Syria, Libya, Iraq
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federation ... _Republics
(last attempted union of socialist arab states which Iraq aspired to join but due to politics between it and Egypt it did not, until Egypt's westward tilt)
After the 1973 War, Syrian President Hafez al-Assad made several attempts in 1974 and 1975 to settle his differences with Iraq (arising from Syria's acceptance of UN Resolution 338 which lead to the ceasefire in the 1973 War; Iraq withdrew the expeditionary force it had sent to help Syria as a result of Syria's acceptance of the ceasefire) and establish a union between the two countries. Iraq however rejected Assad's offers and denounced him for his "readiness to make peace" with Israel. Strained relations between Iraq and Syria would continue up until 1978.
By October 1978, Iraq President, Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr began working closely with Assad to foil the Camp David Accords; signing in Baghdad a charter for Joint National Action which provided for the "closest form of unity ties" including "complete military unity" as well as "economic, political and cultural unification".
In 1978 Iraqi President Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr and Hafez al-Assad, had agreed to a plan and started to make treaties that would lead to the unification of Iraq and Syria. This plan was to come into effect in July 1979, however Saddam Hussein, the Deputy Secretary of the Iraqi Ba'ath Party, fearful of losing his power to Assad (who was supposed to become the deputy leader in the new union), forced al-Bakr into retirement under threat of violence.
Unity talks did continue between Assad and Hussein after July 1979, but Assad rejected Iraqi demands for a full merger between the two states and for the immediate deployment of Iraq troops into Syria. Instead Assad, perhaps fearful of Iraqi domination and a new war with Israel, advocated a step-by-step approach. The unity talks were eventually suspended indefinitely after an alleged discovery of a Syrian plot to overthrow Saddam Hussein.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq%E2%80 ... _relations
Exploring other potential nation states that can provide a great variety of flavour, we turn to Syria and Iraq as a REDFOR counter to Israel and Turkey in the region. By itself these nations dont necessarily match the strength of Israel (examined here viewtopic.php?f=104&t=50251) but mixing and matching them can provide some flavourful Coalition power. Detailed above is the political attempts at a merger between the two states in the 70s, which came very close to joining forces.
Overall Syria reminds one of East Germany. Quite trusted by the Soviets, they received kit not available to even the closest Communist allies (T-72A, Uragan etc). Their vehicle choices are limited but flavoured several ways which we will discover.
Items marked with an asterix are post 90s/OOTF but depending on level of balancing be included in the altered timeline.
By early 1982 the Syrians were expecting some kind of a new Israeli operation in southern Lebanon. Their commanders calculated that the IDF would most likely launch an attack similar to the Operation “Litani”, from 1978, when the Israelis drove only some 40km deep into Lebanon in a search for Palestinian terrorists. However, the Syrians knew that in the case the Israelis would not stop on the Litani River a major clash with IDF was inevitable. Yet, with most of Syrian Army important units being deployed either along the Golan Heights or in Damascus, and given the burden of sustaining a sizeable force inside Lebanon already since 1976, as well as because of their commitment in the local civil war, Damascus lacked assets and space to build a strong front-line stretching over whole width of Lebanon. In fact, by early June 1982 the majority of Syrian units in Lebanon was deployed in centre of the country, between Beirut and Zahle, with established defences only around specific points of interest - along the highway Beirut-Damascus, and especially in the area of the village of as-Sultan Yac'ub at Tanta.
Studying the local terrain, roads, dozens of villages in southern Lebanon and possible routes along which the Israelis could approach, the Syrians developed simple but effective tactics. This called for co-ordination between SyAAF helicopters and specially trained “hunter-killer teams” of the Syrian Army. The aim was to ambush and tie down Israeli mechanized formations by ground-forces, preferably at short range and within urban areas, and then hit them by attack helicopters that would approach using local hilly terrain.
Fryq Alsyad-Alqatl (Hunter-Killer Team) - Veteran RPG-7V FIST
As mentioned, the specific focus of the Syrian army in the 80s was dealing with the expert Israeli armored forces. Specially trained FIST teams with higher veterancy are a non powerful but flavour addition to the Syrian armed forces.
An upgraded FIST '90 variant could feature the RPG-29, also procured by the Syrian Army.
20 Commando Battalion
By early June 1982 the SA had the whole 20 Commando Battalion with a total of 50 hunter-killer teams deployed in Lebanon, mainly in the areas south and west of Beirut, but also in eastern and southern suburbs of the city. Each of Syrian teams consisted of between four and six men, armed with some of the best Western and Soviet anti-tank weapons of the time, including RPG-7s, RPG-18s (disposable 64 mm antitank rocket launcher), AT-4 Spigot ATGMs (only early-production 9P135 units), and MILAN ATGMs from France. Usually there were two shooters and two loaders in each team. Every six-man team had two additional members equipped with SA-7 MANPADS. Syrian anti-tank troops were older, more experienced soldiers of the SA, showing strong military skills and determination, and were later described by the Israelis as having a very professional attitude towards their mission. They operated with predilection in urban areas, where narrow streets of Lebanese towns and villages could easily be turned into shooting galleries for Israeli tanks.
A FJB Commando analogue unit specialized in challenging the might of the Israeli armor. Equipped with AKM, Milan ATGM and SA-7 Strela MANPADS, these 10 men units are capable of holding off armor and airpower at a distance. Only constrained by the poor technology of the era available to them.
A Commando Batt '90 variant could feature Metis-M and Igla-1 as an LtRS analogue. Both were procured by the Syrian Army in the 90ies.
This capability is unseen yet ingame but in this case the historical record supports this mixture as well as the obvious asymmetrical response/desperation of the Syrian army to counter the Israeli horde.
Republican Guard (Syria)
The Syrian Republican Guard (Arabic: الحرس الجمهوري al-Haras al-Jamhūriyy as-Sūrī), also known as the Presidential Guard, is an elite 25,000 man mechanized division. Its main purpose is to protect the capital, Damascus, from any foreign or domestic threats. The Guard is the only Syrian military unit allowed within the capital city centre.
Could effectively serve as a higher veterancy mechanized infantry force.
14/15th Special Forces Division
Syrians use the term 'Special Forces' to describe the 14th, 15th divisions, as well as the independent 'special forces' regiments, but they more closely resemble conventional light infantry units, than Western Special Forces in both mission and composition.
The term Special Forces has been applied ostensibly because of their specialized training in airborne and air assault operations, but they should be regarded as light infantry forces and elite only in relation to the conventional armored and mechanized brigades of the Syrian Army.
Should effectively serve as light infantry force, likely equipped with AKM, Metis & PKM.
The Defense Companies (Arabic: سرايا الدفاع; Saraya ad-Difa) were a paramilitary force in Syria that were commanded by Rifaat al-Assad. Their task was to defend the Assad regime, and Damascus, from internal and external attack. In 1984 they were merged into the Syrian Arab Army as the 4th Armoured division and the Republican Guard as well as the 14th Airborne Division comprising 5 Special Forces regiments.
Training, Doctrine and Uniform
Training consisted primarily of infantry training combined with Special Forces commando training modelled on the Soviet system. Recruits who passed this initial stage were given parachute training as well as advanced training either in airborne operations, artillery, Armour or Mechanized forces. Training for recruits usually was for 1 year whereas for officers it was for 2 years including a 4 month course at Soviet military academies. However, almost all Defense Companies personnel were qualified paratroopers as well as had to pass a basic course on familiarization with Tanks and Tank warfare. Tank training and doctrine was focused on using Tanks and Armoured formations in urban warfare environments, close-quarters combat, and deployment of Tank units alongside Airborne special forces used as shock troops. According to several Defense Company commanders, they developed their own military theories and doctrines, especially a new armoured doctrine in which the Tank itself was to substitute as a Commando soldier in close-quarters urban combat. The Tank was to be considered as an individual commando in an urban combat situation, and thus Tank training was very intensive and focused on attaining unimaginable feats with the Tank. This included engaging targets at less than 20 metres range, firing the main gun from within a building, and so on. These tactics were developed by Saraya officers during the Muslim brotherhood insurgency in Hama and Aleppo, and in Lebanon. This strategy was used extensively by successor units of the Saraya in the Syrian Civil War.
Might serve as a high mobility urban warfare squad similar to the E German Wachregiment. AMD 65/AKS-74U AR, RPG-18 or SPG-9RCL, RPD/RPK Could serve as a solid armament.
(Romanized arabic translations are approximate and require cleanup)
Almshah (line infantry) - AKM, RPG-7V, PKM
Al-Haras al-Jamhūriyy (Rep guard shock inf) - AKM, RPG-7VM, RPD
Al-Haras al-Jamhūriyy 90 (Rep guard shock inf) - AK-74M, RPG-7VR, RPK
20 Ktybh Al-Kwmandwz (20 commando batt, elite) - AKM, Milan ATGM, Strela-2 MANPADS
Saraya ad-Difa (shock urban, 15men) - AMD65, SPG-9 RCL, RPK
Al-Qwat Al-Khash (shock? light inf) - AKM, Metis, PKM
Frqh Qadf Al-lhb (flame team) - AKM, LPO-50 Flamethrower
Fryq Alsyad-Alqatl (Shock FIST) - AKM, RPG-7VL
Fryq Alsyad-Alqatl 90 (Shock FIST) - AKM, RPG-29
ATGM 78 - AKM, Milan ATGM
ATGM 84 - AKM, Konkurs ATGM
[*]ATGM 95 - AK-74M, Kornet-E ATGM
MANPADS - AKM, Strela-2
MANPADS 87 - AKM, Strela-3
AMD65 (AKMS like)
SVD (& copies)
AT Weapons Available:
Various Recoilless Rifles
The PG-7VM HEAT round was originally developed in the Soviet Union in 1969. An improved version of the earlier PG-7V HEAT round (the ‘M’ stands for Modernizirovanii, or ‘modernised’), the PG-7VM is capable of defeating 300mm of RHA whilst weighing in at 1.98kg, 270g less than it’s predecessor. It is 52mm longer than the PG-7V, and has a smooth, rather than fluted, nose cone. It is also a narrower design, with a diameter of 70mm, allowing for more projectiles to be carried in the ‘quiver’ type backpacks occasionally used to transport RPG rounds and making the projectile somewhat less susceptible to crosswinds. The range of the PG-7VM is comparable to the PG-7V at around 350m. The primary explosive compound is A-IX-1, a phlegmatised compound consisting of 96% RDX and 4% paraffin wax. The warhead is fuzed with the VP-7M PIBD fuze.
Slimmer warhead with slightly more pen than regular RPG-7. Likely +1-2PEN & 5-10%ACC
BMP-1 (with and without ATGM) 1977
BMP-2 (with and without ATGM) 1987
OT-64C SKOT 1977
Mi-25(D) Hind 1980
BM-21 Grad 1968
BM-27 Uragan 1987
2S1 122mm SPG 1982
2S3 152mm SPG 1982
2S4 240mm Mortar
T-34/D-30 SPG 1973
130mm M-46 Motorized on Renault Kerax (1997)
T-34/55 1955 (modernized T-34 equivalent to in game units)
T-55 (NK) (North Korean upgrade of LRF & 14.5mm KPV as a cheaper alternative to Soviet T-55AM upgrade)
T-55AMV w/ Bastion ATGM
[*]T-62MV (hypothetical as T-62s not upgraded much)
T-72 Ural 1979
[*]T-72AV Syria was the only non Soviet state to acquire T-72A before its breakup. These were upgraded in early/mid 90s to the AV standard. Also ATGM capability added.
Mikeboy wrote:According to Oryx blog in Syrian service the T-72 Ural was designated the T-79, the T-72A the T-82 (with no change in designation when upgraded to AV), and the T-72M1 the T-92.
Special Forces/Rapid Deployment Force/ Fa'uj
10 man recon team
Fa'uj (shock recon) - AMD65, RPG-18 or RPG-7VM, SVD
Shorland Mk.3/4 Armored Car
T-54 Recon 1957
BRDM Malyutka (1969)/Konkurs (1981)/ [*]Malyutka-2M (Upgraded Malyutka with tandem HEAT warhead and increased penetration - cost effective upgrade)
UAZ mounted RR/ ATGMs
Ural w/ 57mm S-60 http://milinme.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/sft-001.jpg
Ural w/ 23mm ZU-23 1985?
Air defense guns are valuable for suppressing ground targets. The IDF found that M163 Vulcan 20mm anti-aircraft guns were very useful in urban settings because the Vulcan has sufficiently high elevation to target the upper stories of buildings. Secondly, the Vulcan offered a high rate of fire which was very effective in suppressing snipers and intimidating opponents. These views of anti-aircraft weapons were shared by Israel’s opponents as well. As a result of earlier experiences in the Lebanese civil war, standard Syrian tactical doctrine called for employing an anti-aircraft section of ZU-23 23mm cannons with a tank battalion when operating in an urban environment. The Syrians concluded that ZU-23s have a “devastating effect” when employed against the outside walls because they “denude structures with their high rates of fire.” Similarly, the PLO also employed anti-aircraft guns in a ground-support role.
SA.342 Gazelle with 4 HOT ATGM 1980 (used very effectively in 1982 war)
Mi-25(D) Hind 1980
Syria also took delivery of French AS.12 missiles but cannot confirm any carrier for them so far. (typically Alouette-3 but Syria had none as far as im aware)
The regional strength of the Syrian deck comes with the varied and strong Airpower, courtesy of rare Soviet aircraft additions. The Syrian air force is focused towards air combat and anti tank missions as dictated by its biggest opponent the IDF/IAF.
2x R-13S IR AAM, 2x R-3R SARH AAM.
Mig-25P Interceptor 1979 (PD 1984)
2x R-40R SARH AAMs, 2x R-40T IR AAM.
2x R-23R SARH AAM, 4x R-13M IR AAM.
Mig-23MLD 1983 (Peak Mig-23 model unavailable to Eastern Block)
2x R-24R SARH AAM, 2x R-73 IR AAM.
MiG-29 9.12B 1987
2x R-27R, 4x R-73 IR AAM (boring ususal) or unrealistic but edgy 2x R-27R, 2x R-27T
4x UB-16-57 Rocket Pod
Mig-25RB Recon Bomber 1982
4-10x RBK-500 Cluster
The MiG-25RB could originally carry four FAB-500M-62T 500 kilogram (1,100 pound) bombs, carried by tandem double ejector bomb racks under the fuselage. The bombs were specially built to tolerate high temperatures. Late production MiG-25RBs could carry six FAB-500 bombs under the fuselage, using tandem triple ejector bomb racks, and also featured a stores pylon under each wing, with each pylon capable of carrying two FAB-500 bombs in tandem. This gave a total bombload of ten FAB-500s, or four FAB-500s plus the big centerline fuel tank.
4x Kh-25MT AGM (F&F)
2x Kh-66 AGM. 4x R-60 IR AAM.
Mig-23BN 1979/1981 (earliest missile delivery date)
1x Kh-28E ARM, 2x R-60 IR AAM
The Kh-28 was exported to Iraq and Syria but it is not known whether either were able to successfully operate it.
Il-28 Beagle 1965
[*]Mig-29SMT 2007 (R-77, KAB-500/1500, Kh-35 ASHM, Kh-31ARM & ASHM ordered with Fulcrum)
Syria features a strong focus on coastal anti-ship defences, while Iraq features more offensive helicopter and aircraft based Exocet ASHM loadout. Overall a good mixture in Coalition (if Coalition based navies are ever implemented).
Mil Mi-14PL Helicopter 1984
Kamov Ka-28(27)PL Helicopter 1990
[*]Mig-29SMT ASuW 2007 (R-77, Kh-35 ASHM, Kh-31 ASHM ordered with Fulcrum)
Styz/Rubezh AntiShip Missile 1985
SSC-1 Sepal/Shaddock Anti-Shipping Cruise Missiles (ASCM) 1987
[*]C-802 ASHM 2010
Komar missile boat 1963
Osa (Moskit) missile boat 1966
Petya-class frigate (2x2 76mm) 1975 (could serve as an inexpensive command frigate)
Pr 773 Polnocny-C Landing (Supply?) Ships (could theoretically hold 4 ground units or 250 tons of supplies) 1983
4x Strela-2 SAM, 2x AK-230 CIWS, 2x 140mm Orgon MLRS
Sonya class patrol boat/minesweeper 1985 (good escort vessels)
2x AK-306 CIWS
Overall Syrias strengths appear to be in infantry AT, Air Defense as well as multi faceted and capable airforce. This is obvious in the face of its western neighbour. Its A2A deparment features Mig-23MLD, Mig-25PD & Mig-29 a solid lineup considering the likely decent availability bonus Syria would receive. In regards to ATGM choices Metis-M and/or Kornet-E would be controversial choices but not not unwarranted. Syrias close bond with the Soviet union, receiving numerous *restricted weapons such as T-72A, Uragan, Mig-25 and Su-24 would be logically extended towards their focus towards infantry AT power throughout 80s and 90s. Syrian AT teams proved their worth above Syrian tank forces in the 82 clashes and its proxy, Hezbollah exemplified their worth again with the Kornet in 2006 clashes with the IDF.
Coming next is Iraq... a much more diverse and interesting nation.