year, Russia and Turkey reached an initial agreement that would allow civilians to return to their houses in Tell Rifaat. While the agreement allows the deployment of Turkish forces near the town, Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups are supposed to stay away.
The agreement has never been fully put in action for unknown reasons. However, the new joint patrol signs that Russia and Turkey are planning to activate it.