Syrian Armed Forces

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Syrian Arab Armed Forces
الْقُوَّاتُ الْمُسَلَّحَةُ الْعَرَبِيَّةُ السُّورِيَّةُ
Flag of the Syrian Arab Armed Forces
Flag of the Syrian Arab Armed Forces
Coat of arms of the Syrian Arab Armed Forces
Coat of arms of the Syrian Arab Armed Forces
Motto"Homeland, Honor, Sincerity"
Founded1946; 77 years ago (1946)
Current form1971
Service branches Syrian Arab Army

Syrian Arab Navy
 Syrian Arab Air Force
Syrian Arab Air Defence Forces

National Defence Forces
HeadquartersUmayyad Square, Damascus
Commander In ChiefSyria Bashar al-Assad
Chief MinisterLieutenant General Ali Mahmoud Abbas
Chief of the General StaffLieutenant General Abdul Karim Mahmoud Ibrahim
Military age18-42
Available for
military service
13,045,962 [1], age 18-42
Fit for
military service
11,313,295[1], age 18-42
Reaching military
age annually
Active personnel100,000[1] (ranked 47)
Reserve personnel50,000
Budget$2,020,5000,000 USD
Percent of GDP5%
Annual imports Russia[2]

 North Korea[2]

Related articles
History1948 Arab–Israeli War

Yom Kippur War
Six Day War
Black September in Jordan
1982 Lebanon War
Gulf War
Syrian occupation of Lebanon
Islamic uprising in Syria

Syrian Civil War

The Syrian Arab Armed Forces is the Military of Syria, Originally formed in 1946. The Syrian Arab Armed Forces consists of the Syrian Arab Army, Syrian Arab Air Force, Syrian Arab Navy, Syrian Arab Air Defense Forces , and the Paramilitary forces known as the National Defense Forces. The SAAF is a conscripted force made up of about 150,000 men (not counting militants).[3]

History[change | change source]

The SAAF was first formed back in 1920, it was called the French Mandate Volunteer Force. It was considered the "Special Army of the Levant". During World War II, they fought against against British and Free French troops but all fights were unsuccessful.[4] There later was a gendarmerie force made to fight off criminals, and political enemies, the force had about 10,000 men and 306 officers with most of the high ranking members being French.

After World War II[change | change source]

After the World War II, the Syrian Arab Armed Forces fought against the IDF in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Between 1948 and 1967 there were multiple coup d'etats[5]. The first coup was in 1949 led by General Husni al-Za'im, which was successful. With two more coups later that year, in 1954 more coups occurred with a massive officer purge to ensure no more coups[5]. But in 1963 a newer coup happened led by the Ba'ath Party which made Hafez al-Assad the new President of Syria.[6]

Syrian Civil War[change | change source]

The Syrian Arab Armed Forces fought against Syrian Protesters in 2011, causing the Syrian Civil War. With about 40 officers defecting and making the "Free Syrian Army" that later on turned to the Syrian National Army.[7] With the Syrian Arab Armed Forces fighting in major battles such as the Siege Of Homs, Battle of Damascus, Battle of Aleppo and other battles.

Conscription in the Syrian Arab Armed Forces[change | change source]

The Syrian Arab Armed Forces is a conscripted force, with a conscription age of 18-42. There are exemptions such as Mental Disabilities, Physical Disabilities, Paying a fee, being an only son. With the Punishments for avoiding service are exiled or jailed.[3] It was first Introduced in May 16th, 2007 with about 18 months of service but no confirmed soldiers were let go.[8]

Structure[change | change source]

There are 5 branches within the Syrian Arab Armed Forces, based in Damascus with the Forces being made of mainly Sunni Muslims but there are some Alawite, since certain units only accept Alawites, such as the Syrian Republican Guard and 4th Armored Division.

Syrian Arab Army[change | change source]

The Syrian Arab Army are the Ground Forces of the Syrian Arab Armed Forces, it is the dominate branch within the Syrian Arab Armed Forces.[9] The Syrian Arab Armed Forces consists of about 3 corps,[10] with 14 Divisions, and more than 40 Brigades.

Syrian Arab Air Force[change | change source]

The Syrian Arab Air Force is the Air Branch of the Syrian Arab Armed Forces, the Syrian Arab Air Force consists of 2 Divisions. Made up of 7 Fighter-Bomber brigades, 4 Helicopter Brigades and a single Air Transport Brigade.[11]

Syrian Navy[change | change source]

The Syrian Navy is the Naval Branch of the Syrian Arab Armed Forces, with about 4,000 men.[12] With about 43 ships, 21 Helicopters and 12 Coastal Defense Systems.[13]

Syrian Air Defense Force[change | change source]

The Syrian Air Defense Force is the Anti-Air branch of the Syrian Arab Armed Forces,[9] made up of about 55,000 men.[12] With about 20 Air Defense Brigades and 3 Air Defense Regiments.[14]

National Defense Forces[change | change source]

The National Defense Forces is a Pro-Assad militia, with about 50,000-100,000 men.[15][16][17] It was formed by the Syrian Government, formed in November 11th, 2012.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "2022 Syria Military Strenght". Global Firepower. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "Trade Registers". Armstrade. Retrieved 29 December 2017.[permanent dead link]
  3. 3.0 3.1 "This article is more than 9 months old Syrian exiles forced to prop up regime with fees for avoiding conscription". Ali Al Ibrahim. The Guardian. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  4. "Full Text of "Syria: A Country study"". 1988. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Pollack 2002.
  6. Bhalla, Reva (5 May 2011). "Making Sense of the Syrian Crisis". Stratfor. Archived from the original on 9 October 2017. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
  7. "40 Syrian military officers defect with weapons". Archived from the original on 31 July 2022. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  8. "TIMEP Brief: Conscription Law". Timep. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Sinai, Joshua (April 1987). Collelo, Thomas (ed.). A Country Study: Syria. Federal Research Division, Library of Congress. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  10. "The Syrian Army - Docrinal Order of Battle" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2013-11-01. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
  11. Cooper, Tom (February 2017). "Syria: Air Power in Decline". Combat Aircraft Magazine. Key Publishing (2/2017).
  12. 12.0 12.1 The Military Balance 2021 page 366
  13. "Medium Submarines Project 613". Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  14. "The Latest: Russia says Syria now has S-300 anti-air system". The Washington Post. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 30 September 2018. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  15. "The Shia crescendo". The Economist. 28 March 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-07-10. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  16. Who are the pro-Assad militias in Syria? Archived 2016-03-05 at the Wayback Machine Middle East Eye, 25 September 2015
  17. "Syria's civil war: The regime digs in". The Economist. 15 June 2013. Archived from the original on 2015-10-06.