Friday, February 18, 2005

Syrian Armed Force Purge

Interesting take on changes in the Syrian armed forces from the DEBKAfile. Sample:
Our military sources note that, for the relatively modest investment of $45 million to $60 million a year, Iran has acquired control over the most sophisticated sectors of Syria’s military industries. They are available as Tehran’s backdoor suppliers of missiles, non-conventional weapons and ammunition for any contingency, such as the Iranian armed forces or a surrogate, like the Hizballah, being called upon to fight in a part of the Middle East that is far from the Islamic Republic’s borders.

DEBKAfile’s military analysts note that while the Syrian army is not directly mixed up in US-insurgent warfare in Iraq, its military intelligence remains a separate and potent instrument of the Assad regime’s strategic policies. This entity is currently proactive on four fronts:

1. Iraq. Syrian military intelligence supports the Baathist guerrilla campaign by recruiting, training and dispatching combatants to Iraq from among the terrorist groups Assad sponsors such as the Lebanese Hizballah and such radical Palestinian organizations as the Jihad Islami and Jibril’s Popular Front – General Command. Recruiting also takes place in Syrian city slum districts and among Palestinian refugee camp inmates with Syrian citizenship.

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