Air Force Intelligence Directorate
|إدارة المخابرات الجوية|
|Jurisdiction||Government of Syria|
|Parent agency||Military of Syria|
The Air Force Intelligence Directorate (Arabic: إدارة المخابرات الجوية, Idarat al-Mukhabarat al-Jawiyya) is an intelligence service of Syria, possibly the country's most powerful, owing its importance to Hafez al-Assad's role as the Air Force commander. Despite its name, it is mainly involved with issues other than air force intelligence, and took an active part in the suppression of the Muslim Brotherhood rebellion in the 1980s. Agents of this service have frequently been stationed in Syrian embassies or branch offices of the national airline.
The service was headed for nearly thirty years by Maj. Gen. Muhammad al-Khuli, who was trusted by Hafez al-Assad and had an office adjacent to the president's in the presidential palace. In 1995, it was headed by Ibrahim Huwayji.
As of 2011 it is headed by Gen Jamil Hassan, a member of the Alawite sect. Hassan previously served as a security official in the eastern governorate of Deir al-Zour. In late April 2011, personnel from Air Force Intelligence fired tear gas and live ammunition to disperse crowds of demonstrators who took to the streets in Damascus and other cities after noon prayers, killing at least 43 people, according to the US. The next month, the EU said Gen Hassan was "involved in the repression against the civilian population" during the recent anti-government unrest, and imposed a travel ban and asset freeze on him. He is a part of Bashar al-Assad's inner circle.
The Service has also taken part in the efforts to put down the 2011 protests against Bashar al-Assad's government. It is known to have been active in the town of Talkalakh near the Lebanese border.
Heads of Air Force Intelligence Directorate
- Muhammad al-Khuli (1963–1987)
- Ibrahim Huwayji (1987–2002)
- Iz a-Din Isma'il (2002 – )
- Abdulfattah Qudsiya ( – 2009)
- Jamil Hassan (2009–present) was sanctioned by the European Union for "violence against the civilian population during the Syrian Civil War".
- Deputy director: Fuad Tawil (2012) was sanctioned by European Union for "the use of violence across Syria and intimidation and torture of protestors during the Syrian uprising".
- Head of Investigative branch: Maj. Gen. Abdulsalam Fajer Mahmoud (2011), accused of ordering or committing crimes against humanity by Human Rights Watch.
- Head of Special Operations branch: Maj. Gen. Ghassan Ismail (2011).
- Head of Operations branch: Col. Suheil Hassan (2011).
Regional Heads of Air Force Intelligence Directorate
- Damascus branch: Eyad Mandou (2012)
- Homs branch: Brig. Gen. Jawdat al-Ahmed (2012) accused of "ordering or committing crimes against humanity".
- Daraa branch: Col. Qusay Mihoub (2012) accused of "ordering or committing crimes against humanity".
- Latakia branch: Col. Suhail Al-Abdullah (2012) accused of "ordering or committing crimes against humanity".
- Guardians of the Dawn
- Lions of the Cherubim
- Earthquake of Jobar
- Ararat Group
- Lions of the Valley
- Intervention Regiment
- Lions of Dwel’a
- Lions of the Cherubim
- Khaybar Brigade
- Fawj Nusur Homs
Other Syrian intelligence agencies
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- Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi (14 December 2016). "Usud Al-Cherubim: A Pro-Assad Christian Militia". Syria Comment. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
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