Assad’s Air Force – A Briefing

SYAAF MiG-23 - 11th January 2016

The Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) has been an independent service in the Syrian armed forces since its formation in 1948 but is distinct from the Air Defence Force, which controls Syria’s network of air defence radars and surface‐to‐air missile batteries.

Russia's Tupolev Tu-214R ISTAR platform, now operational in Syria.
Russia’s Tupolev Tu-214R ISTAR platform, now operational in Syria.

It has a long tradition of political involvement in the government of Syria, supporting the nationalist and secular Syrian Ba’ath Party. President Bashar al Assad’s father, Hafez Assad, was a former commander of the SyAAF in the 1960s and 1970s.

The SyAAF’s Intelligence Directorate is one of Syria’s most powerful security agencies. It played a major role in crushing the Muslim Brotherhood uprising in the 1980s and in 2011 was in forefront of attempts to put down the “Arab Spring” uprising.

Read my briefing document on “Assad’s Air Force” here (PDF)

About Tim Ripley 34 Articles
Tim Ripley has been writing on defence issues since 1990, for a wide range of British and international publications. He has reported from conflict zones in the Balkans and Middle East, as well as major defence and aerospace industry exhibitions around the world. Recent assignments include the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia, the Farnborough, Paris, Dubai and Singapore Airshows, NATO Headquarters in Brussels, The Hague war crimes tribunal and the Pentagon in Washington DC. His news reporting and features have appeared in the mainstream news media (The Sunday Telegraph, The Economist, The Scotsman) as well as specialist defence publications (Jane's Defence Weekly, Jane's Intelligence Review, Jane's Sentinel, Air Forces Monthly, Air International, Defence Helicopter, Unmanned Vehicles, Flight International, Flight Daily News, World Air Power Journal, International Air Power Review)

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