Syria - Armed forces



In 2002 the active armed forces numbered some 319,000, with 354,000 reservists among the three services. The army had an estimated 215,000 regular troops, and included seven armored divisions, three mechanized infantry divisions, a Republican Guard division, four independent infantry brigades, three SCUD missile brigades, two artillery brigades, nine special forces battalions, and one border guard brigade. The army had more than 4,700 heavy and medium tanks and sophisticated antitank and antiaircraft weapons. The navy had 4,000 personnel with vessels including two frigates and 18 patrol and coastal combatants. Naval aviation includes 16 armed helicopters. The air force had 40,000 personnel, 611 combat aircraft, and 90 armed helicopters. The air defense command numbered approximately 60,000 with 25 air defense brigades and 2 SAM regiments. Paramilitary forces included a gendarmerie of 8,000 and a workers' militia with an estimated 100,000 members. Military expenditures were reported to be $921 million in 2000, but that may underestimate actual spending. Syria had 18,000 troops in Lebanon and employs 150 Russian advisors. The UN provides 1,037 troops to Syria.

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