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Additional Russian military police arrive in Syria for border patrols

Some 300 Russian military police have arrived in Syria to patrol the flashpoint Syrian-Turkish frontier, the defense ministry said on Friday.

The military police, who arrived from the Russian region of Chechnya, will work to ensure the safety of the population and help Kurdish forces withdraw to a line 30 km (18 miles) from the border, Moscow said.

More than 20 armored vehicles were also sent to Syria to help carry out the tasks, the defense ministry said in a statement.

This week Russia and Turkey signed a deal that will see Russian military police and Syrian border guards “facilitate the removal” of Syrian Democratic Forces from within 30 km of the border.

The Turkey-Russia agreement was reached after marathon talks between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Tuesday.

Russian military police conducted the first patrols on Wednesday.

The deal follows the decision by President Donald Trump to pull American troops who were allied with the SDF, the U.S.-led Coalition’s main partner in Syria against Islamic State, and Turkey’s subsequent launch of Operation Peace Spring with rebels fighting to push the SDF and its component People’s Protection Units out of the northeast Syria border area.

With reporting from AFP

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