FIRST POST – MAY 18, 2013 – THE NDF AND OUR MILITIAS; THE DIFFERENCE

THE NATIONAL DEFENSE FORCES AND MILITIAS IN SYRIA; THEIR ROLE TODAY IN NATO’S TERRORIST WAR AGAINST THE PEOPLE OF SYRIA

One of our readers asked me in a comment about the difference between the “militias” and the National Defense Forces. (قوات الدفاع الوطني).  Before we discuss that, we need to address the structure of the Syrian army to understand why militias were even needed.  A helpful background support would be knowledge of the Ba’ath Party’s own structure and Internal Organization. (النظام الداخلي).

The Syrian Arab Army is built around 4 army corps, each with 3 fully mechanized armored divisions of Soviet army size. (11,000-13,000).  The first 3 army corps are stationed according to clear strategic needs.  The First Army Corpالفيلق الأول is stationed in the Damascus area.  It actually contains 4 army divisions if one includes the elite 4th Mechanized Armored Division commanded by Major General Maaher Al-Assad.  Interestingly, the 4th Division is not under direct MoD command but is quite independent of that seeing that its normal role is domestic security.  The same is true of the Republican Guard.  One distinction here is that the 4th Division has the ability to fight in all parts of Syria while the Republican Guard is limited to defending the capital.

Maher Al-Assad listens to a speech.  He is described as “fiery-tempered” by critics.  He is, however, to their eternal chagrin, a brilliant field commander who is adored by his soldiers.   

The 2nd Army Corps is located around the Homs area while the 3rd is north of that in Idlib.  The 4th Army Corps was created just before the retirement of Lt. Gen. Mustafa Tlas as Defense Minister but has been less a focus of enhancement than the first 3.  The 4th Army Corps is located west of Aleppo as of January 2011.

Other services like the Air Defense Command, Air Force, Navy and Sea Defense forces make up the rest of Syria’s military.   Of note is the fact that there are 11 independent Special Forces regiments based out of the hq at Al-Qutayfa, just northwest of Damascus.  These special forces are jump-certified and cross-over as paratroops.  Syrian SF follow the training regimen of the Russian SF.

Syria has reserve forces reportedly in excess of 500,000, but, that has neither been proved nor has it been reliably tested.  The total standing force of the Syrian military is 375,000 soldiers.

When the March 2011 unrest started in Der’ah,  the Syrian military was trained strictly for confronting a foreign invasion such as one emanating from the Zionist State.  The anti-insurgency forces were the Republican Guard, the 4th Mechanized Armored Division, the 11 or so security agencies, police forces and the Ba’ath Party Youth Militias and the People’s Forces led by Abu Al-Nadaa (as of 1983).  Other militias also existed as part of a “back-up” for General Security, Political Security, Air Force Intelligence and so forth.  While it was clear that the Ba’ath Youth Militia was trained as a military force to support the army in the event of open war with the Zionist enemy, the other militias operated more as intelligence gatherers and tools for investigation.

The western media tries to portray our militias as “sectarian” in character, forgetting that 80% of these groups are Sunni Muslims who have a secular political outlook.

I joined the Ba’ath Party in 1981 and had the pleasure of knowing many young men and women who were a part of the “Shabiba” system.  I have written two article before about this subject but it is apparent that the propagandists for NATO do not read alternative media sources – some of which happen to have direct experience with and knowledge of Syrian militias.  No matter; the Shabiba (not Shabbiha as it is pejoratively couched) are by definition young people who receive both political and military training as part of their membership in the Ba’ath Party.  Starting out at a young age, it is similar to the Boy Scouts where boys and girls hike, exercise, camp, and learn about the rudiments of Arab Nationalism, socialism and the need to repel the forces of imperialism and Zionism.  (For a more accurate explanation of why the Shabiba is called Shabbiha, Zoogle it on this blog).       

As the youth in the Shabiba get older, they are vetted and tested for loyalty.  Those who pass the loyalty and health examinations received more advanced paramilitary training prior to their induction in the armed forces. Syria has compulsory military service which can only be avoided by obtaining a deferment for college education or proof of “only-son” status.

The actual number of militia members before March 2011 is not known.  I will only estimate their number based on my experience in Syria and my reading of events.  It is not meant to be taken as authoritative.  My estimate is 40,000 between the ages of 16-40.  Many militia members have already served in the army and act as drill instructors for newly admitted militia candidates.

The importance of these irregular forces cannot be underestimated.  In fact, the rise of the NDF is proof of how much the Syrian army has come to rely on these “surge” forces.  During the early days of the Islamist insurrection in Syria, neither the security services nor the two elite military divisions had much trouble containing the revolt.  The 4th Division was extremely mobile, often appearing in Idlib one day and then in Aleppo another.  The Republican Guard was a ubiquitous feature of the Damascus defense spectrum.  But all that changed as Qatar and Saudi Arabia, recognizing the paltry threat posed by the FSA, began to pay out billions of dollars for foreign terrorists to come and fight in the preposterously named “Jihad” in Syria.  Today, some estimate that the number of foreign Jihadists in Syria, Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon exceeds 100,000!  I doubt this number,  but admit it is high.

You don’t want to mess around with these dames, fellas.  They carry guns and they know how to use them.  They are also obsessed with keeping Syria progressive and secular.

All my readers know that as the MoD used the regular army more and more to supplement the security forces,  the Syrian General Staff (SGS) also realized that they were compromising the front against the Zionist Entity.  Moreover, there was a risk in using army regulars some of whom operated with less discipline than others, sometimes selling their rifles to insurgent terrorists.  Syrian army grunts, like their American counterparts, don’t get paid much for military service and their poverty can be exploited.

As the insurgency grew, there was a greater need to hold territory liberated by the SAA.  This was a problem that emanated directly from NATO’s strategy of “enervating” the SAA by constantly having terrorist units pop up where the SAA was not.  When the SAA would follow the new emergence of terrorists, other terrorists would quickly return to the same “liberated” area to harry our troops.  In addition to this, the terrorists were instructed to destroy as much infrastructure as possible.  So, when the SAA would return to a town or area it had cleansed, it would find electricity lines torn, oil reservoirs and water resources destroyed.

The SGS understood the NATO strategy.  Thus, Generals Al-Furayj and Ayoub, decided in middle 2012 that the SAA would “permit” terrorist occupation in outlying areas while consolidating the SAA hold on the most critical commercial centers in the country.  In order to keep these centers functioning, the SAA had to clear out connective villages and towns along the major thoroughfares.  This was important for commerce and for the movement of the SAA.  But, it is also known that once the army had stabilized a region, there would be a move into the less developed areas of the country: hence, the movement of troops toward Al-Raqqa.

The Ba’ath Party militia simply were not enough to hold as much territory as the SAA was intending to clear.  Enter the NDF.  Trained nowhere nearly as well as the militia and having no experience in intelligence gathering, citizens from all walks of life were invited to volunteer for military training to help the SAA and militia to hold territory in neighborhoods, villages and towns all along areas designated by the MoD as critical to the functioning of the state.  What was amazing was that women were quick to jump in and give their full support.  Also, volunteers started coming in from Lebanon – which is one explanation for the FSA canard about Hizbollah joining the fighting.

Training for the NDF had to be quick and very intense.  Women who had never shot a rifle were given a baptism of fire as they mastered the AK47, communication systems and signal sciences.  They were taught security techniques – how to remain together as a unit – not to separate and become hostages in the hands of Qatari savages, for example.  NDF were trained to secure streets and react promptly when citizens alerted them to the presence of NATO-backed terrorist rodents.  They were trained to work with the police as support.

The militias were now free to follow the SAA and participate in actual combat.  Once an area was cleared, militia might remain to conduct intelligence gathering.  But once that was over, local NDF operatives were handed the job of maintaining order and keeping the areas vermin-free.  They have acquitted themselves brilliantly and with real commitment.  This is why our army is now grinding the NATO terrorist rats into dust. This is why Russia knows the tide has turned radically in favor of the SAA.  Ziad     

          

             

  

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Anonymous
Guest
Level 0 - Anonymous
Anonymous

Is there still electricity,gas,etc. in places where the army is in control? Are the schools open?

Souri Homsi
Guest
Level 0 - Anonymous

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous
Guest
Level 0 - Anonymous
Anonymous

Very well written and informative Ziad. it is obvious that apart from logistical support and advanced weapons, syria does not need need help man power wise.

Ziad Fadel
Guest
Level 0 - Anonymous

We needed manpower from the domestic side and we received it. Of course, there are Iraqis, Lebanese and Palestinians who fight alongside the NDF and militia. But their numbers are small. Ziad

Anonymous
Guest
Level 0 - Anonymous
Anonymous
Not Ziad.. but yes there are business and commerce and schools open ,but for sure the numbers is significantly smaller than before the conflict began. Asma Assad send her children to a school everyday ,im sure security have to be higher for them. Aparently some cities operations have not been affected much by the conflict ,specially the coastal ones which are much more difficult to access by terrorist using non official routes..since mountains protect the city,on top that is heavy supporter of Assad. What Syrians have achieved in their country is nothing less than amazing ,to keep the country operating… Read more »
Ziad Fadel
Guest
Level 0 - Anonymous

What you have written is basically accurate. Ziad

Maria
Guest
Level 0 - Anonymous

Thanks for this really good explanation.

Ziad Fadel
Guest
Level 0 - Anonymous

You are very welcome. I am honored. Ziad

Caustic Logic
Guest
Level 0 - Anonymous

Even with a grain of salt sometimes, man, I love reading your stuff, Ziad. Thanks for these insights. Syria, stay firm.

FYI, we’ve cited you on our page “Shabiha: Ghost Stories?”. I wonder why “Shabiha” isn’t just borrowed right from Shabiya, of the popular committees as sometimes given, Liya Shabiya (as Google translate says it), like the Sunni Barri clan in Aleppo? And what’s the relation of these to the new NDF?

Ziad Fadel
Guest
Level 0 - Anonymous

Also, while I’m at it. Why a “grain of salt” when you can use Mark Twain’s famous “ton of salt”? I don’t make things up, by the way. The info that come’s to me goes straight to the blog. Ziad

Caustic Logic
Guest
Level 0 - Anonymous

Why not? Because a ton is not needed. A grain is just for good measure. For example, when you said a Scud was fired at rats in one Aleppo neighborhood, while the Info Minister Zoubi was saying they were not firing these scuds, and when I suspect rebels were firing some powerful rockets all Aleppo over just to call them “regime scuds.” I don’t know, but my instincts favored Zoubi in that case.

If anything like that was amiss, it would probably be on your source’s end, I presume.

Ziad Fadel
Guest
Level 0 - Anonymous

That would not make much sense in Arabic. Sha’biyya would not explain the relationship between Shabeeba and Shabbeeha as well. I’m pretty sure some unctuous Lebanese student at the AUB made it up. It was first heard in Lebanon after the Syrian peacekeepers arrived in 1976. Ziad

Caustic Logic
Guest
Level 0 - Anonymous

I’m not sure the Shabeeba connection needs explained. IIRC, Shabiha specificaly are blamed for these supposed genocide massacre in al-Bayda and Bainyas. Some sources also describe them as exactly “popular committees” as well (SOHR, forexample). Shabiha is clearly different from Shabiya, but … well, the two groups seem to be pretty much two names for the same thing, as rebels/rats/etc. mean it, And it’s how they mean it that matters, as it’s their invention (Lebanese smart-ass helper I could buy), largely to explain their own black ops like Houla, Aqrab, and these new massacres…

Caustic Logic
Guest
Level 0 - Anonymous

Oh, sorry, and to sign:

– Adam

Anonymous
Guest
Level 0 - Anonymous
Anonymous

As the one asking about the differences between the SAA, militia and NDF, many thanks to Mr.Ziad Fadel for his informative post on the subject. While we’re at it, if I may ask one more question, is there any truth to the claim that iranian military advisers were/are helping train the NDF? Voltaire.org had an article on this by Thierry Meyssan, claiming so, can be found here http://www.voltairenet.org/article177614.html
Thanks again,
Luca K

Anonymous
Guest
Level 0 - Anonymous
Anonymous
The Austrian Daily “Die Presse” publlished an interesting article on May 13th: “Vienna mobilizes against providing rebells with arms”.http://diepresse.com/home/politik/aussenpolitik/1401510/Wien-macht-gegen-Waffenlieferung-an-Rebellen-mobil?from=rssContent: The Austrian Foreign Department sent a letter to all 26 EU member states warning against lifting the arms embargo and arming rebells in Syria. The letter was sent though Britain had explicitly asked not to do so. Austrian minister Spindelegger argued that deliveries of arms would be “a breach of international law and an infringement of EU law…a violation of the pcinciples of the UN Chartern of non-interventon and non-use of violence”. Those who deliver weapons to the Syrian opposition are… Read more »