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Syria's new national security force pledges loyalty to Turkey

A video of a new police force in Syria trained and equipped by Turkey shows the troops chanting Islamist and nationalist slogans, casting doubt about Ankara's claims that it has no designs on its former Ottoman dominion.
Members of the Free police attend a ceremony celebrating the inauguration of the "Free Police" in the Syrian border town of Jarablus January 24, 2017. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi - RTSX6LA

When Turkey intervened in northern Syria five months ago, it claimed it had no designs on its former Ottoman dominion and that its only goals were to cleanse its borders of the Islamic State and to eliminate what it called the terrorist threat posed by the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the US-allied Kurdish militia that is paradoxically the most effective force against the jihadis.

But Syrians who saw a video of a new police force trained and equipped by Turkey might very well think otherwise.

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