August 29, 2013
Salam Mohammed, 30, is a correspondent for the Sham News Network in Outer Damascus province. He gives Syria Direct more context about the importance of Brigade 155, calling it “one of the most important offensive brigades in Syria.”
Q: The government have always used brigade 155 to launch Scuds. What’s the importance of this brigade?
A: Brigade 155 is an independent one that operates under the administration of missiles and artillery. It contains eight battalions, three of which are offensive. The most important battalions are 577 and 552. Battalion 587 outside of the brigade has a branch in Deir E-Zor, in the same location hit by Israel a few years ago. It works under Brigade 155. This brigade is one of the most important offensive brigades in Syria.
Q: In case this brigade was targeted by airstrikes, for example, will the regime have alternative locations to fire missiles towards northern Syria?
A: There are no alternatives to launch Scud missiles. There are land-based missile of less capacity launched from neighboring brigade 156. These are Grad missiles.
Q: Which soldiers comprise the Brigade 155 force?
A: Most are exclusively Alawites. They give the orders to fire. Brig. Gen. Jawdat Salbi Mawas from Homs, was one in the past, and Brig. Gen. Adnan Hilweh from the coast are two of the ranking officers.
Q: What is the missile range and what are the launching conditions (storage and infrastructure)?
A: The missiles are stored in facilities inside the mountains. Their ranges have been developed by the Russians and the Koreans in the past so that they can reach the Egyptian Sinai. They were tested and they hit Egyptian Sinai but this event was blacked out. The Russians and the Koreans have recently been working on developing these missiles to expand their range to the American posts in Qatar, but we don’t know whether they succeeded.
Q: How is it possible to cripple the regime’s ability to use this kind of missile?
A: By destroying the launchers which are vulnerable.