Syrian Republican Guard
The Syrian Republican Guard is a 10,000 man bodyguard
A bodyguard is a type of security operative or government agent who protects a person—usually a famous, wealthy, or politically important figure—from assault, kidnapping, assassination, stalking, loss of confidential information, terrorist attack or other threats.Most important public figures such...

 unit of the Syrian Army
Syrian Army
The Syrian Army, officially called the Syrian Arab Army, is the land force branch of the Syrian Armed Forces. It is the dominant military service of the four uniformed services, controlling the senior most posts in the armed forces, and has the greatest manpower, approximately 80 percent of the...

. They are a single armored division
Division (military)
A division is a large military unit or formation usually consisting of between 10,000 and 20,000 soldiers. In most armies, a division is composed of several regiments or brigades, and in turn several divisions typically make up a corps...

 used to protect the capital, Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

 from any domestic threats. The Guard is the only Syrian military unit allowed within the capital.


The guard was formed in 1976 when anti-Syrian Palestinian groups launched attacks on Syria. The Republican Guard is used mostly to protect top Syrian government officials from any external threats. It is reported that in order to maintain loyalty to the Syrian regime, officers of the Republican Guard receive a significant share of the revenue from the Syrian oil fields in the Deir ez-Zor region, which in large part is not recorded in the country's budget.. Many members of the Assad family
Assad family
The Assad family has ruled Syria, since Hafez al-Assad became Syrian President in 1971 and established an authoritarian regime under the control of the Baath party. After his death in 2000, his son Bashar al-Assad succeeded him....

 have served in the Republican Guard. Bashar al-Assad
Bashar al-Assad
Bashar al-Assad is the President of Syria and Regional Secretary of the Ba'ath Party. His father Hafez al-Assad ruled Syria for 29 years until his death in 2000. Al-Assad was elected in 2000, re-elected in 2007, unopposed each time.- Early Life :...

 was a Colonel, and was given control of a brigade. His younger brother Maher
Maher al-Assad
Maher al-Assad is the brother of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and the commander of the Republican Guard and the army's elite Fourth Armored Division, which together with Syria's secret police form the core of the country's security forces...

 was also a Colonel in the Republican Guard.

Further reading

  • Kenneth M. Pollack, Arabs at War: Military Effectiveness 1948-91, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln and London, 2002, and Pollack's book reviewed in International Security, Vol. 28, No.2.
  • International Institute for Strategic Studies
    International Institute for Strategic Studies
    The International Institute for Strategic Studies is a British research institute in the area of international affairs. It describes itself as "the world’s leading authority on political-military conflict"...

    , The Military Balance 2006, p. 208-9
  • Richard Bennett, The Syrian Military: A Primer MEIB Bulletin, Vol. 3, No. 8, August/September 2001
  • Norman Schwarzkopf, It Doesn't Take A Hero, Bantam Books, 1993, p. 467-9
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.