The Syrian Air Defense Force (SyADF), officially the Syrian Arab Air Defense Force, is an independent command within the Syrian Armed Forces. The SyADF is one of the most powerful and combat tested air defence forces in the region.
In October 1973, the Syrian Air Defense Force (SyADF) shot down numerous Israeli warplanes using mostly the 2K12 Kub (SA-6) SAMs.
In 1982, Israel claimed that 19 of 20 batteries, consisting of five launchers per battery, each launcher carrying three SA-6 missiles, were wiped out in Operation Mole Cricket 19, and the SyADF claimed to have shot down 43 Israeli warplanes over Lebanon in the same year.
On 22 June 2012, the Syrian Air Defence Force shot down a Turkish McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II reconnaissance jet. The jet's pilots were killed; both Turkish and Syrian forces searched for them before recovering their bodies in early July. The incident greatly escalated the tensions between Turkey and Syria.
In mid-November 2013, Turkish sources claimed the SyADF targeted, for ten seconds, three Turkish F-16 fighters that were flying near Dörtyol, over southern Hatay province after deploying from the Incirlik and Merzifon airbases. The incident came after a Turkish F-16 shot down a Syrian Mi-17 helicopter on September 16 after Turkey claimed it crossed into Turkish airspace in the same area.
On February 10th, 2018, Israel launched air strikes against targets in Syria with eight fighter aircraft as retaliation for a UAV incursion into the airspace of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights earlier in the day. Syrian air defenses succeeded in shooting down one of the Israeli jets, an F-16I Sufa, with an S-200 missile. The jet crashed in the Jezreel Valley, near Harduf. Both the pilot and the navigator managed to eject.
On the night of May 10th, 2018, Israel launched a large scale air attack on multiple, alleged Iranian targets in Syria. After being engaged by the SyADF, the Israeli aircraft attacked and destroyed a Pantsir-S1 launcher, as well as several other anti-aircraft systems (SA5, SA2, SA22, SA17) . 
On September 17th, 2018, four Israeli F-16s engaged targets in the Syrian port city of Latakia, to which Syrian air defenses responded. During the Israeli attack, a Russian Il-20 aircraft was mistakenly destroyed by an S-200 missile launched by the SyADF. All fifteen crewmembers of the Il-20 died as a result. It was claimed, Israeli Air Force pilots took shelter behind the IL-20, this exposing the Russian aircraft to the Syrian missile attack.
Kenneth M. Pollack, Arabs at War: Military Effectiveness 1948-91, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln and London, 2002, and Pollack's book reviewed in International Security, Vol. 28, No.2.