Turkey-trained local police take over office in Syria’s Tel Abyad

A 420-member local police force has started operating in the north Syrian town of Tel Abyad, after one month of training in Turkey, Demirören News Agency reported.

Tel Abyad was seized by the Turkish military and Turkish-backed Syrian rebels during a nine-day military operation in October against Kurdish militia that ended when Turkey made separate agreements with the United States and Russia.

The Turkish government last month appointed new governors to Tel Abyad and Ras al Ayn, two Syrian towns marking the eastern and western borders of a 120-km-long Turkish-controlled zone in northern Syria. 

Abdullah Erin, the governor of Turkey’s southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, said last month that Turkish security forces would start training 1,800 Syrian men to take over law enforcement duties in the zone and that, following the training of a second group, the total police for in the area would increase to between 3,500 and 4,000 officers.

The 420 Syrians who deployed to Tel Abyad received training on crowd management, police legislation, disciplinary rules, police operations, dismantling explosives and crime-scene investigations, DHA said.