The Syrian Authority for Internal Security Forces, a project recently established in opposition areas of northern Syria, is an agency working to rehabilitate members of the police who defected from the regime through forums and workshops before deploying them to carry out their mission of maintaining security.
A few days ago, the curtain was lifted in Istanbul on the Syrian Authority for Internal Security Forces, following coordination and consultations that included defected police officers and opposition representatives from inside and outside the country.
The establishing parties selected General Mohamed Fawaz al-Shimali to be president of the new authority.
The agency says that it represents officers and members of the internal security forces who defected from the regime Interior Ministry and who refused to use their weapons against civilians.
It said that those who meet these criteria comprise about a third of the regime’s Interior Ministry staff.
The authority is trying to, “absorb all the energy and skills provided by the defected police in order to establish a police agency and to develop the performance of its centers in the liberated areas.”
It also aims to, “work to represent police officers as experts in any committee concerned with reviewing laws related to the Interior Ministry in liberated Syria, in accordance with human rights and international accords,” as well as supply representation in any negotiations or political solution.
In an interview with Anadolu, General al-Shimali said that those participating in the agency were elite police officers from a variety of ranks, who are interested and involved in public affairs, human rights, and fighting terrorism.
He added that the agency was working to contact police in the Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch areas through the Turks to “see what joint work could be done.”
He said that they are currently looking for support for their activities, and that they are working to organize workshops and forums to rehabilitate staff and to improve the performance and ideas of officers and members.
Shimali said that the project was “distinctly national, without the intervention of any party.” He added that there were no backers so far.
He said that the authority aspired to obtain representation in the opposition National Coalition and to have representatives and advisers in the opposition Negotiations Committee.
He stressed that the authority represented a fundamental segment of the opposition forces that, “have a right to have their own vision regarding the final political solution and to discuss the rights of defected officers.”
Turkish forces and the Free Syrian Army during the Euphrates Shield operation managed to clear the Islamic State from broad swathes of the northern Aleppo countryside, including al-Bab and Jarablus, between August 2016 and March 2017, which allowed thousands of Syrians to return to their homes.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.