BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:33 P.M.) – The most senior commander of the elite Desert Hawks Brigade, General Mohammad Jaber, has been spotted near the front-lines in eastern Hama where his formation has just recently commenced a huge offensive to expel ISIS forces from this region.
General Jaber not only serves as the top operational commander of the Desert Hawks (a position he has held since the formation’s inception), but he is also the creator of the formation.
In 2013, General Jabar returned from retirement in the Syrian military. He proposed the raising of an veteran battle-group which could protect the oilfields of central Homs (that he himself has privately invested in).
The Desert Hawks Brigade is an independent paramilitary formation, separate from the National Defence Forces (NDF). Although technically not part of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), the Desert Hawks Brigade, operationally-speaking, is nonetheless incorporated into the SAA force structure.
In raising his own formation, General Jabar has also overseen – in addition to its military operations – the logistical necessities of the Desert Hawks, ensuring his troops are outfitted with high-quality weapon systems. It is believed that Jaber acquires his heavy equipment and small arms through Western arms dealers. There is also a high-degree of indigenous modification that goes on regarding the Desert Hawks’ mechanised equipment – namely its tanks and armoured personnel carriers.