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Free Syrian Army getting backup from Turkish-trained police

Turkey is shoring up the FSA's — and perhaps Ankara's — clout in Syria by providing newly schooled policemen to Aleppo province.
A member of the Free police, wearing a Turkish flag on his hat, attends a ceremony celebrating the inauguration of the "Free Police" in the Syrian border town of Jarablus January 24, 2017. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi - RTSX6LE

ALEPPO, Syria — Turkey has been training a police organization, the Free Syrian Police (FSP), to help out with secondary operations in Aleppo province so the Free Syrian Army (FSA) can focus on fighting and maintaining control of the areas it has captured.

“We are working on taking over all of the FSA military checkpoints at the city and town entrances, conducting regular patrols, promoting the role of the traffic police, managing the traffic and establishing an immediate-action rapid-deployment" team, FSP Lt. Col. Wael Fouad told Al-Monitor recently. His unit began operating this month in Azaz, in northern Aleppo near the Syria-Turkey border, after it completed 23 days of intensive training in Mersin, Turkey.

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