The Russian Military Police and the Turkish Armed Forces conducted a new joint exercise in the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib, Asharq Al-Awsat reported on September 22.
Citing reports in the Turkish media, the London-based newspaper said the exercise, which took place on September 21, was meant to improve coordination between Russian and Turkish troops participating in patrols on the M4 highway.
“The exercise included a training on communicating using specific signals between the soldiers taking part in the patrols, in order to coordinate between them in emergency situations, such as armed attacks on patrols,” the report reads.
This was the third such joint exercise. The first exercise took place in the town of Ternaba on August 31 and September 1. The second was held on September 5.
Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, revealed in a recent interview with al-Arabiya that joint patrols on the M4 had been suspended due to security concerns. He, however, noted that the joint patrols will be resumed once the situation is calm again.
Lavrov was likely referring to recent attacks on the joint Russian-Turkish patrols. Several Russian and Turkish soldiers were injured in these attacks.
Turkish forces carried out on September 23 a combing operation on the M4. The operation and the new joint exercise indicate that the joint Russian-Turkish patrols on the highway will be resumed soon.
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