BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:50 A.M.) – The Turkish and Russian armed forces began their first joint patrol in northern Aleppo this week after reaching an agreement about one of the key towns in the area.
According to a military source in northern Aleppo, the Russian and Turkish armed forces patrolled the area around the town of Tal Rifa’at in order to ensure the security of this region.
While the Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG) do possess a presence in the area, the Turkish military did not reach any of the areas that are currently under their control between Tal Rifa’at and Mennagh.
Furthermore, both the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Free Syrian Army (FSA) were also absent during the patrols; this is due to the recent agreement which called on them to withdraw from the Aleppo-Gaziantep Highway.
The purpose of these joint Russian-Turkish military patrols is to prepare for the reopening of the Aleppo-Gaziantep Highway, which is scheduled to be opened to the public in the coming months.
For the Syrian Arab Republic, the reopening of the Aleppo-Gaziantep Highway will provide a major boost for their economy as Aleppo has historically been a key economic hub for trade between both Syria and Turkey.