I've heard that the Syrian army has carried out more live fire exercises to test their readiness against any external aggressors. Of course we all remember how ready the Syrian army was in 1967, when it lost the Golan Heights without putting up a fight, or when the Syrian Air force lost eighty planes over Lebanon in one day because their planes are rubbish, or, more recently, when the Israelis bombed a suspected nuclear installation in 2007, or when Israeli planes breached Syrian airspace shortly afterwards, or when the American special forces carried out a helicopter raid from Iraq and killed Syrian citizens on Syrian soil, or when the Mossad assassinated a Syrian general in Lattakia, and Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus - all without a single response from the Syrian regime, which says it has the right to respond at a time and place of its choosing, ie never.
To be honest with you, the first time I realised that Syria even had a navy was when I heard that it was being used to shell parts of Lattakia. Of course, when we say Navy in Syria, what we really mean is a bunch of hill-billy yokels on some rusty fishing boats equipped with missile launchers and some big guns. We're not exactly talking about a Syrian carrier group or something.
Who are we kidding? The Syrian army consists of a rag-tag bunch of undertrained, non-motivated, ill-equipped conscripts, along with a hardcore of heavily armed, fanatically loyal thugs who are concerned only with protecting a dictatorship and who have not hesitated once to use their weapons against Syrians. But this is not a novel invention of Assad's Baath. Back when the Baath party was a party of crackpots who were oppressed and banned, the first Syrian president to use the Syrian army as an instrument of butchery, rather than for the defence of the realm, was the fascist Adib al Shishakli against the Druze community. Since then, the Syrian army's greatest triumphs have been against Syrian civilians, or in repressing and extorting Lebanese people at checkpoints.
So the next time you hear about the brave and noble Syrian 'army' carrying out live fire exercises, just remember to put this bunch of incompetent and ineffective thugs in perspective. Here are some examples of how brave the Syrian army is in the face of ferociously unarmed, half-naked, Syrian civilians with their arms tied behind their backs.