It is the dominant military service of the four uniformed services, controlling the most senior posts in the armed forces, and has the greatest manpower, approximately 80 percent of the combined services.  About 1,000 Syrian soldiers were killed during the operation, and large parts of the old city were destroyed.  Henry Boyd of the IISS noted that "in Homs, the 18th Armored Division was reinforced by Special Forces units and ... by elements of the 4th Division under Maher's de facto command. The FLA was initially based in the towns of Marjayoun and Qlayaa in southern Lebanon. Meanwhile, the Special Forces were isolating and combing through Hama, killing and capturing suspected government opponents.. It had around 70,000 personnel, roughly 550 tanks and assault guns, 500 APCs, and nearly 300 artillery pieces. As its performance during the 2016 Latakia offensive was lacking, however, its overall commander Maj. Gen. Shuqi Yusuf was dismissed in July 2016. United States of America. Protective Lions (Commandos), formed in May 2014. In an earlier massacre in 1981, over 300 residents of Hama were killed by security forces, in a revenge attack for an Islamist terror incident. After the massacre, the already evident disarray in the insurgents' ranks increased, and the rebel factions experienced acrimonious internal splits. The attack has been described as one of the "deadliest acts by any Arab government against its own people in the modern Middle East".  The NDF continues to play a significant role in military operations across Syria despite the formation of other elite units, many of which receive direct assistance from Russia. 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. The 3rd Armored Division was "deployed around Damascus."  According to the Russian International Affairs Council, the Qalamoun Shield Forces also joined the Fifth Corps, though no other sources confirmed this.  The massacre, carried out by the Syrian Army under commanding General Rifaat al-Assad, effectively ended the campaign begun in 1976 by Sunni Muslim groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, against the government. The Hama massacre began in the middle of the night on February 2, 1982, when a Syrian army unit triggered a Muslim Brotherhood ambush in the … Pollack says it is likely that they intended to overthrow the Jordanian monarchy itself. Major Saad Haddad, commanding an army battalion in the south which had been part of the Army of Free Lebanon, broke away and founded a group known as the Free Lebanon Army (FLA). After an Ismaili Ba'ath militiaman was killed, riots intensified and rebels attacked "every vestige" of the Ba'ath party in Hama. However, in 1967 the army did appear to have some strength. " The organization and military doctrine of the army followed the Soviet model.. Government attitudes in Syria hardened considerably during the uprising, and Assad would rely more on repression than on political tactics for the remainder of his rule, although an economic liberalization began in the 1990s.. Mosque loudspeakers used for the call to prayer called for jihad against the Ba'ath, and hundreds of Islamic insurgents rose to attack the homes of government officials and Baath Party leaders, overrun police posts and ransack armories. This force was used primarily as auxiliaries in support of French troops, and senior officer posts were held by Frenchmen, although Syrians were allowed to hold commissions below the rank of major. , The Ba'ath Party of Syria, which advocated the ideologies of Arab nationalism and Arab socialism had clashed with the Muslim Brotherhood, a group with a Sunni Islamist ideology, since 1940.  Soon afterwards, on 3 September 1994, Jane's Defence Weekly reported that then-President Hafez Assad had dismissed at least 16 senior military commanders.  The division's 93rd Brigade left Idlib to secure Raqqa Governorate in early 2012. War of Attrition , 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. ', Fifth Attack Troop Corps, also called the Fifth Legion, is an all-volunteer force, part of Syrian Army involved in the Syrian Civil War fighting against the Syrian opposition, Al-Qaeda in Syria, and ISIS. The 3rd Armored Division, it seems, had historically been based at al-Qutayfah, near Damascus. This force was used primarily as auxiliaries in support of French troops, and senior officer posts were held by Frenchmen, although Syrians were allowed to hold commissions below the rank of major. It consisted of two infantry battalions and one armored battalion. Since 1946, it has played a major role in Syria's governance, mounting six military coups: two in 1949, including the March 1949 Syrian coup d'état and the August 1949 coup by Colonel Sami al-Hinnawi, and one each in 1954, 1963, 1966, and 1970.  From the start of the Syrian Civil War till now, the Syrian Arab Army has been composed mainly of Sunni Syrians (for example, the 4th Mechanized Division is entirely composed and led by Sunnis), with mixed religious leadership at higher military positions. Rumors say that he tried to resist the decision to use the army to crush Syrian protesters. 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.  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