A Russian military police base on the outskirts of the Syrian city of Kobani (Ayn al-Arab) is located 2 km away from the border with Turkey, representative for the command of the Russian army in Syria Igor Seritsky told journalists.
“According to the reached agreements between President of the Russian Federation [Vladimir Putin] and President of the Republic of Turkey [Recep Tayyip Erdogan], the Russian military police units started patrols along the Syrian-Turkish border from the noon of October 23. The city of Ayn Al-Arab is located in the patrol zone, in particular, and our military policemen have never gone that far beyond the Euphrates. The base is located on the border crossing checkpoint, several kilometers away from Ayn al-Arab and two kilometers away from Turkish territory. Both the border itself and the city outskirts are well visible,” Seritsky said.
He noted that the base is located on dominant terrain. From this place, Russian military policemen and Syrian border guards will control the withdrawal of Kurdish units from the border zone.
Leader of the Kobani Military Council Ismat Sheikh Hassan, who had met a convoy of Russia’s Tigr armored vehicles that had arrived in Kobani, expressed readiness to offer support in all arising issues. “We understand the importance of your presence in this area and, of course, are ready to cooperate,” the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) representative affirmed.
The city of Kobani in the east of the Aleppo Governorate came under control of the Syrian government several days ago. The SDF forces used to control the city from January 2015 when Kurdish units and their allies had fought back militants of the terrorist organization Islamic State, that is outlawed in Russia.
The Kurds’ withdrawal is linked to the start of Operation Peace Spring by Turkey in northeastern Syria on October 9, the goal of which is to create a 30-km-wide buffer zone on Syrian territory along the common border.
The US, which backs the SDF, and Turkey agreed on October 17 to suspend the operation for 150 hours to make it possible for the Kurdish forces that constitute the majority of the Syrian Democratic Forces to leave the 30-km zone.
On the evening of October 23, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a conversation with Commander-in-Chief of the Syrian Democratic Forces Mazloum Abdi that civil residents in this zone do not need to leave their houses, as Russian and Syrian servicemen will guarantee their security.
The Russian Defense Ministry reported that Abdi thanked Russia and Putin for ensuring the Kurds’ security and “the steps that were taken for a ceasefire.”