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Iran Calls On Syria To “Legalize” National Defense Forces


Iran Calls On Syria To "Legalize" National Defense Forces

On November 23, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari the commander of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said that the Syrian government should legalize the status of the National Defense Force (NDF).

Maj. Gen Jafari called the Syrian Parliament to pass a law to legalize the NDF. Jafari also said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “understands the importance of the NDF, and he will for sure make it legal to face any threats in the future”.

The Iranian-backed NDF was formed during 2012 after the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) suffered from heavy loses during the battles in northern and southern Syria. The NDF is legally a part of the Syrian Popular Army (SPA), a branch of the SAA. So, the NDF is already a legal force, according to the Syrian law.

However, the SPA is an “emergency force” that’s usually dismissed after the end of the war. Based on this, Maj Gen. Jafari likely meant that Syria should turn the NDF into an independent permanent force separated from the SAA, like the Iranian IRGC and Lebanese Hezbollah.

The Syrian government may avoid doing this. The government is already working with Russia to strengthen the SAA again through supporting the SAA 5th Assault Corps and the Syrian intelligence special forces, like the Tiger Forces.

Moreover, turning the NDF into an independent force will mean that other sides in Syria will have an excuse to keep their own forces even if a political agreement is reached. Israel may even use this independent force as an excuse to conduct attacks against the Syrian government in the future, like has done in Lebanon many times.

Another factor that plays a role in the future of the NDF is the fact that most of the NDF fighters and commanders are secular. They fight to secure their areas from radical Islamists during the war. The majority of those fighters and commanders will likely refuse to adopt the NDF as carrier for the rest of their lives once the war is over

According to local sources, Damascus believes that unifying everyone under the SAA banner it will be able to build balanced relations with everyone in the region and avoid another war.



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  • FlorianGeyer

    It might be prudent for the NDF to be retained as a reserve force with a full time nucleus of officers, non-commissioned officers and specialist soldiers so that in time of conflict a ‘Ready for Combat’ force is ready and to acknowledge the loyal assistance from Iran. This may well suit many NDF soldiers as well , as it gives an option to return to civilian life if so wished , whilst remaining a worthy part of Syria’s defence. Perhaps Iranian instructors could be involved as well.

    For Israel and the US to be seriously challenged there must unity of purpose by an integrated opposition.

    • PZIVJ

      This does sound like a good idea.
      Like a National Guard Reserve force.

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      • FlorianGeyer

        Yes, in the UK a similar force designated as the Territorial Army,now named the Army Reserves.

        • Verdant_One

          Australia just merged its Irregular “Army Reserve” (“cut lunch commandos”) with the Regular “Australian Defense Force” under the umbrellas of the “Australian Defence Organization” as the casual staff of the Reserve Forces were dwarfing the Standing Regular Army.

    • Thegr8rambino


  • Serious

    SAA is the army. Syria is not like Lebanon that has a non existent army.

    • Goran Grubić HardyVeles

      I’m puzzled with article author’s mention of the Hezbollah in this context: Hezbollah is not legal (in this sense) and it is not desired (officially) by the political caste there.

      • FlorianGeyer

        Hezbollah is also very supportive and involved with civilian welfare projects in Lebanon. The organisation is totally integrated with their supporters as well as being the 1st line of real defence for all the Lebanese people of all faiths and creeds who are threatened by Israel.

      • Jens Holm

        You are correct. They have kind of 2 armies there and kind of 2 states as well.

    • Jens Holm

      Damaskus have a hard armed milisia as well and some of those troops has been on the front.

  • GroundlessAir


  • Solomon Krupacek

    dont legalize. 2 armies in 1 country is always mess.

    • LR captain

      way too much back stabbing going on between them. NDF= militia SAA = army Republican Guards = overpaid soldiers (many who are corrupt)

      fun fact alot of defectors early on were promised high positions in the new country government. it was easily to get soldier to fall for this because they were not in the republican guard witch was seene as having a higher post and more respect.

      • Solomon Krupacek

        NDF is nor comparable with militia of other, democratic states. it would be like kurds in syria or hezbollah in lebanon. state in the state.

        • Jens Holm

          Thats not correct. It could be. The mistake is, that You write, that some militaries should run the business from either Damaskus or locals.

          But the local civiles should command those and use them only against military intruders.

          Comparing with Peshmerga in Iraq is relevant. Those are in the Constitution only meant for own defence and by that replace the Iraqian army(and airforce and fleet). That include the Iraqian army, which they also could ask for help.

          But my real question in that is: Who will attack Syria as a country. Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Saudis, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel.

          If none will attack its totally stupid to have an army of the kind of today. Thats my oppinion even I dont like and accept Damaskus as leadership.

          Its much more relevant to use those money Syria hardly has for schools, education, skills, hard workings and people are hired according to that away from corruption and family relations.

          Its much more relevant the people of Syria know much more about each other by educational entligtning in stead od dirty propaganda for old dicatorships, where the history of Syra as well as neighbors are mainly true and having no Assad cult with pictures showing – well nothing.

          To me those big pictures make more fear then trust saying: Do as I tell You – or else I will kill You.

          Those posters should say. Equal right for all. New jobs are made by the goverment for education, building construction, modern agriculture and irrigation, better health care by modern systems with well educated doctors and nurses and like that.

          In stead we see frontpictures and never what comes out from his behind.

  • Garga

    Dear SF editor,

    I can’t tell you how many times I did the same mistake, but in the 3rd line to the last, that’s actually “career”, not “carrier”.

    Shhh… That’s our secret. I won’t tell anyone if you don’t tell. ;)

  • Real Anti-Racist Action

    How could they have not done this already? In America it was the civilian militia that defeated the UK-Empire. The backbone of any nations defense is always the civilian militia. The organized military is more of a policing action or professional offensive weapon to conquers others.
    I call on the democratic Syrian people to legalized all pro-Syrian civilian militias is inseparable parts of the unity of safety of the Syrian people!

    • Goran Grubić HardyVeles

      Can’t fit the civilian militia into Syrian case: you have 2nd amendment (we, the rest of the World, can only dream about and continue crying about), you have it more then 200 years – meaning certain tradition and awareness, and you are sole superpower – meaning no one would dare to manipulate part of your population and / or state to rebel against the federal government. So, if Assad just introduce 2nd-amendment-kind-of-thing it would serve perfectly to Syrian enemies.

      • TiredOfBsToo

        They’ll figure it all out when they write a new constitution.

      • Real Anti-Racist Action

        Americans did not invent the 2nd Amendment. Switzerland has more guns in peoples homes then there are people. We learned it from the Greeks. Athenians and Spartans and other, all were not armed by the state, but had to produce and store your’s at home.
        Indians were the same. Every healthy culture the People hold the Power.
        The only mistake Americans have made is allowing the government to be armed.
        Yemen is the 2dn country in the world where civilians have the most guns.
        Although gun violence is very rare in Finland, the country has the highest rate of firearm ownership in Europe and the third highest in the world behind only the United States and Yemen. Why do so many Finns own firearms? They’re hunters.Dec 31, 2009.

        Just thought I’d bring you up to date on how the world really is.
        I’d rather live in Yemen or Finland or Switzerland or American then be a Chinese or Saudi or UK slave lol.
        Note how there are dictators in Saudi Arabia and in the UK, cause no where can the civilians liberate themselves from such criminals.

    • Solomon Krupacek

      so, you make propaganda for zionost, masonry, world-raping american model? how deeply have you decreased in your mind!!!

      • Jens Holm

        Far out to put zionists into this. He is not writing anything like that at all even I disagree a lot with him.

    • Jens Holm

      Its not correct civilian defences are the backbone for all nations defence. Many places, they hardly exist.

      Those countries has the politice, the law, the parlament, the Goverment and the Constitutions as defence.

  • Olayinka Abdulgafar

    Whatever the writer suggested against the permanence of the NDF is his own opinion which he’s entitled to but it is baised. As long as Israel exist in its present form not just Syria but all those who do not subject to the whims of the hegemon will continue to be under a state of war and tension, the zionist will always find a reason to attack Syria whether the NDF exist or not going by the zionist history since inception, and mind you Russia will not allow the best of SAA air defence system to be used against the zionist take or leave. I stand by my argument that the only thing standing between the zionist and the destruction of Lebanon is Hezbollah, another flawed argument is the writer’s assertion is that people may not be interested in the NDF after war this is the middle east for crying out loud. My question is with such adequate security in Russia why did Putin still need to create a national guard?
    I think the simple fact why the writer is against the NDF is that it’s viewed as Iran soft power in Syria which I don’t deny it could be but, why can’t Iran have such power in Syria? Granted Russia provided the game changer through her airforce but would it have changed anything without the militias and economic lifeline provided by Iran? Russia has a port and airbase in Syria and high influence in the SAA won’t it be best if Assad as a regional power and an NDF that he can always used to provide a balance? You say what’s stopping them from cooperating and get rid of Assad, simple because Iran is from the region and her endgame is always to get all extra regional forces out of the middle east. I’m a pragmatist and I’m not against Russia presence in Syria so long as it brings peace but I also want balance because history teaches us that absolute power corrupt absolutely. And one way or the other Iran will succeed in creating a civil forces of one semblance of the other in Syria because we’re going to witness death spasm of terrorism in Syria through sleeper cells attacks on civilian targets.

    • Solomon Krupacek

      but, why can’t Iran have such power in Syria

      because this cancels the independece of syria.

      russia has OWN soldiers on bases

      iran would have SYRIAN people in its service. big difference!

  • Jens Holm

    Its my own oppinion about it: SAA has again and again shown, those are very ineffective from top to bottom. So if I was them, I would make the local defenders much stronger and start all over with a new modern SAA havinbg none of the old generals and politicians as handlers of it.

    By that You put out the responsability to the people, who lives there. Who would attack Syria from the outside – Well only Israel and only partly. SAA are totally usefull for a defence against that.

    The main worries for Assads today are, they run areas with fear and no trust. So if they add up local forces, they have to trust more people and think those should be handled. But thats incorrect. Those troops should be in the same way as fx Peshmerga in Iraq but much heavier armed. Those troops should by that be able to defence the local areas(whatever their name might be) and not more then that.

    In the Peshmerga model, You have to ask 11 groups or something and those groups only help each other, when they agree. So most of the time they are very local defenders and sometimes they send troops to make, whats similar to and army or actually an army.

    Its correct NDF was meant as a reserve, but as written above they do have potential, if You put in more equipment. Those people dont need leadership of Damaskus and some incompetent leaders of the Damaskus as a sect.

    The problems reamain i Syria, if the Dictatorship will remain controling the people. Thats what the Dictatorship in Iran does. You get zero devellopment by that.

    And then I allow me to go bask to which are the owners of Syria. No one seemes to learn vital things for a modern country, which can be stronger. Some commanders by fx Baathist has shown well, that they can not.

    So its about how You make all Syrians to work for Syria and make space in trust, education, ewual rights and that – Or the purpose is to control all of it as a primitive Emirat, where the Leadership dont see the corners of it and even id they do, have only militaries to kill all initiative and only allow one kind of flowers,.

  • Is the gentleman suggesting/requesting that Syria have their very own Hezbollah??