Turkey in talks with Russia on handing over 18 Syrian soldiers: ministry

Fighters take part in an obligatory nine month training to join the Autonomous Protection Forces (APF) at a training camp in the northern Syrian town of Rmeilane on March 24, 2016. - The commander-in-chief of the APF says thousands of Kurdish, Arab and Syriac Christian men between the ages of 18 and 30 have completed the compulsory training to joing the APF. For the first two months, conscripts are taught military structure and tactics, and then have lessons on human rights and interaction with civilians. Three stages of training are led by the powerful People's Protection Units (YPG), the military arm of the leading Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD). (Photo by DELIL SOULEIMAN / AFP) / TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY DELIL SOULEIMAN

Turkey is in talks with Russia to hand over 18 people believed to be members of the Syrian government forces who were captured near the northern Syrian town of Ras Al Ain, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Thursday, according to Reuters.

Turkey’s Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that 18 people had been captured near Ras al Ain, which Turkey targeted in its offensive, and added that the issue was being coordinated with Russian officials.

Earlier on Tuesday Turkey-backed Syrian rebels said they had arrested an undisclosed number of Syrian army soldiers near Tel Hawa, in the Ras al Ain countryside.

On Oct. 9 Turkey launched an offensive against Kurdish militia in northeastern Syria. The operation was halted after the government struck a deal with Russia.

Turkish Minute


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