For decades, Syria’s Republican Guard forces have been the last frontline of defence for the ruling Assad family in Damascus.
The Republican Guard forces, or the Presidential Guard, were founded in the early 1970s by Hafez al-Assad, as the first shield of his regime in Syria, where they were initially placed in the Mount Qasioun and the perimeter of his palace located in the Muhajireen district.
The ‘formule’ of these forces has been modified several times since their establishment, until they were stabilized in 2011 with the presence of 5 Guard Command combat formations, most of which are stationed west of the capital.
Republican Guard Formations:
The Republican Guard Command: It is located between Mount Qasioun and Dummar town. There are battalions affiliated with it in the Mazzeh district near the People’s Palace road, and in the Jdeidet al-Shaibani town.
- The 101 Landing Regiment: Its mission is to protect the presidential palaces. It is located in Jdeidet al-Shaibani and in the foothills of the People's Palace and the monument of the Unknown Soldier Tomb. It has a battalion in Latakia.
The 102 Landing Regiment: The regiment charged with forming security detachments to protect palaces, personalities, and important places (from the inside). The leadership of 102 regiment is located in the Qaboun suburb, and its detachments are distributed in different areas.
104th Portable Infantry Brigade: Located in Jdeidet Al-Shaibani military camps.
The 105th Portable Infantry Brigade: Located in the Qasioun and Dummar camps.
The 106th Mechanized Infantry Brigade: Located in the Mount Qasioun and Dummar camps.
All formations were distributed around the city of Damascus with the spread of some security brigades and detachments outside Damascus to protect the presidential palaces in Latakia, Qardaha”, Slanfeh, Aleppo and others, according to the source.
After the outbreak of the Syrian revolution in March 2011 and the advance of the people in several areas, the regime rushed, with the help of the Iranians, to form and arm dozens of new combat battalions of the Republican Guard under different names, including storming battalions, including support battalions Including the women's brigades, all of which were independent brigades that were directly affiliated with the command of the Guard and were initially deployed in the vicinity of Damascus to protect it.
The Assad regime worked to frame some of these battalions within new formations of the Republican Guard Command after the Russians entered the military conflict line and the regime began to achieve victories at the expense of the opposition factions, under the guidance of the Iranians and the Russians.
The new formations:
(The Thirty Republican Guard Division - Aleppo Shield):
In 2017, the 30th Republican Guard Division was formed in the city of Aleppo, and the division's command was placed inside the Hanano camp, and the division was restructured by assembling some formations that were fighting in and around the city of Aleppo.
According to the source, the purpose of forming this division is to enable the regime and the Iranians to have absolute control over the economic capital (Aleppo) like the Republican Guard forces that control the administrative capital (Damascus), and this division currently includes basic membership formations from the division’s owners and formations attached to combat for a temporary period, which are as follows:
1- (The 124th Infantry Brigade): It was transferred from a reserve brigade to a working brigade.
2- (123rd Portable Infantry Brigade): a new brigade that was created during the past years.
3- (The 147th Landing Regiment): Transferred from the owners of the Special Forces to the owners (the 30th Division).
4- (Division Artillery Regiment): A new artillery regiment was formed within the "Al-Ramouseh" area.
5- (The 102nd Landing Regiment): It is part of the Republican Guard’s staff, it has been restructured, and 5 landing battalions have been added to it.
6- (Mechanical Brigade 106): It belongs to the Republican Guard Command. It has been attached to the battlefield (Division 30), and it is stationed near Manbij.
7- (93rd Tank Brigade): One of the owners of the 17th Division, attached to the 30th Division in combat, and it is stationed east of the city of Aleppo.
8- (The 135th Infantry Brigade): It was attached to (the 30th combat division) and is currently stationed in the "al-Safira" area.
New bastions in Damascus:
The Assad regime also created several new regiments in the vicinity of Damascus, to compensate for the formations that were moved outside the capital.
The new formations in Damascus suburbs:
1- 107th Artillery Regiment: The camp of this regiment is located in the Al-Drej area.
2- The 108th Intrusion Regiment: The camp of this new regiment is located near Damascus International Airport near the town of al-Ghasula in eastern Ghouta suburbs, next to the (35th Special Forces Regiment) camp
3- The 109th Regiment, storming: and its camp in the Mazzeh district, south of The People’s Palace on the road coming from Beirut Highway towards Presidential Palace.
Reuplican Guard’s presence outside Damascus:
The Syrian regime also formed several pieces and formations outside the capital to tighten its control over several areas, including:
1- 103rd Infantry Brigade, or the Coastal Shield, was formed in 2015 in Latakia province. It includes a number of new battalions that were formed from the people of the Syrian coast. Its mission was restricted to back regime forces against opposition factions on the fronts of Jabal al-Turkman and Jabal al-Akrad.
The brigade was redeployed in the Badia desert in central Homs province and parts of Deir Ezzor province at the Syria-Iraq border.
2- The 151st Regiment: It was formed in the northern countryside of Hama province to support the regime forces fighting in northwestern Syria. The regiment's leadership is currently located inside the town of Saraqib in Idlib province.
3-The 152nd Regiment: It was formed by Assad’s loyalists in Latakia, then it was transferred to the northern countryside of Hama. Its command is currently located near Maarrat al-Nu'man town.
4- The Women’s Intrusion Brigades: Several battalions were formed in the Mazzeh district.
5- Popular Defense Brigades: Formed by pro-Assad Shabiha militants who receive salaries from the Republican Guard.
The number of formations affiliated with the Republican Guard forces is 19 formations while the number of battalions that fall under the command of these formations is 123 battalions which is equivalent to the structure of two entire corps of the regime’s army.
The regime aims to make these forces the largest forces in Syria in the coming years, the source said.
All officers who commanded the Republican Guard forces in recent years are from the hometown of Bashar al-Assad, while the rest of officers are banned from any post or getting promoted to a high rank.
Republican Guard Commanders:
(Maj. Gen Adnan Makhlouf, Maj. Gen Ali Hassan, Maj. Gen Noureddin Naqar, Maj. Gen Shoaib Suleiman, Maj. Gen Badi Ali, Maj. Gen Talal Makhlouf, and Maj. Gen Malik Alia).
Zaman Al Wasl