Syria

In 1946, Syria gained full independence from France. The country faced constant political instability and coups until the rise of Alawite military figure Hafez al Assad in 1970. Syria participated in all of the joint Arab wars against Israel from 1948 through 1973.  Syria has a long-standing dispute with Israel over the Golan Heights, conquered by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War. In 1976, Syria occupied Lebanon, and continued to do so until 2005. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the government repressed an Islamist uprising with violent brutality. Bashar al-Assad came to power in 2000 after the death of his father who himself came to power in a military coup. Under Bashar, the regime sponsored jihadist attacks against the U.S. military in Iraq and built a nuclear facility, with North Korean assistance, which was destroyed by the Israeli Air Force. Since March 2011, the Arab Spring has challenged Bashar’s claim to leadership.  In response to the unrest, Assad’s forces have slaughtered over 110,000 people, including via the use of chemical weapons. Assad receives extensive military support from Iran, Russia, and Hezbollah.

  • Population
    22,457,336
  • GDP
    $64.7 Billion
  • Fit for Service
    9,939,661
  • Military EXHD
    3.6% of GDP

Syrian army steps up strikes on capital’s last rebel enclave

The Syrian army stepped up shelling and air strikes on the last rebel-held enclaves in the Syrian capital on Monday, its heaviest bombardment in a two-month campaign, rebels and witnesses said. From the strategic Qasyoun Heights that overlooks Damascus, elite units of the army pounded Jobar district, some 2 km (1.2 miles) east of the […]

Counter-ISIS Campaign to Intensify, Mattis Says

The U.S.-led coalition will accelerate its campaign to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said today in a joint press conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, with Defense Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen. “We will further accelerate this fight to free people from ISIS’ crushing occupation and [the] enemy’s terror threat to […]

A Russian-Backed Deal on ‘Safe Zones’ for Syria Leaves U.S. Wary

Russia, Iran and Turkey said Thursday that they have agreed to create “de-escalation zones” across four areas in Syria, renewing diplomatic ­efforts to bring warring parties in the country to heel after six years of fighting. Meeting in the Kazakh capital, Astana, the three powers said the cease-fire deal would come into force Saturday and would apply to […]

Russia, Turkey Agree to Support Safe-Zones in Syria

The presidents of Russia and Turkey said on Wednesday they support the creation of safe-zones in war-torn Syria as a delegation of Syrian rebels walked out of cease-fire talks with the Damascus government underway in Kazakhstan, citing repeated violations of a similar truce agreed on in December. Meeting in the Russian resort town of Sochi, […]

Syrian Forces Used Nerve Gas in Four Recent Attacks: HRW

Syrian government forces used deadly nerve gas in Khan Sheikhun and in three other recent attacks, Human Rights Watch said Monday, describing a “clear pattern” of chemical weapons use that could amount to crimes against humanity. President Bashar al-Assad’s forces are also stepping up chlorine gas attacks and have begun using surface-fired rockets filled with […]

Putin’s S-400 Power-Play in Syria

Russia is upping the ante in the Eastern Mediterranean in response to the downing of its fighter jet by Turkish F-16s last week. Russian President Vladimir Putin has deployed S-400 air-defense missiles in Syria and expanded fighter escorts for bombing operations. While Moscow has predicated its intervention in Syria on supporting the Bashar al-Assad regime’s […]

Putin’s Belligerence Reaches a Tipping Point

Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet today after it violated the country’s airspace. The Turkish military claims it issued ten warnings before shooting down the aircraft, while Russia denies any breach of Turkish territory. The incident marks the most serious direct confrontation between a NATO member and Russia in half a century. Russian President […]

Russian Forces Shield Hezbollah’s Arms Supply From Israeli Strikes

The sudden appearance of Russian forces in Syria in recent weeks is raising concerns about inadvertent conflicts with the U.S.-led coalition. But while much of the spotlight may be on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s bid to prop up the Assad regime and the escalating diplomatic tensions with Washington, Russia’s gambit presents a challenge for another […]

Russian Forays Into Turkish Airspace Challenge Ankara’s Syria Policy… And NATO

Russian warplanes entered Turkish airspace from Syria twice over the weekend, sending Turkish F-16s scrambling. In separate incidents on Monday, a Russian-made Syrian MiG-29 jet placed two Turkish F-16s patrolling the border under radar lock for several minutes. Later that day, Syrian surface-to-air missile batteries locked on to another flight of Turkish F-16s. The incidents […]

Should the U.S. Continue to Use Incirlik?

Turkey’s cabinet announced July 29 that the United States and coalition members targeting the Islamic State (ISIS) would be permitted to fly combat missions from Incirlik air base in south Turkey. This U.S.-Turkish facility is well positioned near the Syrian front, and offers the coalition greater tactical flexibility. It could certainly help in the effort, as […]

The Folly of Turkey’s Syrian Buffer Zone Plan

Ankara raised the prospect last weekend of a military operation to create a buffer zone along its Syrian frontier. While Turkey is officially part of a 60-nation coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), this military initiative would instead be focused on a different threat: the Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (PYD) in Syria. […]

Nonstop: Tehran to Sana’a

Iran is delivering arms to Yemen using Pouya Air, an airline previously designated by the United States, according to an Israeli media report on Tuesday. The report sheds light on the fact that, despite rigorous export controls on Iran, Tehran duplicitously continues to funnel arms to its allies and proxies in the Middle East. Pouya […]

U-2 vs. Global Hawk: Which Provides the Best Eyes in the Sky?

As the United States strikes the Islamic State from the air, the lack of boots on the ground and limited human intelligence has left the coalition almost entirely dependent on aerial surveillance to spot targets. The Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle is reportedly seeing a lot of action. However, the Air Force feels the Global […]

Category Name
QME

Active Armaments
On Order
Air Defense Systems 1,689* (0)

Aircraft 585* (56)

Artillery 3,368* (0)

Ground Vehicles 7,491* (0)

Guided Munitions 7,580* (10)

Personnel 492,000 (0)

Ships 35 (0)