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Armed Turkish military vehicles crossed into Syria, Sunday, September 8, alongside U.S. counterparts to begin planned joint patrols in a “safe zone” along a border region controlled by Kurdish forces.
READ MORE: Turkish and U.S. troops conducted their first joint ground patrol in northeastern Syria Sunday as part of a so-called “safe zone” that Ankara has been pressing for in the volatile region.
Turkey hopes the buffer zone, which it says should be at least 30 kilometers (19 miles) deep, will keep Syrian Kurdish fighters away from its border. Turkey considers these Kurdish militias a threat, but they’ve also been key U.S. allies in the fight against the Islamic State group. So far, the Kurdish-led forces have withdrawn 14 kilometers (nine miles) only. The depth of the zone, as well as who will control it, is still being worked out.