Turkey, U.S. hold 2nd land patrol in safe zone area
ANKARA, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- U.S. and Turkish troops held the second joint land patrol on Tuesday in the planned safe zone in northern Syria, Turkey's Defense Ministry said.
"Turkish Armed Forces and U.S. personnel started the second joint land patrol with the participation of land vehicles and UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) on the Syrian side in the south of Akcakale, within the scope of safe zone establishment activities in the north of Syria and east of Euphrates," said the ministry on its Twitter account on Tuesday.
On Aug. 7, Turkish and U.S. officials agreed to set up a safe zone and develop a "peace corridor" in northern Syria which would address Ankara's security concerns about a Kurdish faction that controls the territory.
The deal envisages withdrawal of the People's Protection Units (YPG) towards the south of the safe zone. The safe zone would also facilitate the return of displaced Syrians currently living in Turkey to their home country.
Turkish drones have started operating in northern Syria as part of the agreement. The military officials from the two NATO allies also established a joint operation center in Akcakale on Aug. 29. Turkey and the U.S. held the fourth joint flight on Monday over the planned safe zone.