Russian military police are expanding the patrol area in northern Syria and the Sirrin air base, recently abandoned by the US military, has become one of control points, a Russian military police officer, Safar Safarov, told reporters on Thursday.
"Since the Americans’ departure, the entire territory of Manbij and an adjacent area have been in our responsibility zone. Special attention is paid to the forefront…We also face the task of escorting all convoys passing through Manbij at any time of the day," TASS quoted Safarov as saying.
Speaking on the Sirrin base, to the south of Kobani, an airfield commander told reporters that now engineering and maintenance works were underway there to accommodate personnel. "We are planning to house more people here if the senior command issues this order," he added.
A 2-km runway is intact at the air base, thus enabling Russian Aerospace Defense Forces’ helicopters to depart from there for patrol missions in northern Syria. If necessary, an aviation command could be located at the base. A convoy of special equipment arrived from Hmeymim several days ago and pilots have been accommodated in a separate building.
On October 22, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a memorandum on joint actions in northeastern Syria at a meeting in Sochi. The document envisaged that Russian military police and Syrian border guards would enter the Syrian side of the Turkish-Syrian border to facilitate the removal of Kurdish units and their weapons to the depth of 30 kilometers from the Turkish-Syrian border. The Kurds were given 150 hours to complete the process. On November 1, Russia and Turkey began joint patrols east of the Euphrates River in Syria.