Russia says Turkey stopped joint patrols in Syria

Russia says Turkey stopped joint patrols in Syria
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Russian general Oleg Yegorov said that Turkish troops failed to show up for the last two weeks in joint patrols conducted in Northern Syria

Turkish troops in Syria have not joined Russians for patrols in Syria over the past two weeks, providing no reason for not showing up, Head of Russia's Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Sides in Syria Major General Oleg Yegorov said on Wednesday.

The Russian general’s remarks came as tensions escalated with Turkey ramping up rhetoric for a ground invasion in Northern Syria.

"Over the past two weeks, the Turkish side hasn’t participated in joint patrols, without providing a motive for the refusal," he said.

Still, the general said the provisions of the Russian-Turkish memorandum of understanding adopted on October 22, 2019 continues to be implemented.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan earlier said that Russia was unable to fulfill its obligations to keep Kurdish militants away, as agreed in the memorandum.

Middle East Eye on Friday reported that Turkey was seeking a deal with Russia to remove the YPG (Peoples’ Protective Units) from the Northern Syrian city of Tal Rifaat, 15 kilometers south of its borders in the coming days.

According to a “reliable SOHR source,” the Russians demanded the withdrawal of SDF combat forces from the centres of the two cities and the deployment of more troops of the Internal Security Forces (Asayish) instead, as well as maintaining Russian and regime troops in the surrounding areas of Manbij and Ain Al-Arab.