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Turkish-trained local police to assume security duties in Afrin

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Six hundred twenty Syrian police candidates will assume security duties in Syria’s northwestern Afrin region from May 10 after completing a basic training course given by the Turkish Police Academy and special forces members, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Police candidates, aged between 18 and 45, took a month-long training that included instruction on operational tasks such as destroying improvised explosive devices.

The Turkish military and Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters on Jan. 20 launched Operation Olive Branch in the Afrin region of Syria against the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which Turkey sees as the Syrian extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Turkish troops backed by their Syrian allies seized Afrin in March after a two-month operation against Syrian Kurdish forces that Ankara says are linked to Kurdish militants fighting inside Turkey. Thousands of Afrin residents as well as those who had previously sought shelter there from fighting elsewhere in Syria fled Afrin in the face of the Turkish advance.

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