National Defence Force
It’s a military organization which was formed in January 2013, as a part-time volunteer reserve unit of the Syrian army, organized, controlled and supervised by the Syrian Army. Syrian army formalized and professionalize hundreds of Popular Committee militias and Shabiha under a new group named as the National Defence Force.
Emblem / Wikipedia
The NDF is a secular force that has many members that are from the Syrian minorities, such as Alawites, Christians, Druze, Armenians and Circassians also the unit is made up of men from all districts of Syria.
NDF’s Circassian unit in Golan Heights / Facebook
The main role of this force is to act in an infantry role, fighting directly against rebels on the battlefield and running counter-insurgency operations in co-ordination with the Syrian army who provides them with logistical, artillery and air support. This force operates in all Governorates across Syria.
NDF units in Damascus / Facebook
The period of training can vary from 2 weeks to a month depending on whether an individual is being trained for basic combat, sniping, or intelligence also they will be trained and supervised by high ranking officers from the Syrian army.
NDF units / Al-Alam
Their number is estimated to be 60,000 up to 100,000 fighters. NDF units mostly operate in their local cities and villages, although members can also choose to take part in army operations. Also NDF does most of the fighting Alongside the Syrian army because NDF local members have a strong knowledge of the region.
NDF units in Dier Zour / Facebook
The rest who refuse to participate in battles alongside the Syrian army would be ordered to protect towns and villages that are under Syrian regime control. NDF has also around 500 women fighters in a wing called "Lionesses of National Defence", which they operates checkpoints and guard government buildings in Damascus and Homs. NDF soldiers get paid around $150 monthly and also they are allowed to loot from battlefields and civilian homes, which can then be sold in markets which is located in Latakia or Damascus for extra money.
NDF women unit / Syrianchnage.wordpress
The Ba’ath Brigades is a militia that is made up volunteers from the members of the Syrian Ba’ath Party, most fighters of this militia are Sunni Muslims who are loyal to the Syrian Regime. The militia is being trained and supervised by officers from the elite Republican guard, as for their ideology is Syrian nationalism and Ba’ath ideology. It also accepts females to members of this militia unlike other pro-Syrian regime militias.
Emblem / Wikipedia
Its Headquarters is located in Aleppo under the command of Hilal Hilal who is also the Assistant Regional Sectary of the Ba’ath Party. The Ba’ath Brigades are used to guard government buildings and other public buildings like prisons, military bases and other key installations in the city, but they also set up security checkpoints in Damascus and conducting light logistical operations.
Ba’ath Brigades fighters in a parade / Facebook
They participate in many battles alongside the Syrian army against the rebel forces in Aleppo, the militia has around 7,000 fighters and it’s also active in n the coastal provinces of Latakia and Tartus as well. This militia is controlled and supervised by Ba’ath Political Party which formed it in 2012, the main reason for creating this militia is to support the Syrian army in combat and setting up security checkpoints.
Ba’ath Brigades fighters in Aleppo / Facebook
Arab Nationalist Guard
The Arab Nationalist Guard is a secular militia which was created in April 2013 to fight in Syria on behalf of Assad regime and to protect Syria from Takfiri groups which is supported by the west and Zionists as they claim, this militia openly promotes Arab nationalism and anti-Zionism as their ideology and believing in the existence of a single Arab nation from North Africa to the Middle East.
Arab Nationalist Guard fighters co-operate with the Syrian army and the National Defence Forces and operate in a many areas across Syria like Damascus, Daraa, Homs and Aleppo. The Arab Nationalist Guard militia is made up of four brigades which are named after fallen Arab nationalist leaders like Wadie Haddad Brigade, Haidar al-Aamili Brigade, Mohamed Brahmi Brigade and Jules Jammal Brigade. It has over 1,000 guards while the number of volunteers Syria and a variety of Arab countries like Palestine, Lebanon, and Egypt.
Arab National guards in Qalamoun region / Facebook
Trained and funded by the Syrian army officers, the fighters have to undergo drills and fire-arm training in Syrian military training camps in Damascus, as well they join in political classes to implement an understanding of Arab nationalism before they officially become guards and deployed to battle.
Arab National guards gathering in Damascus / Facebook
Syrian Social Nationalist Party
Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) is a Nationalist political party that was founded in 1932 and its operating in many Arab countries like Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, and Palestine.The Party has a strong presence in Syria and Lebanon, it also promotes Syrian Nationalism and Anti-Zionism.
Emblem / Wikipedia
SSNP decided to participate in the Syrian war in 2013 by sending 150 fighters, after Hassan Nasrallah has called his political allies from March 8 Alliance to send their members to help Syrian Army and Hezbollah in fight against Syrian rebels.
Most of SSNP militants are Christians, Druze and Sunni Lebanese with few Syrians, SSNP has participated in major battles alongside Syrian Arab Army throughout the country like in Qusayr, Damascus, Kassab and Idlib.
SSNP militia is a defensive force and they are based in in areas that are populated by minorities like Christians and Druze. SSNP military wing faced some problems like poor organization and lack of military training despite many of its members were willing to go to participate in the Syrian war that was for short period until Hezbollah started to train its members.
SSNP militants in Syria / Facebook
Slavonic Corps is a private military contractor that operated during Syrian war and it was Hong Kong registered company, but it was ended in October 2013 when Russian FSB arrested the owners and the mercenaries when they returned to Russia.
Logo / Official website
During the spring of 2013, job ads by a Hong Kong-based company emerged on various Russian military related websites. The ads promised $5,000 per month for guard duties protecting Syrian energy facilities in Deir Zour, Syria. The ads attracted the attention of former members of OMON, SOBR, VDV and Spetsnaz; many of them had previous military experience in the Tajikistan Civil War as well as the Second Chechen War.
Russian contractors in Deir Zour / Facebook
Russian mercenaries were first transferred to Damascus and then to a Syrian army base in Latakia. By October the Slavonic Corps had a strength of 267 contractors divided into two companies that were present in Latakia and then later they were transferred to Deir Zour to protect the oil fields. The owners of Slavonic Corps were planning to recruit up to 2,000 Russian contractors to fight alongside Syrian Army and to protect its Energy facilities.
Russian contractors / Facebook
Syrian Resistance which was formerly known as Popular Front for the Liberation of the Liwa of Iskandarun, is a Syrian militia that was formed in 2011 to co-operate with the Syrian army to combat the Syrian rebels.
Syrian Resistance Flag / Wikipedia
The group is led by Mihraç Ural who hides under the nom de guerre of Ali Kayali is a Turkish Alawite and also holds Syrian citizenship. He lived in Syria since the early 1980s when in 1970 he took up arms against the Turkish government and promoted the cause of Syrian nationalism where he ended in prison. He has been exiled in Syria since escaping from a Turkish prison in 1980, Kayali ran a small splinter group of his communist and sectarian sect, Turkey's People's Liberation Party/Front (THKP/C) to make the Alawite population turn into confrontation with the Turkish Government and operated to annex the Hatay (or Iskanderoun) province to the Syrian Arab Republic.
Mihraç Ural / alkhabar press
This militia operates in many areas across Syria like Latakia Governorate where most of his fighters are located with small appearances in Jisr al-Shughur, Ariha and Homs. Also it is estimated to have around 2,000 fighters most of them are Syrian Alawites and the rest are Turkish Alawites who were recruited from the Turkish province of Hatay which has a large number of Alawite population.
Syrian resistance fighters in Latakia / Facebook
The group openly promotes the Syrian Nationalism in addition to leftist Marxist ideology, but also it has been claimed that the group’s main focus is the defence of Alawites in Syria and Southern Turkey since all of its members are from the Alawite sect.
Syrian resistance fighters / alhadath news
Syrian Hezbollah “Syrian Party of God” is a Syrian militia that was formed in July 2013 this militia consists of Syrian Alawites from Aleppo, Idlib, Tartous, Homs and Damascus. The creation of this militia was done by Iranian Quds Force which is under the command of General Qassem Soleimani, also some officers from the Lebanese Hezbollah supervise and train this militia where it trains in training camps located in South Lebanon and in Damascus.
Syrian Hezbollah Flag / All4Syria
Sheikh Ibrahim Banod is considered to be the Spiritual leader of this sectarian militia that wishes to copy the same experience as the Lebanese Hezbollah. This militia participates in many battles alongside the Syrian armed forces in Aleppo and Latakia, the number of this militia is estimated to be around 1,800 fighters fully trained to use different types of weapons, storming tactics, raiding, surveillance, tracking, and explosives detection. The fighters of this militia get paid around $500-$1,000 monthly by Iran since it was behind the creation of this militia.
The former General in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Hossein Hamadani stated on Fars News “Iran is fighting today in Syria to defend its interests and Islamic revolution, the importance of this war is not less important than the Iran-Iraq war and we have 130,000 soldiers from the Basij are ready to go to Syria and with God’s help Iranians will create the second Hezbollah in Syria.”
Supporter of Syrian Hezbollah / Tahrirsouri
Todays Zaman, Mihrac Ural (English)
Joshua Landis, Syrian Resistance (English)
Tahrirsouri, Syrian Hezbollah profile (Arabic)
All4Syria, New militia under the name of Syrian Hezbollah (Arabic)
Orient News, Syrian Hezbollah (Arabic)
Orient news, Arab Nationalist Guard, a new pro-Assad militia (Arabic)
Al-akhbar, Arab nationalists take up arms in the battle for Syria (English)
CarnegieMEC, The Baath Battalions move into Damascus (English)
Al-Monitor, Syrian Baath militia commander goes rags-to-riches (English)
Reuters, Battered by war, Syrian army creates its own replacement (English)
Now News, Rise of the Militias (English)
Alriyadh, New Shabiha: National Defence Force (Arabic)
Fontanka, The last battle for Slavonic Corps (Russian) - [http://www.fontanka.ru/2013/11/14/060/]