The UK government has suspended its multi-million dollar aid project to western-backed Free Syrian Police (FSP) amid media reports claiming that the money was going to the hands of jihadist groups, a Foreign Office spokesperson said.
According to allegations made in a BBC Panorama documentary due to air on Monday evening, the money allocated within the UK-funded Access to Justice and Community Security (AJACS) scheme to support FSP, was being diverted to Syria’s jihadists.
The FSP is policing opposition-held areas of Aleppo, Idlib and Daraa provinces.
The AJACS suspension, which has been running since late 2014 by the UK contractor, Adam Smith International, was confirmed on Sunday night.
“We take any allegations of co-operation with terrorist groups and of human rights abuses extremely seriously and the Foreign Office has suspended this programme while we investigate these allegations,” the Foreign Office spokesperson said as quoted by The Guardian.
Adam Smith International has strongly denied the allegations, saying that it has been effectively managing the taxpayers’ money.
According to the BBC Panorama documentary, FSP officers have also been cooperating with courts carrying out tortures and summary executions.
The FSP unarmed units were established in 2014 to administer areas, which were lost by Syrian government army.
According to reports, it is now believed to consist of around 6,000 men.