Tiger Forces

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Tiger Forces
Qawat Al-Nimr (قوات النمر)
Active 2013–present
Country Syria Syrian Arab Republic
Branch Syrian Army
Type Light infantry
Role Offensive operations
Size Battalion: ~1,000 (February 2017)[1]
Equipment AK-74M rifles
T-90 tanks
Rys LMV tactical vehicle
Maj. Gen. Suheil al-Hassan

Tiger Forces or Qawat Al-Nimr (Arabic: قوات النمر‎) is an elite formation (special forces unit) of the Syrian Arab Army which functions primarily as an offensive unit in the Syrian Civil War. It has been described as a "hot commodity for any government offensive", but their relatively small numbers make it difficult to deploy them to multiple fronts at once.[2] Despite officially being called a division,[3] it is estimated that the actual size of the Tiger Forces is closer to a battalion.[1]


After successful operations in Latakia and Hama, Colonel Suheil al-Hassan was tasked a special project by the Syrian Armed Forces Central Command in the fall of 2013—to train and lead a Special Forces unit that would work primarily as an offensive unit. Colonel Hassan handpicked many of the soldiers that would later form the Tiger Forces.[4] On 25 December 2015, Suheil al-Hassan was promoted to major general after refusing to be brigadier general last year.[5] He played a key role in commanding Syrian troops during 2016 Aleppo campaign. Tiger Forces were tasked two times to cut the key supply lines to rebel-held Aleppo.

Since the Russian intervention, they have provided the Tiger Forces with infantry equipment; including the AK-74M and 1P87 collimator sights.[1] The Tiger Forces were one of few in the Syrian Army to first deploy Russian T-90 tanks,[6] others being the 4th Armoured Division and Desert Hawks Brigade.[7][8] In the aftermath of the December 2015 Aleppo Offensive, Tiger Forces deployed a Russian-supplied Rys LMV.[1] It was seen after defeating ISIS in the village of ‘Ayn Al-Hanish, Deir Hafer Plains.[9]

The most famous and effective tactic of the Tiger Forces is probing the enemy from multiple axes to find a weak spot, then sending a large mechanized force to that area to capture many villages at once.[10]


The Tiger Forces have multiple special operations "Groups/Regiments" (halfway between a company and a battalion)

Cheetah Forces[11] or Qawat al-Fahoud (قوات الفهود)[12] – The current commander is Colonel Shadi Isma’el and the deputy commander is Colonel Lu’ayy Sleitan.[11] Subunits of the Cheetah Forces include Team 3 and Team 6. Team 6 were the first soldiers that ended the 35-month long Siege of Kuweires Military Airbase,[13][14] while Team 3 along with the Desert Hawks Brigade completed the East Aleppo ISIS encirclement.[15]

Panther Forces[16] – The current commander is Colonel Ali Shaheen.[17] They were involved in the Palmyra offensive (March 2016), where they were redeployed to another front after it was over.[16][17]

Later reports seem to suggest an altered internal structure, stating that the unit consists of the following subunits:[18][19]

  • Termah (or Tarmeh) Group/Regiment[20]
  • Taha Group,[21] officially "Taha Regiment- Assault". It is an assault unit formed in 2014, and is led by Ali Taha. The unit claimed to have 2,500 active members by mid-2018.[22]
  • Yarrob Group/Regiment
  • Shaheen Group/Regiment[23] (possibly ex-Panther Forces)[24]
  • Shabaat Group/Regiment
  • Al Hawarith Group/Regiment
  • Zaydar Group/Regiment
  • Al Shabbour Group/Regiment
  • Al-Komeet Group/Regiment[25]
  • Al-Luyouth Group/Regiment[26][better source needed]
  • Hayder Group/Regiment

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Syrian Army's Tiger Forces: History And Capabilities". South Front. 14 February 2017. Retrieved 11 August 2017. 
  2. ^ Leith Fadel (10 November 2015). "Exclusive: Tiger Forces to Redeploy to Northern Hama". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 12 February 2016. 
  3. ^ Andrew Illingworth (29 July 2017). "BREAKING: First video ever of Tiger Forces inside Deir Ezzor". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 11 August 2017. 
  4. ^ Leith Fadel (26 February 2015). "Who is Colonel Suheil al-Hassan of the Tiger Forces?". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 12 February 2016. 
  5. ^ Leith Fadel (15 December 2015). "Prominent Tiger Forces Commander Promoted to Major General". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 5 June 2016. 
  6. ^ Leith Fadel (28 May 2016). "Tiger Forces mobilize T-90 tanks for upcoming Aleppo offensive". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 7 June 2016. 
  7. ^ Leith Fadel (23 January 2016). "Convoy of Russian T-90 tanks arrive in southern Aleppo". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 8 June 2016. 
  8. ^ Chris Tomson (31 October 2016). "VIDEO: Syrian Army deploys T-90 tanks in the battle for Aleppo". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 11 August 2017. 
  9. ^ Leith Fadel (26 January 2016). "Tiger Forces continue encirclement of ISIS in east Aleppo". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 11 August 2017. 
  10. ^ Izat Charkatli (24 May 2017). "Syrian Army on verge of kicking ISIS out of Aleppo province: Map Update". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 11 August 2017. 
  11. ^ a b Leith Fadel (19 October 2015). "Cheetah Forces Capture 30km of Territory from ISIS in East Aleppo: Kuweires Airport Within Sight". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  12. ^ "The Russian Deployment in Syria and Iraq Makes Its Presence Felt" (pDF). Files.ethz.ch. Retrieved 2017-06-23. 
  13. ^ Chris Tomson (11 November 2015). "Syrian Army and Hezbollah Advance in Southern and Eastern Aleppo – Latest Map Update". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  14. ^ Leith Fadel (10 November 2015). "Cheetah Forces Lift the Three Year Long Siege of the Kuweires Military Airbase". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  15. ^ Leith Fadel (20 February 2016). "Tiger Forces complete the east Aleppo encirclement: 800+ ISIS fighters trapped". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 20 February 2016. 
  16. ^ a b Leith Fadel (5 March 2016). "Russian Air Force hammers ISIS' oil routes in east Homs as the Syrian Army advances on Palmyra". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 6 June 2016. 
  17. ^ a b Leith Fadel (18 April 2016). "Syrian Army cancels the Palmyra-Deir Ezzor offensive". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 6 June 2016. 
  18. ^ http://www.janes.com/images/assets/474/75474/Syrian_army_prepares_for_post-conflict_challenges.pdf
  19. ^ https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/statistical-breakdown-army-losses-recent-southern-raqqa-fighting-isis/
  20. ^ https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/first-footage-syrian-armys-tiger-forces-destroying-jihadist-militias-hama/
  21. ^ http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961002000651
  22. ^ Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi (7 July 2018). "The Southern Campaign: Interview with the Tiger Forces' Taha Regiment". Retrieved 9 July 2018. 
  23. ^ https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/syrian-special-forces-leave-west-palmyra-east-aleppo/
  24. ^ https://maps.southfront.org/syrian-armys-tiger-forces-history-and-capabilities/
  25. ^ "Large number of Syrian Army reinforcements sent to Idlib". AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز. 2018-01-16. Retrieved 2018-01-16. 
  26. ^ https://twitter.com/IvanSidorenko1/status/966005665033580546.  Missing or empty |title= (help)