Ba'th Battalions (Syria)

Country: Syria
Details of Formation: In July 2012, the head of Aleppo Ba'th party, Hilal Hilal, armed local party members to defend the city of Aleppo. Subsequently, party members were militarized also outside Aleppo. One news source says that the Ba’th battalions had previously been popular committees.
Details of Termination: --
Purpose: The main purpose of the Ba’th Battalions is to assist the regular army in its fight against insurgents. When the regular army’s capacity decreased due to deaths among its soldiers and a campaign of enlisting reservists failed, the Ba’th Battalions became one of the main bodies of military forces fighting for the regime.
Organisation: The Ba’th Battalions are the armed wing of the Baath Party. It is overseen by Hilal Hilal, who is Bashar’s assistant regional secretary.
Weapons and Training: The Ba’th Battalions received their weapons from the Baath Party.
Size: By November 2012, the Ba’th Battalions had around 5,000 fighters. In January 2014, this number had increased to some 7,000 fighters all around Syria.
Reason for Membership: --
Treatment of Civilians: The Ba’th Battalions are accused of kidnapping civilians and looting and burning their homes.
Other Information: The Ba’th Brigade was not heavily involved in fighting and their numbers of casualties were low considering the scale of violence in Aleppo at the time.
References: Information was taken from news sources listed in the PGMD