People's Army (al-Jaysh al Sha'bi) (Syria)

Country: Syria
Details of Formation: Information about group formation is vague. According to the Institute for the Study of War, the Syrian Ba'th Party established an armed wing in the early 1980s, which is called al-Jaysh al-Sha'bi or People’s Army since the mid-1980s. Since 2012 Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard and Lebanese Hezbollah extensively support the group by the provision of training and material. Some news sources say that Iran helped create the group, probably referring to Iran’s role in the group’s revival during the Syrian civil war.
Details of Termination: --
Purpose: The main purpose of the People’s Army is to provide additional security and protection in times of war. During the Syrian civil war, their main task was to supplement the regular forces’ operations against insurgents and opposition.
Organisation: The People’s Army was initially the armed wing of the Ba'th Party. It is controlled by the Syrian government. It receives funding from Iran and is allegedly modeled after Iran’s Basij.
Weapons and Training: The People’s Army receives training from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force and from Hezbollah. Both also provide the PGM with weapons and equipment.
Size: An estimate dating from late 2011 suggests that the People’s Army has around 100,000 reservists. Iran claims the group had 50,000 members.
Reason for Membership: --
Treatment of Civilians: Jointly with the Syrian military, the People’s Army has conducted operations against the Syrian opposition resulting in deaths and injuries among Syrian opposition members.
Other Information: According to one news source, the People’s Army is an alliance of local Shiite and Alawite militias.
References: Information was taken from news sources listed in the PGMD