Russian and Turkish servicemen conducted the fifth joint patrol mission along the M4 highway linking the cities of Aleppo and Latakia in Syria’s Idlib governorate, the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Parties in Syria said on Tuesday.
The mission was conducted under the agreements between the Russian and Turkish presidents of March 5.
"The Russian side used two BTR-82A personnel carriers and a Tigr armored car. The joint Russian-Turkish convoy was backed by unmanned aerial vehicles of the Russian aerospace forces," it said, adding that the mission was controlled by the Joint Coordinating Center.
The first Russian-Turkish patrol mission along this section of the M4 highway in the Idlib de-escalation zone was conducted on March 15. Such missions were further conducted on March 23, April 8, and April 15, TASS reports.
The M4 highway is a major transport corridor linking Syria’s economic capital Aleppo with the country’s main port city of Latakia. Joint patrolling of the 12-kilometer zone along the highway is geared to ensure safe passage for civilian population and to facilitate reconstruction of the city of Aleppo that was severely damaged by militants.
Russian and Turkish Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, held talks in Moscow on March 5 to agree a ceasefire and a number of other measures to settle the situation in Syria’s Idlib governorate. Under the agreements, hostilities are to be stopped along the entire contact line along with the enforcement of a ceasefire on March 6. Russia and Turkey will begin joint patrolling along the M4 highway from March 15 to ensure a security corridor. Moscow and Ankara reiterated commitment to Syria’s sovereignty and agreed to continue fight against terrorism.
The Russian reconciliation center continues to fulfill assigned tasks after the completion of the military campaign in Syria. The center’s officers regularly travel around the country's liberated areas to assess the humanitarian situation. The main efforts of the Russian military are now focused on assistance to the refugees returning to their homes and evacuation of civilians from de-escalation zones.