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Turkish and US troops embarked on Friday for a third joint ground patrol of a planned security zone in northeastern Syria, said Turkish Defense Ministry.

The military of Turkey and the US are conducting a third ground patrol as part of the creation of a security zone east of the Euphrates River in Syria, and units of military equipment and UAVs are taking part in it, the military department said.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan announced the republic’s intentions to act independently in the framework of creating a security zone, and also announced the possibility of suddenly entering Syria for these purposes.

The first ground patrolling of the military of the two countries was carried out on September 8. The Syrian MFA on that day regarded these actions as aggression aimed at prolonging the crisis in the Arab Republic.

The military of Turkey and the US on August 7 agreed to establish a joint operations center in Syria. On August 12, the first group of US troops arrived in the Turkish city of Sanliurfa, 50 km from the border with Syria, to work in this structure. The center was organized by two countries to implement a plan to create a buffer zone in northern Syria, where Syrian refugees could return from Turkey and which would become a protective belt for the Turkish border. Ankara insists that control over the planned security zone should be provided exclusively by the Armed Forces of the republic.

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