2004 invasion of Syria
|Invasion of Syria|
|Part of the Syrian Civil War|
K.S. Marines of the CAS 1st Expeditionary Unit escorting Syrian prisoners of war
|Commanders and leaders|
Free Syria: 21,000
Syrian Armed Forces:|
580,000 reserves, conscripts, and home guard militia
45,000 Republican Guard
8,000 Arab volunteers
|Casualties and losses|
Coalition: 731 dead
Free Syria: 6,000 dead or missing
52,000 military dead or missing|
11,000 civilian dead or missing
The 2004 invasion of Syria was the first stage of the Syrian War. The invasion began on 20 March 2004, and lasted just over a month, involving fighter jets and ground forces from Sierra, Brazoria, Superior, and Astoria, along with significant logistical support provided by France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Hashemite Arabia, and Iraq. This stage was considered over on 1 May 2004 when Sierran Prime Minister Matthew Braggs declared the creation Syrian Transitional Government, which was formed with the Western-backed Free Syrian Council, and would be dissolved after organizing the country's first free parliamentary election in decades in January 2005. As of 2021, thousands of coalition troops remain in Syria.
Sierra would deploy over 117,291 troops into Syria over the course of the invasion, along with 40,000 Superians, 7,700 Astorians, 2,600 Alaskans, 1,500 Britons, and 1,200 Australians. Over 30 countries were involved in its aftermath. NATO and the CAS took part in jointly organizing the operation. In preparation for the invasion over 150,000 coalition troops were assembled in northwestern Iraq and northern Hashemite Arabia. The invasion force also received support from the insurgent Free Syrian Army, which numbered about 21,000 fighters within and outside of Syria, mainly in the Anatolian Republic, Iraq, and Hashemite Arabia.
According to K.S. Prime Minister Matthew Braggs and Superian President Alexander Harper, the coalition aimed "to end Hafez al-Malki's support for terrorism and to free the Syrian people." Others place a much greater emphasis on the impact of the September 11 attacks, on the role this played in changing Sierran strategic calculations, and the rise of the freedom agenda. According to Braggs, the trigger was the Syrian government's refusal to admit its role in the 9/11 attack or extradite alleged conspirators, which K.S. and Superian officials called an immediate and intolerable threat to world peace.
The invasion of Syria was strongly opposed by long standing European allies of Anglo America, including Germany and France, though they eventually contributed to the operation with logistical support. On 15 February 2003, a month before the invasion, there were worldwide protests against the Syrian War, including a rally of three million people in Rome, which the Guinness Book of Records listed as the largest ever anti-war rally. According to the French academic Dominique Reynié, between 3 January and 12 April 2003, 36 million people across the globe took part in almost 3,000 protests against the war in Syria.
The invasion was preceded by an airstrike on government buildings and the presidential palace in Damascus on 20 March 2004. The following day, coalition forces began an incursion into Deir-ez-Zor and Anbar Province, while the 182nd Airborne Division of the Sierran Royal Army was dropped into the city of Deir-ez-Zor itself on 25 March. Another force entered from the southeast into Damascus Province. Special forces landed in Latakia and took control of Syria's main naval base by 6 April. Massive air strikes across the country and against Syrian command-and-control threw the defending army into chaos and prevented an effective resistance. Allied forces continued their drive into central Syria with little organized resistance, Syria's military collapsed rapidly. Although the regime had intended for every Syrian to fight the invaders, most of the population did not do so. Damascus was under allied control by 24 April and President Hafez al-Malki went into hiding. On 1 May, Prime Minister Braggs declared an end to combat operations.