Dictators have found that its not enough to have a lot of soldiers and police to keep their populations in line. The soldiers and police are also potential threats. The best way to protect yourself from your own troops is to have many different military and police organizations, the better to play them off against each other. Syria has 14 different police and military organizations, which is typical of Middle Eastern countries in general and dictatorships everywhere. Its expensive to maintain that many different organizations, but it works. The cops and troops are less likely to try and take over if they think other armed organizations might oppose them.