Russian President Vladimir Putin informed Syrian President Bashar Assad in a phone call about the provisions of the Russia-Turkey memorandum of understanding on actions in Syria following talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
“The head of the Russian state informed his Syrian counterpart about the outcome of the meeting [with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan], which lasted more than six hours, and outlined the main provisions of the memorandum of understanding agreed upon during the meeting,” Peskov said.
According to Peskov, the Russian president stressed that in the end, the main task is to restore the territorial integrity of Syria and to continue joint efforts on the political track, including the work within the framework of the Syrian Constitutional Committee.
Peskov added that Assad expressed support of the decisions taken during the Russia-Turkey summit in Sochi.
“President Assad thanked Vladimir Putin, and expressed his full support of the results of the work, as well as the readiness of the Syrian border guards to patrol the border together with the Russian military police,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with his Turkish counterpart President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Russia’s Black Sea resort city of Sochi. The two leaders reached an agreement on Syria during the six-hour talks.
According to the Russian and Turkish Presidents, the joint memorandum will allow to resolve a rather urgent situation that has developed on the Syrian-Turkish border.
The memorandum stipulates that Russian military police and Syrian border guards will facilitate the withdrawal of Kurdish militia from a 30-kilometer (18-mile) zone on the border with Turkey within 150 hours starting from Wednesday. Afterward, the Russian and Turkish forces will begin jointly patrolling the area to the west and the east of Ankara’s operation, except for the border city Qamishli.
On October 9, Turkish military forces and Ankara-backed militants launched a long-threatened cross-border invasion of northeast Syria in a declared attempt to push Kurdish fighters from the People’s Protection Units (YPG) away from border areas.
Ankara views the US-backed YPG as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984. The YPG constitutes the backbone of the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).