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Syrian Navy

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Syrian Arab Navy
البحرية العربية السورية
Flag of the Syrian Arab Navy.svg
Flag of the Syrian Arab Navy
Founded1946; 73 years ago (1946)
Country Syria
Allegiance President of Syria
TypeNavy
RoleNaval warfare
Size
Foreign suppliers:
Part of Syrian Armed Forces
Garrison/HQDamascus
Commanders
President of SyriaFM Bashar al-Assad
Minister of DefenseGen. Ali Abdullah Ayyoub
Chief of Naval StaffVice Admiral yasser al-Haffei

The Syrian Navy, officially the Syrian Arab Navy (Arabic: البحرية العربية السورية‎), is the navy of the Syrian Armed Forces. It is under the Syrian Army's Latakia regional command with its fleet based in the ports of Baniyas, Latakia, Minat al Bayda, and Tartus. It is the smallest of the Syrian Armed Forces.

History[edit]

In 1950, the Syrian Navy was established following the procurement of a few naval vessels from France. The initial personnel consisted of army soldiers who had been sent to French naval academies for training.[1]

During the Yom Kippur War (1973 Arab–Israeli War) the Israeli Navy sank five Syrian naval ships without a loss during the Battle of Latakia. As a result, the Syrian Navy remained in port for the rest of the conflict.[2]

Tartus[edit]

Osa II (Project 205U) craft

Tartus hosts a Soviet-era naval supply and maintenance base, under a 1971 agreement with Syria. The base was established during the Cold War to support the Soviet Navy's fleet in the Mediterranean Sea. Since Russia forgave Syria three-fourths of its $13.4 billion Soviet-era debt and became its main arms supplier, the two countries have conducted talks about allowing Russia to develop and enlarge its naval base, so that Russia can strengthen its naval presence in the Mediterranean.[3] Amid Russia's deteriorating relations with the West, because of the 2008 Russo-Georgian War and plans to deploy a US missile defense shield in Poland, President Assad agreed to the port’s conversion into a permanent Middle East base for Russia’s nuclear-armed warships.[4] Since 2009, Russia has been renovating the Tartus naval base and dredging the port to allow access for its larger naval vessels.[5]

Syrian civil war[edit]

During the Syrian Civil War, opposition activists claimed that Syrian Navy warships supported a military attack by government forces against rebels in the city of Latakia.[6]

Equipment[edit]

  • Missile boats:
 Soviet Union 3 Osa I + 10 Osa II
 Iran 6 Tir II (IPS 18) - believed to be local produced by Maritime Industries Group or copies of North Korean patrol boats
  • Patrol craft
 Soviet Union 8 Zhuk-class patrol boats are 45' inshore vessels
 Iran 6 MIG-S-1800 class - monohull and catamaran produced by Maritime Industries Group with longer variants (S-1900 and S-2600)
  • Amphibious warfare vessels:
 POL 3 Polnocny B
  • Mine warfare vessels :
 Soviet Union 1 Sonya-class minesweepers
 Soviet Union 5 Yevgenya-class minesweepers
 Soviet Union 1 Natya-class minesweepers
  • Naval aviation:
    • 618th Maritime Warfare Squadron
 Soviet Union 11 Mil Mi-14PL Haze-A
 Soviet Union 5 Kamov Ka-25
 Soviet Union 5 Kamov Ka-28PL Helix-A

Coast defence[edit]

 PRC C-802[7]
 Soviet Union P-5 Pyatyorka (SS-C-1 Sepal, 4 systems)
 Soviet Union P-15M (SS-C-3 Styx, 6 systems)
 RUS K-300P Bastion-P / P-800 Yakhont (SS-C-5 Stooge, 2 systems delivered in 2011)[8]
 Soviet Union M1954 (M-46)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Syrian Arab Navy". GlobalSecurity.org.
  2. ^ "The Battle of Latakia". Jewish Virtual Library.
  3. ^ Weitz, Richard (2010). Global security watch--Russia : a reference handbook. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Praeger Security International. p. 30. ISBN 978-0-313-35434-2.
  4. ^ "Big Russian flotilla led by Admiral Kuznetsov carrier heads for Syrian port". DEBKAfile. 21 August 2008. Archived from the original on 23 August 2008. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  5. ^ "INSS: Syria Report" (PDF). Institute for National Security Studies. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 October 2011. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
  6. ^ "Syrian 'warships shell port city of Latakia'". Al Jazeera. 14 August 2011.
  7. ^ C-802 in Syria 7/7/2012 (video)
  8. ^ "Syria Receives More Russian SS-N-26 Yakhont Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles". May 18, 2013.