Military of Syria

The President of Syria is commander in chief of the Syrian armed forces, comprising some 400,000 troops upon mobilization. The military is a conscripted force; males serve 30 months in the military upon reaching the age of 18. About 20,000 Syrian soldiers are currently deployed in Lebanon. The breakup of the Soviet Union--long the principal source of training, material, and credit for the Syrian forces--has slowed Syria's ability to acquire modern military equipment. Nevertheless, its military remains one of the largest and most capable in the region. Syria received significant financial aid from Gulf Arab states as a result of its participation in the Gulf War, with a sizable portion of these funds earmarked for military spending. Besides sustaining its conventional forces, Syria seeks to improve its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) capability.

Military branches: Syrian Arab Army, Syrian Arab Navy, Syrian Arab Air Force, Syrian Arab Air Defense Forces, Police and Security Force

Military manpower - military age: 19 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 4,220,578 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 2,358,973 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 196,616 (2000 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $800 million-$1 billion (FY97 est.); note - based on official budget data that may understate actual spending

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 5.9% (FY98)

See also : Syria

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