Syrian Air Defense Force

Syrian Arab Air Defence Force
Founded 1969
Headquarters Damascus
President of Syria Bashar al-Assad
Available for
military service
4,356,413 (2005 est.), age 15–49
Fit for
military service
3,453,888 (2005 est.), age 15–49
Reaching military
age annually
225,113 (2005 est.)
Active personnel 36,000
Reserve personnel Unknown
Deployed personnel Unknown
Foreign suppliers  Russia

The Syrian Air Defense Force (SyADF), officially the Syrian Arab Air Defense Force, is an independent command within the Syrian Armed Forces. It has been merged into and then separated from both the Syrian Arab Army and the Syrian Arab Air Force. The Syrian Air Defense Force controls four air defense corps, eleven air defense divisions and thirty-six air defense brigades, each with six SAM battalions. It is equipped with 650 static S-75 Dvina, S-125 Neva/Pechora and S-200 launchers, 200 mobile 2K12 Kub and Buk launchers and over 4,000 anti-aircraft guns ranging from 23mm to 100mm in caliber. There are also two independent 9K33 Osa SAM regiments, each with four batteries of 48 mobile SAMs.

The Syrian early warning system comprises Long Track; P-12 Spoon Rest; P-14 Tall King; H-15 Flat Face; P-30 Big Mesh; P-35 Bar Lock; P-80; PRV-13; PRV-16 Thin Skin mobile and static radar sites throughout Syria.

Current structure and organization[]

SA-6 launcher near the Beirut-Damascus highway, overlooking the Bekaa Valley, in early 1982.

25 teams defense (130 batteries) Including:


Combat history[]

In October 1973, the Syrian air defense forces (SyADF) shot down numerous Israeli warplanes using mostly the 2K12 Kub (SA-6) SAMs.[13]

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.[14][15]

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.[16]

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.[17] 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.[18]

On 17 March 2015, a US MQ-1 Predator drone was shot down by a Syrian S-125 missile.[19][20]

On 13 September 2016, the Syrian Army claimed to have downed an Israeli warplane and a drone after an attack on Quneitra province. The Israel Defence Forces denied any such loss.[21]

On 17 March 2017, the Syrian Army claimed to have downed an Israeli warplane after an attack on military site near Palmyra.[22] The Israel Defence Forces denied any such loss.[23]

On February 10th, 2018, Israel launched air strikes against targets in Syria with eight fighter aircraft as retaliation for a UAV incursion into Israeli Golan held airspace 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.[24] The jet crashed in the Jezreel Valley, near Harduf.[25][26] Both the pilot and the navigator managed to eject.[27][28]

On the night of May 10th, 2018, Israel launched a large scale air attack on multiple Iranian targets in Syria. After being engaged by the Syria Air Defense forces, they attacked and destroyed a Pantsir-S1 launcher, as well as several other anti-aircraft systems (SA5, SA2, SA22, SA17) . [29]

On September 17th, 2018, four Israeli F-16s engaged targets in the Syrian port city of Latakia, to which the Syrian Air Defense forces responded. During the Israeli attack, a Russian Il-20 aircraft was mistakenly destroyed by an S-200 missile launched by Syrian air defenses. All fifteen crewmembers of the Il-20 died as a result. [30]

Further reading[]


  1. ^ The International Institute For Strategic Studies IISS The Military Balance 2012. — Nuffield Press, 2012. — С. 349 с.
  2. ^ "Trade Registers". Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Syrie armee syrienne forces defense terrestres equipements militaires vehicule blindes informations - Army Recognition". 2012-07-14. Retrieved 2012-08-24. 
  4. ^ "Trade Registers". Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  5. ^ he International Institute For Strategic Studies IISS The Military Balance 2012. — Nuffield Press, 2012. — С. 349 с.
  6. ^ "IDF: Syria's antiaircraft system still no match for IDF". 1995-06-20. Retrieved 2012-08-24. 
  7. ^ "Syria receives SA-22 Greyhound". Archived from the original on 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2012-08-24. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Сирия получит С-300 в полном объеме". Archived from the original on 17 October 2014. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  10. ^ "Вести.Ru: В Дамаске будут следить за переговорами Путина и Кэмерона". Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  11. ^ "Сирия получила российские зенитно-ракетные комплексы С-300". Российская газета. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  12. ^ "Сирия получила первую партию российских ракет С-300". Российская газета. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  13. ^ "White House Military Briefing" (PDF). White House Military Briefing. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  14. ^ Herzog, The Arab–Israeli Wars, Random House (1982) pp. 347–48
  15. ^ Bruce Walker & the ors of Time-Life books, Fighting Jets: The Epic of Flight, Time Life Books (1983) pp. 162–63
  16. ^ "Assad regrets downing of Turkish jet, says won’t allow open combat with Ankara". Al Arabiya News, 3 July 2012. Retrieved: 26 August 2013.
  17. ^ "Syrian air defences 'harass' Turkish aircraft by putting them under radar lock: General Staff - INTERNATIONAL". Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  18. ^ "Here's how the Turkish F-16 shot down a Syrian Mil Mi-17 Hip helicopter today". The Aviationist. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ Ahrenheim, Anna (17 March 2017). "Netanyahu: Syrian strikes were to block transfer of weapons to Hezbollah". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 18 March 2017. 
  24. ^ "Investigation finds pilots of downed F-16 failed to defend themselves". 25 February 2018. Retrieved 3 April 2018. 
  25. ^ Ensor, Josie (10 February 2018). "Israel strikes Iranian targets in Syria after F-16 fighter jet shot down". Retrieved 3 April 2018 – via 
  26. ^ Sputnik. "Syrien: Israels Luftwaffe beklagt Beschuss durch Raketen aus russischer Produktion". Retrieved 3 April 2018. 
  27. ^ Critically yriawounded pilot downed in Syria strike walks out of hospital By TOI STAFF, 18 February 2018
  28. ^ "Pilot of downed F-16 jet regains consciousness, taken off respirator". Times of Israel. 11 February 2018. 
  29. ^ The Israeli Air Force Has Just Released A Video Of A Pantsir-S1 Air Defense System Being Struck In Last Night’s Attack In Syria
  30. ^ "Russian Il-20 downed by Syrian missile after F-16s used it as cover during the attack - MoD". RT. 18 September 2018. Retrieved 19 September 2018.