Turkey's National Defence Ministry says efforts continue without delay for establishment of safe zone in northern Syria.

A photo taken from Turkey's Sanliurfa province shows the armoured vehicles and helicopters as Turkey, US start first joint ground patrols as part of efforts to establish safe zone east of Euphrates in Syria on September 08, 2019.
A photo taken from Turkey's Sanliurfa province shows the armoured vehicles and helicopters as Turkey, US start first joint ground patrols as part of efforts to establish safe zone east of Euphrates in Syria on September 08, 2019. (AA)

Turkey and the US military personnel completed the first joint ground patrol as planned for establishment of a safe zone east of Euphrates in Syria, Turkish National defence ministry said on Sunday. 

For the establishment of safe zone east of Euphrates in northern Syria, Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and the US personnel conducted the first joint ground patrol as planned, the ministry said on Twitter. 

The first joint ground patrol consisted of two phases, organisation and operation. 

After organising the patrol plan, the forces headed to Tal Abyad, Syria, located some 25 km (15.5 miles) west.

Following observations, the joint convoy proceeded to the south. The patrol started at around 10 am (GMT 0700) and was completed after three hours. 

The patrol was also supported by unmanned aerial vehicles and helicopters. 

'Joint patrols will continue'

Turkey-US joint patrols will continue in the coming days to stick to the schedule for establishment of Syria safe zone, Turkey’s National Defence Ministry said Sunday.

“Land and air joint patrols will continue in the coming days in order to supervise the activities for the establishment of the safe zone with care and precision, to observe the practices in the field and to proceed in accordance with the schedule,” the statement read.

It also added the joint efforts are ongoing without any delay to destroy terrorist shelters, to collect their heavy weapons, to ensure necessary conditions for withdrawal of the terrorists and return of Syrians to the area in the aftermath.

TRT World's Yusuf Erim explains the significance of establishing a safe zone in northern Syria.

On August 7, Turkish and US military officials agreed to set up a safe zone in northern Syria and develop a peace corridor to facilitate the movement of displaced Syrians who want to return home. 

They also agreed to establish a joint operations centre. 

A six-member US team arrived in Turkey's southeast on August 12 in preparations for the centre. 

The agreement also envisaged setting up necessary security measures to address Turkey's security concerns, including clearing the zone of the terrorist YPG/PKK, a group the US has sometimes been allied with, over Turkey's objections. 

The YPG/PKK is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terror group, which for more than 30 years has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people in Turkey, including many children, women, and infants. 

Source: TRTWorld and agencies