KOBANI, Syria (North Press) – Angry crowds in the countryside of Syria’s Kurdish northern town of Kobani intercepted a Russian-Turkish joint patrol and threw stones at the Turkish military vehicles., local sources said on Thursday.
Near Kobani, crowds pelted passing Turkish armored vehicles of the patrol with stones from a roadside and chanted slogans, footage from North Press Agency showed.
The patrol was launched 20 km (12 miles) west of Kobani, a Syrian border town of special significance to the YPG, which fought off Islamic State militants trying to seize it in 2014-15 in one of the fiercest battles of the Syrian war.
The patrol conducted in the villages of Gargali Fawqani and Chebna near Kobani is the twenty-third one between Russia and Turkey in the region, since Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish Recep Tayyip Erdogan on October 22, 2019 reached an agreement included conducting joint patrols in Northeastern Syria at 10 km deep, excluding the city of Qamishli.
Russia is the Syrian government’s most powerful ally and since 2015 has helped it retake much of the country from rebels, turning the tide in the civil war. The Turkish-Russian deal enabled Syrian government forces to move back into border regions from which they had been absent for years.
Turkey launched its offensive against the Syrian Democratic Forces, spearhead by the Kurdish People Protection Units (YPG) following the President Donald Trump’s abrupt withdrawal of about 1,000 U.S. troops from northern Syria in early October.
Last week, the Russian military police had conducted the 22nd joint patrol with Turkey in the western Kobani countryside.
(Reporting by Fattah Issa: Editing by Hisham Arafat)