By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — Russia and Turkey carried out their first joint patrol along an east-west highway in northwest Syria on March 15, although the route was reportedly cut short due to militant activity.
The patrols along the M4 highway in Idlib Province are being conducted in keeping with a March 5 cease-fire accord between Russia and Syria, which back opposing sides in the Syrian conflict.
Under the deal a security corridor is to be established along either side of highway.
The Russian Defense Ministry said that the patrol was cut short due to militant activity, and said in a statement that Turkey would be given additional time “to take measures aimed at eliminating terrorist groups and ensuring the security of troops participating in joint patrols along the M4 highway.”
The Turkish Defense Ministry released images showing Russian and Turkish military vehicles traveling along the highway, and said the two sides “took necessary measures, with the aim of preventing potential provocations and harm to the civilian population in the region.