Turkish soldiers haven’t joined Russians for patrols in Syria over the past two weeks, providing no reason for their absence, the head of Russia’s Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Sides in Syria, Major General Oleg Yegorov, said on Wednesday, Russian news agency TASS reported.
“Over the past two weeks, the Turkish side hasn’t participated in joint patrols, without providing a [reason] for the refusal,” Yegorov was quoted as saying.
The general said the provisions of the Russian-Turkish memorandum of understanding adopted on October 22, 2019 continue to be implemented.
Under the terms of the 2019 agreement, Russia, an ally of the Damascus regime, and Turkey agreed to ensure that Kurdish forces withdrew from areas in Syria close to the Turkish border and to conduct joint patrols.
Since 2016, Turkey has launched several incursions against Kurdish forces in northern Syria that have allowed it to control areas along the border.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said last week that Turkey was more determined than ever to secure its border with Syria from attacks by Kurdish fighters, threatening a ground operation “at the most convenient time.”
Kurdish-led forces in northern Syria have called on Russia to dissuade Turkey from launching a ground offensive against them, their commander said on Tuesday.
Russian troops deployed in some Kurdish-controlled border areas of northern Syria following the 2019 agreement.