December 16, 2011

Appendix 1: Structure and Command of Armed Forces and Intelligence Agencies

The information below has been compiled on the basis of defectors’ statements. To the extent possible, the information has been verified through third parties and public sources. Given limitations on access to Syria and official government sources, the information below might be expanded and clarified based on further research.  Information provided on individuals below identifies their role within the structure of the Syrian Armed Forces or Intelligence Agencies. Not all individuals listed below also appear in the body of the report. References to specific allegations refer to the units involved.

Armed Forces

Top Commanders:

Bashar al-Assad

Commander-in-Chief

Imad [165] Dawoud Rajiha

Minister of Defense (from August 8); before that served as Army Chief of Staff.

Imad Fahed al-Jasem el-Freij

Chief of Staff from August; before that, responsible for special forces operations in Daraa, Idlib, Hama

Asef Shawkat

Deputy Minister of Defense; reportedly influential with the intelligence agencies

Presidential (Republican) Guard

Commander: Maj. Gen. Shoaeb Suleiman

Deputy: Brig. Gen. Mohamed Qasem

Areas of operation:

  • Damascus and suburbs (Harasta, Douma)

Sub-units:

Name

Commander

Locations

Specific allegations of human rights abuses against unit

101st Security Regiment

 

 

 

102nd Security Regiment

 

April operation in Nawa

 

104th Brigade

Brig. Gen. Issam Zaher Eldin, Brig. Gen. Monaf Tlas

Douma, Harasta

 

105th Brigade

Brig. Gen. Talal Makhlouf

Douma, Harasta, April operation in Nawa (infantry battalion)

Killing of unarmed protesters

106th Brigade

Brig. Gen. Rukin Mohamed Khaddor

Douma, Harasta

Arbitrary arrests; beatings of detainees

 

3rd Division

Commander: Maj. Gen. Naim Jasem Suleiman

Areas of operation:

  • Damascus governorate (Douma)

Sub-units:

Name

Commander

Locations

Specific allegations of human rights abuses against unit

65th Brigade

Brig. Gen. Jihad Mohamed Sultan

Douma

Arbitrary arrests, looting of homes, shooting at unarmed protesters

4th Division

Commander: Maj. Gen. Mohamed Ali Durgham

Areas of operation:

  • Damascus governorate (Mo’adamiyeh, Daraya, Zamalka, Harasta, al-Tal)
  • Homs governorate (Rastan)
  • Daraa governorate (Daraa city, Nawa)

Sub-units:

Name

Commander

Locations

Specific allegations of human rights abuses against unit

42nd Brigade

Maher al-Assad (brother of President al-Assad and de facto commander of 4th Division).

 

 

154th Regiment

Brig. Gen. Jawdat Ibrahim Safi

Mo’adamiyeh, Douma, Abasiyeh, Domer

Arbitrary arrests, killing of unarmed protesters

555th Airborne Regiment

Brig. Gen. Jamal Yonnes

Mo’adamiyeh, Daraya, Qabun, Zamalka, April operation in Nawa

Shooting at unarmed protesters; arbitrary arrest and beatings; destruction of property

5th Division

Commander: Maj. Gen. Suheil Salman Hassan

Areas of operation:

  • Daraa city and surrounding towns

Sub-units:

Name

Commander

Locations

Specific allegations of human rights abuses against unit

12th Brigade

Brig. Gen. Mohsin Makhlouf

Al-Herak

Killing of unarmed protesters

15th Brigade

 

 

 

112th Brigade

 

 

 

132nd Brigade

Brig. Gen. Ahmed Yousef Jarad

Daraa city

Killing of unarmed residents

175th Regiment

 

 

 

9th Division

Sub-units:

Name

Commander

Locations

Specific allegations of human rights abuses against unit

76th Brigade

 

Al-Tal

Killing of unarmed protesters

18th Division

Areas of operation:

  • Homs governorate (Talbiseh, Rastan)

Sub-units:

Name

Commander

Locations

Specific allegations of human rights abuses againt unit

60th Brigade

 

May invasion of Rastan

 

120th Brigade

 

May invasion of Rastan

 

134th Brigade

Brig. Gen. Yousef Ismail

Talbiseh, May invasion of Rastan

Shooting at unarmed protesters; arbitrary arrests; looting

167th Brigade

Brig. Gen. Ali Mohamed Hamdan

May invasion of Rastan

Shooting of unarmed residents

Special Forces

Deputy: Maj. Gen. Fo’ad Hamoudeh

Sub-units:

Name

Commander

Locations

Specific allegations of human rights abuses against unit

35th Regiment

Maj. Gen. Ramadan Mahmoud Ramadan

Banyas, April 25 operation in Daraa

Killing of unarmed protesters

41st Regiment

 

April 25 operation in Daraa

 

45th Regiment

Maj. Gen. Ghassan Afif

Banyas and surrounding towns (Markab), Idlib, Homs

Arbitrary arrests; shooting at unarmed residents

46th Regiment

 

Idlib (from June 22), Hama

 

47th Regiment

 

Hama, April 25 operation in Daraa

 

53rd Regiment

 

Banyas, Markab

 

Intelligence Agencies

There are four main intelligence agencies in Syria:

  • The Department of Military Intelligence (Shu'bat al-Mukhabarat al-'Askariyya);
  • The Political Security Directorate (Idarat al-Amn al-Siyasi);
  • The General Intelligence Directorate (Idarat al-Mukhabarat al-'Amma); and
  • The Air Force Intelligence Directorate (Idarat al-Mukhabarat al-Jawiyya).

In theory, the National Security Bureau oversees the four intelligence agencies. In practice, however, the agencies operate with a high degree of autonomy, answerable mainly to President Bashar al-Assad.

Given the secretive nature of the Syrian intelligence agencies, it is very difficult to verify information about their structure and commanders. The information below has been included only when confirmed by two or more defectors. Nevertheless, the exact structure of the agencies and the identity of their commanders might be clarified as more information comes to light.

The four main intelligence agencies have regional branches in the governorates and main cities, in addition to central branches.

All of the main intelligence agencies have been implicated in the killing of unarmed protesters and the arbitrary arrest and torture of detainees.

National Security Bureau

Key Officials:

Name

Comments

Hisham Bak h tiyar

Director

Department of Military Intelligence (Shu’bat al-Mukhabarat al-‘Askariyya)

Central branches:

  • Military Investigative Branch
  • Palestine Investigative Branch (235)
  • Communications Security and Surveillance Branch (211)
  • Security Branches (291, 292, 293)

Key Officials:

Name

Comments

Maj. Gen. Abdul Fatah Kudsiyeh

Director

Maj. Gen. Rustam Ghazali

Head of Damascus Regional Branch

Col. Louai Ali

Head or Deputy of Daraa Regional Branch

Brig. Gen. Suheir Ramadan

Head of Suwayda Regional Branch. Until replaced by Wafiq Nasser

Wafiq Nasser

Head of Suwayda Regional Branch; assumed position after Brig. Gen. Ramadan

Air Force Intelligence Directorate (Idarat al-Mukhabarat al-Jawiyya)

Central Branches:

  • Investigative Branch
  • Special Operations Branch

Key Officials:

Name

Comments

Maj. Gen. Jamil Hassan

Director

Maj. Gen. Abdulsalam Fajer Mahmoud

Head of Investigative Branch

Maj. Gen. Ghassan Ismail

Head of Special Operations Branch

Col. Suheil Hassan

Head of Operations Branch

Col. Qusay Mihoub

Officer from Damascus; sent to Daraa at the beginning of protests to oversee operations there.

General Security Directorate (Idarat al-Amn al-Amm)

(Often referred to by its old name, “State Security”)

Central branches:

  • Investigative Branch (285)
  • Information Security Branch (255)
  • Internal Branch (251)
  • External Branch (300)

Key Officials:

Name

Comments

Maj. Gen. Ali Mamlouk (Mamluk)

Director

Maj. Gen. Ghassan Khalil

Head of Information Security Branch (255)

Col. Hafez Makhlouf

Head of Internal Branch (251)

Brig. Gen. Ahmed Dibe

Head of Daraa Regional Branch

Political Security Directorate (Idarat al-Amn al-Siyasi)

Central branches:

  • Investigative Branch (“al-Feiha”)

Key Officials:

Name

Comments

Mohamed Dib Zeitoun

Director

Brig. Gen. Makhmoud al-Khattib

Head of Investigative Branch

Brig. Gen. Mohamed Heikmat Ibrahim

Head of Operations Branch

Atif Najib

Head of Daraa Regional Branch when protests broke out in March; later removed

Brig. Gen. Nasser Al-Ali

Replaced Atif Najib as Head of Daraa Regional Branch

 

[165]Imad is a rank in the Syrian armed forces between major general and lieutenant general.