A Syrian protester was killed after a Turkish military vehicle ran him over on Friday as it drove through an angry crowd protesting a joint Turkish–Russian patrol in northeastern Syria, Kurdish forces and a Syria war monitoring group said.
The fatal incident reflects the increasingly complicated political geography in northern Syria in the wake of U.S. decision to pull its troops away from the border and redeploy them further south. The decision earlier this month was followed by a Turkish invasion in northeastern Syria and a series of deals between Turkey and Russia, as well as between the Syrian government in Damascus and U.S. allies, the Kurdish-led forces.
The Turkish Defense ministry said Friday’s joint patrol from the Syrian city of Qamishli city to the town of Derik “has been completed as planned with due care and attention to the safety of our personnel and the public against the provocateurs.” It said the patrols were being supported by drones.
The Russia-Turkey deal endorsed a cease-fire after Turkey’s invasion and establishment of a Turkey-administered stretch of land, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) long inside Syria. The deal also arranged for joint Turkish-Russian patrols on the flanks of the Turkey-controlled area and for Syrian Kurdish fighters to withdraw from border areas, Ankara’s key demand. Turkey considers Syria’s dominant Kurdish group an extension of its own Kurdish insurgency.
Moscow said Russian helicopters flew aerial patrols over the area for the first time on Thursday. Separately, Russia negotiated an arrangement that would allow Syrian government troops to deploy along the border.
Meanwhile, U.S. troops changed their focus to south of the border to secure oil bases, controlled by the Kurdish-led forces.
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