[69] The Alawite fighters were organized into 12 units which fought under the joint command of Russian, Syrian, and Iranian officers. The single greatest liability that the Assad regime has faced in employing its forces has been the challenge of relying on units to carry out orders to brutalize the opposition. These issues are especially notable among the Druze population, who have clashed with regime security forces and broken Druze youths out of regime imprisonment to avoid them serving in the army. [22] Amnesty International initially estimated the death toll was between 10,000 and 25,000. Most members of the rebel groups fled the country or remained in exile, mainly in Iran, while others would make their way to the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany. In 1982, at least 10,000 people were killed in the Sunni city of 800,000 when the army put down an armed Islamist revolt against the rule of Assad's late father, Hafez. V. Legacy of enforced disappearances, "Bashar Assad Teaches Visiting Members of U.S. Congress How to Fight Terrorism", Massacre of Hama (February 1982) Genocide and a crime against Humanity, More Detailed Account of the actual Hama Massacre and Killings, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=1982_Hama_massacre&oldid=993884409, Wikipedia indefinitely move-protected pages, Articles with unsourced statements from February 2016, Syria articles missing geocoordinate data, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Defense Companies: 3 Brigades (12,000 soldiers). In 1925, this force was expanded and designated as the Special Troops of the Levant (Troupes Spéciales du Levant). He gave the army a message saying he was sure of victory over the rebels.[94]. 36th, 554th and 556th Special Forces Regiments, 112th, 132nd and 15th Mechanized Brigades, 76th Armored Brigade - now defunt. [35] Increasingly, Assad's Alawite base of support refuse to send their sons to the military due to massive casualty rates among military age men in their community; according to pro oppositions sources a third of 250,000 Alawite men of fighting age have been killed in the Syrian Civil War, leading to major tensions between the sect and the Syrian government. Officer ranks are standard, although the highest is the equivalent of Colonel General, a rank held in 1986 only by the commander in chief and the minister of defense. From 1976 to 2005 it was the major pillar of the Syrian occupation of Lebanon. Syrian Army Multiple massacres over a period of time. [23], Cordesman wrote that in 2006 the Syrian Army had "organized two corps that reported to the Land Forces General Staff and the Commander of the Land Force. [10] The army had sixteen brigades: twelve infantry, two armored (probably including the 70th Armored), and two mechanized. [68], Two new corps have been established since the civil war began in 2011. In 1919, the French formed the Troupes spéciales du Levant as part of the Army of the Levant in the French Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon. In October 2015, the 4th Assault Army Corps (Arabic: 4 فيلق اقتحام) was established in the northeast. The Hama Massacre (Arabic: مجزرة حماة‎), or Hama Uprising, occurred in February 1982, when the Syrian Arab Army and the Defense Companies, under the orders of the country's president Hafez al-Assad, besieged the town of Hama for 27 days in order to quell an uprising by the Muslim Brotherhood against al-Assad's government. It has fought four wars with Israel (1948, the Six-Day War in 1967, the October War of 1973, and 1982 in Lebanon) and one with Jordan (Black September in Jordan, 1970). [3][4] Subsequent estimates vary, with the lower estimates claiming that at least 2,000 Syrian citizens were killed,[5] while others put the number at 20,000 (Robert Fisk)[1] or 40,000 (Syrian Human Rights Committee). Lebanese Army – By 1982 the Lebanese Army had largely disintegrated and what was left was a Christian-staffed force of about 10,000 men in five brigades (the 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th) plus some smaller independent units. The 3rd Armored Division was "deployed around Damascus." [20], On 29 September 2004, Jane's Defence Weekly reported that Syria had begun to redeploy elements of one or more Syrian Army special forces regiments based in the coastal hills a few kilometres south of Beirut in Lebanon. [61] With the late 2015 arrival of Russian military advisors, many army units were equipped with new Russian 6B45 ballistic bullet-proof vests and Kevlar 6B7 helmets. Notably, Habib commanded the Battle of Sultan Yacoub in Lebanese Bekaa against Israeli forces in 1982. Bennett said in 2001 that the corps' principal units were believed to include: three other heavy brigades from the 3rd and 11th Armored Divisions [were] known to be regularly deployed to eastern Lebanon. It was added that most of the deserters were junior officers and soldiers. [17] Most of the repression was carried out by the Defense Companies and the Special Forces. The French Mandate volunteer force, which would later become the Syrian army, was established in 1920 with the threat of Syrian−Arab nationalism in mind. 1990. Among them was Haidar, then commander of the Special Forces, and General Shafiq Fayadh, a cousin of the President who had commanded the "crack" 3rd Armored Division for nearly two decades. The attack has been described as one of the "deadliest acts by any Arab government against its own people in the modern Middle East". Protective Lions (Commandos), formed in May 2014. He killed thousands of people. ), 33rd Armored Brigade - transferred from 9th Division, 47th Armored Brigade - transferred from 3rd Division, (an unspecified) Artillery Regiment (89th Artillery Regt listed with the division by Cooper 2015. "[2], After the Hama uprising, the Islamist insurrection was broken, and the Brotherhood has since operated in exile while other factions surrendered or slipped into hiding. [61][93] Both of them can be equipped with the "Syrian Leaf" camouflage helmet covers. [3][4] Subsequent estimates of casualties varied from 2,000 to 40,000 people killed, including about 1,000 soldiers. (The Israelis withdrew in June 1985. [26] Strategically important units of the Syrian armed forces are always controlled by Alawite officers; defecting soldiers – by July 2012 "tens of thousands" according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights – are mainly Sunni without access to vital command and control, Nerguizian said,[26] however the formed Syrian Minister of Defense General Dawoud Rajiha killed in the 18 July 2012 Damascus bombing was a Christian. 1982 Lebanon War. War of Attrition Even global warming played a role in … [42] Following the reported capture of Raqqa on 3–6 March 2013, elements of the 17th Division remained under siege to the north of the city in October 2013.[43]. General Adib Shishakli then held power until deposed in the 1954 Syrian coup d'etat. Syrian forces fought Israel during the 1982 Lebanon War. [9] The two groups were opposed in important ways. [26] By August 2012, 40 Brigadier generals from the Army had defected to the opposition army, out of a total of 1,200 generals. Writing forty years later, Tom Cooper says they were established 'during the 1980s' but "..despite the establishment of.. corps.. most division commanders continued reporting directly to the President. Although the unit's officers were originally all French, it was, in effect, the first indigenous modern Syrian army. Black September The Syrian Army originated in local military forces formed by the French after World War I, after France obtained a mandate over the region. Israeli forces were numerically superior, allowing Israel to maintain both the initiative and an element of surprise. Pollack says it is likely that they intended to overthrow the Jordanian monarchy itself. [72][69] As result, the 4th Corps remained mostly limited to Latakia, where it continues to be active. The Battle of Jezzine developed, and the IDF managed to defeat the Syrian forces and occupy the town. The war was limited by both Israel and Syria because they were determined to isolate the fighting, not allowing it to turn into an all-out war. Rumors say that he tried to resist the decision to use the army to crush Syrian protesters. This page was last edited on 1 December 2020, at 14:46. the Coastal Defense Brigade, which [operated] largely as an independent unit within the 3rd Corps area, [was] headquartered in the naval base of, Ten independent Airborne Special Forces Regiments (Seven regiments attached to 2nd Corps), Surface-to-surface Missile Command with three. [17], Rifaat's forces ringed the city with artillery, shelled it, then combed the rubble for surviving Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters. The 3rd Armored Division, it seems, had historically been based at al-Qutayfah, near Damascus. It seems likely that the "2nd" designation, reported in 2001, was incorrect, as it has not been reported during the. An army unit searching the old city "stumbled on the hideout of the local guerilla commander, Omar Jawwad (aka Abu Bakr) and were ambushed. The former with 8,000 men later grew into both the Syrian and Lebanese armies. ), History of the Syrian Arab Army/Al-Tareekh Al-Jaish Al-Arabi Al-Soori, Volume 1: 1901–1948, Center for Military Studies. [12] Samuel M. Katz writes that after Hafez al-Assad gained power in November 1970, the army expanded to the five divisions listed above, plus ten independent brigades, an artillery rocket brigade (the 69th), and "a reinforced brigade variously termed the 70th Armored Brigade or the Assad Republican Guard. The 4th Corps project largely failed & the 6th & 2nd Divisions have remained in Latakia since. The former with 8,000 men later grew into both the Syrian and Lebanese armies. Formerly part of 1st Division. [37], The 3rd Armored Division has deployed elements of three brigades from its bases around Qutayfah to Deraa, Zabadani, and Hama, while the 11th Armored Division has stayed close to its bases in Homs and Hama. Navy officer rank insignia are gold stripes worn on the lower sleeve. “When Syria's Baath regime feels its back up against the wall, it always resorts to ‘Hama Rules.’ Hama Rules is a term I coined after the Syrian Army leveled — and I mean leveled — a portion of its own city, Hama, to put down a rebellion by Sunni Muslim fundamentalists there in 1982.” Internally, it played a major part in suppressing the 1979–82 Islamist uprising in Syria, and since early 2011 has been heavily engaged in fighting the Syrian Civil War, the most violent and prolonged war the Syrian Army has taken part in since its establishment in the 1940s. Damascus, 2000. 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