Syrian Armed Forces
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The Syrian Armed Forces ((アラビア語:القوات المسلحة العربية السورية)) are the military forces of Syria. They consist of the Syrian Arab Army, Syrian Arab Navy, Syrian Arab Air Force, Syrian Arab Air Defense Force, and several paramilitary forces. According to the Syrian constitution, the President of Syria is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
The military is a conscripted force; males serve in the military upon reaching the age of 18, but there are many women in Syrian armed forces.〔(【引用サイトリンク】url=http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/syria/overview.htm )〕 Since the Syrian Civil War, the enlisted members of the Syrian military have dropped by over half from a pre-civil war figure of 325,000 to 150,000 soldiers in the army in December 2014, due to casualties, desertions and draft dodging,〔 reaching between 178,000 and 220,000 soldiers in the army,〔Daily Star 23 sept 2014〕 in addition to 80,000 to 100,000 irregular forces.〔List of armed groups in the Syrian Civil War〕
Before the start of the Syrian Civil War, the obligatory military service period was being decreased over time. In 2005, it was reduced from two and a half years to two years, in 2008 to 21 months and in 2011 to year and a half. Since the Syrian Civil War the Syrian government has reportedly engaged in arrest campaigns and enacted new regulations, with even citizens who have completed mandatory conscription being called up for reserve duty.〔
The French Mandate volunteer force, which would later become the Syrian army, was established in 1920 with the threat of Syrian−Arab nationalism in mind. Although the unit's officers were originally all French, it was, in effect, the first indigenous modern Syrian army. In 1925, this force was expanded and designated as the Special Troops of the Levant (Troupes Spéciales du Levant). In 1941, during World War II, the Army of the Levant participated in a futile resistance to the British and Free French invasion that ousted the Vichy French from Syria during the Syria–Lebanon Campaign. After the Allies takeover, the army came under the control of the Free French and was designated the Levantine Forces (Troupes du Levant).
French Mandate authorities maintained a gendarmerie to police Syria's vast rural areas. This paramilitary force was used to combat criminals and political foes of the Mandate government. As with the Levantine Special Troops, French officers held the top posts, but as Syrian independence approached, the ranks below major were gradually filled by Syrian officers who had graduated from the Homs Military Academy, which had been established by the French during the 1930s. In 1938, the Troupes Spéciales numbered around 10,000 men and 306 officers (of whom 88 were French, mainly in the higher ranks). A majority of the Syrian troops were of rural background and minority ethnic origin, mainly Alawis, Druzes, Kurds, and Circassians. By the end of 1945, the army numbered about 5,000 and the gendarmerie some 3,500. In April 1946, the last French officers were forced to leave Syria due to sustained resistance offensives; the Levantine Forces then became the regular armed forces of the newly independent state and grew rapidly to about 12,000 by the time of the 1948 Arab−Israeli War, the first of four Arab−Israeli wars between 1948 and 1986.
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