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Ed_Haynes

ARAB MEDALS -- Syria

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Order of Civil Merit

Awarded for service to the state and to wider Arab causes. In normal classes, a recipient begins in the lowest class and, over time, works their way un through the order by successive promotion, often after specified period of service in lower ranks of the award. The order may be presented posthumously. This order represents a revision and modification of the earlier, French-created Honor Medal of Syrian Merit. On occasion, this order has been referred to as the "Syrian Merit Medal". This award is also known, quite unofficially, as the "Order of the Arrows". The redesign of the earlier medal served to remove the overall design similiarity of the previous award to a "Star of David" by reducing the number of points of the star from six to five and resulted in a complete redesign of the reverse.

Established: By Legislative Decree No. 153 of 25 June 1953.

Obverse: A gilt circular, patterned plaque, with a gilt five-pointed, white-enameled star. The center enameled green in an open pentagonal shape. The overall impression is of five white arrowheads pointed outwards from a green center. Suspended by a ring.

Reverse: Gilt with brown-enameled elaborate Arabic inscription.

Ribbon: White with a green center stripe.

first class - Excellent Class - sash (worn over ??? shoulder), sash badge and breast star (worn on ??? breast)

second class - also termed First Class - silver-gilt and enamel neck badge (36-mm ribbon) and breast star (worn on ??? breast)

third class - also termed Second Class - bronze-gilt and enamel neck badge (36-mm ribbon) (shown below)

fourth class / officer - also termed Third Class - bronze-gilt and enamel breast badge, rosette

decoration / knight - also termed Fourth Class - bronze enameled breast badge, 44 mm

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Order of the Palestine Campaign

On 16 May 1948, one day after the united Arab declaration of war against Isarel, Syrian troops attacked across the Golan Heights. By 31 October, the Syrian war with Israel had ended unsuccessfully, as Syria had been forced back along most of their border with the Zionist state. Sporadic fighting continued until the armistice on 20 July 1949. Awarded for valor and service in the battles in Palestine in 1948. The medal may be awarded to foreigners and can be awarded posthumnously. There is some indication that award may have been extended beyond the initial period of service - for the 1948 war - and that it may have become a generalized award for service against Israel? This medal has also been referred to as the "Palestine Medal". The lack of Syrian success in the war, coupled with the massive number (over 100,000) of Palestinian refugees who moved into Syria, became one of the factors which would, over the following decades, encourage military intervention in the Syrian government.

Established: By Legislative Decree No. 13 of 18 December 1951 and amended by Legislative Decree No. 9 of ???.

Obverse: A 37 mm x 50 mm dark bronze, essentially circular medal if one ignores the upward extension, with a green-enameled laurel wreath above and below. In the center is a map of Palestine and the Jordan Valey. To the right the Arabic inscription "Palestine" and, to the left, the date "1948" (note the C.E. date). The medal is topped by crossed swords, and above that a dome-shaped depiction of a Christian church topped by a crescent. The actual ribbon suspension is by a rather crude loop attached on the upper reverse of the medal.

Reverse: Plain, except for suspension loop.

Ribbon: 38 mm, medium red with two black stripes. Red 7 mm, black 6 mm, red 12 mm, black 6 mm, red 7 mm. The ribbon has also been seen with red with a white stripe toward each edge. It is presentlky unknown what that signifies.

Awards: Syrian forces number around 8000 troops, in two infantry brigades, a mechanized battalion, and a small air force.

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Order of the Wounded

Awarded to both military and civilian personnel who are wounded while performing services for the state. The medal may be awarded to non-Syrians, though it is not awarded posthumously. Under conditions of special bravery, the medal is usually presented personally by the commander-in-chief (the Syrian president), indicating the prominence with which this award is viewed. This award has also been referred to in English as the "War Casualty Medal".

Established: By Legislative Decree No. 165 of 4 July 1953.

Obverse: A 37 mm five-pointed bronze star with rays between the points. The center has a wreath surrounding a central enameled circle of green and concentric circles (reading outward) of black, white, and red enamel. There is an upright sword overlaying the whole star. Suspended by a ring.

Reverse: Plain.

Ribbon: 37 mm, green with a 6 mm yellow stripe toward each edge: 2 mm green, 6 mm yellow, 19 mm green, 6 mm yellow, 2 mm green.

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Wisam al-Tadrib / Medal of Training

Awarded to officers in command of a unit of at least company size which has achieved high ratings in training exercises over a period of at least one year. During this time, the recipient must have served actively with his unit and displayed a documented high standard of conduct and behavior. Subsequent awards are indicated by the addition of a bronze oak leaf to the ribbon. This medal was also awarded to Saudi Arabian troops. This medal has also been incorrectly associated with the Syrian Golan Heights campaign of 1973-74.

Obverse: A 42-mm five-pointed gilt star with a circular center bearing a green-enameled helmet, crossed anchor and rifle, with horizontal wings; through all, there is an upright torch with red-enameled flames. Above and below, Arabic inscriptions; "To sweat in peace saves pain in war" above and "Wissam al-Tadrib" or "Medal of Training" below. Suspended by a ring.

Reverse: Plain.

Ribbon: 31 mm, divided into three equal stripes (left to right) of blue, bluish white, and medium green. A bronze oak leaf is worn on the ribbon to indicate a second award. This ribbon has been sometimes incorrectly depicted as equal stripes of black, gray, and black.

Edited by Ed_Haynes

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Medal for the 25th Anniversary of the Ba'ath Party

For the 25th anniversary of the Ba'ath Party in Syria (1962-87?).

Obverse: A silver shield-shaped medal, 35 x 41 mm. A volcano-like structure, spouting flames, with a cog-wheel behind. Above a roughly-painted depiction of the Iraqi flag and, below, the dates "1962 / 1987". Suspended from a ring.

Reverse: An upright rifle, spear, spade, and crescent, with a legend on either side. Above, another legend. Above all, a sunburst design with a depiction of the Ba'ath Party flag in the upper center.

Ribbon: 30 mm, white with two orange stripes toward each edge: 1 mm white, 3? mm orange, 2 mm white, 3? mm orange, 9 mm white, 3? mm orange, 2 mm white, 3? mm orange, 1 mm white,

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Medal of 8 March

Awarded to commemorate the coup, 8 March 1963, in which the Ba'ath Arab Socialist Party took control of Syria's government. This coup established Salah ad-Din al-Bitar (co-founded of the Ba'ath Party) as prime minister. While Major General Amin al-Hafiz would come to dominate this administration, this coup, and al-Bitar's role in it, is an important milestone in understood recent Syrian history. The medal was awarded to all members of the armed forces who were serving on 9 April 1963 (the day after the coup). In 1965, award was extended to those who were recalled to service in the period between 9 April 1963 and 28 April 1965 (the date of the amending decree). This is also seen referred to as the "Medal for Underground Fighters".

Established: By Legislative Decree No. 15 of 9 April 1963 and amanded by Legislative Decree No. 789 of 28 April 1965.

Obverse: 39 mm, gilt, sixteen-pointed, in center a hand clasping a torch with an outline map of the Arab world behind. This is surrounded by a white-enameled band edged in red enamel with Arabic inscription in black "Unity / Freedom / Socialism / 8 March 1963". Suspended by a ring.

Reverse: Plain.

Ribbon: Dark burgundy, with three 1.5 mm stripes of dark green edged with 1.5 mm white stripes.

EDITED: Oops, wrong image. :speechless:

Edited by Ed_Haynes

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Order of Bravery

Awarded to members of the armed forces for courage and valor during military operations. It may also be awarded for more generalized courage of exceptional service in the public interest. In 1976 (?) award of the medal was extended to civilians and foreigners. The order is awarded by class, according to rank, as is detailed below. Also seen referred to as the "Valor Medal".

Established: By Legislative Decree No. 15 of 20 July 1964 and amended by ??? of ??? 1976 (?).

Obverse: Gilt, an eight-pointed rayed star with a circular central medallion showing a horseman charging toward the left. Around the bottom of this central medallion is a green-enameled semi-circular wreath. The size of the badge differs by class, as detailed below. The medal is suspended from a ring executied with a wreath motif.

Reverse: Blank. Ribbon: Dark blue, three 1.5 mm red stripes edged with 1.5 mm white stripes. Subsequent awards of each class are indicated by a bronze oak leaf worn on the ribbon.

--- first class - awarded to officers

--- second class - awarded to non-commissioned officers

--- third class - awarded to enlisted personnel

All three classes, but a nasty scan, sorry.

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RE: Order of Civil Merit

To follow up on the post above, a comparative shot of the third class/second class and decoration/knight/fourth class

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Syrian Arab Army Medal, 1962

Awarded to all members of the Syrian armed forces serving on 1 August 1962 to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the foundation of the Syrian Arab Army on 1 August 1945 (or is it 1946?). In 1965, the award conditions were amended to include those who had served at any time between 1 August 1945 (1946?) and 1 August 1962 who returned to active duty between 8 March 1963 (the Ba'ath takeover) and 28 April 1965 (the date of the amending decree). These conditiosn would seem to make this a very widely awarded medal.

Established: By Legislative Decree No. 2648 of 13 September 1962, and amended by Legislative Decree No. 788 of 28 April 1965.

Obverse: A 40-mm bronze-gilt eight-pointed rayed star, with white metal points between each ray. In the center, a circular wreath and, inside that, the Syrian eagle on a red-enameled background, with wings spread and an enameled coat of arms on its chest. Below, on a silver ribbon, the date "1945-8-1" or "1-8-1945". Depending on the accepted date for the formation of the army (1945 or 1946?), this date may be in error. Suspended by a ring.

Reverse: Plain.

Ribbon: 35 mm, gold with narrow stripes of black, white, red, white, and black toward each edge; 2 mm gold, 1 mm black, 1? mm white, 2? mm red, 1? mm white, 1 mm black, 16 mm gold, 1 mm black, 1? mm white, 2? mm red, 1? mm white, 1 mm black, 2 mm gold.

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Order of Military Merit

Awarded to members of the armed forces for bravery in battle or for overall efficiency in combat. It may also be awarded to civic entitles, such as towns or factories, for contributions to military enterprises. Also seen referred to as the "Military Medal", the "Order of the War Crescent" and - very confusingly - as the "Medal of Courage".

Established: By Legislative Decree No. 167 of 4 July 1953.

Obverse: A 43 mm bronze eight-pointed rayed star, with the star-points the breeches of cannons. The center has a five-pointed star and crescent. The medal is surmounted by a large eagle, with wings fully spread (and a wingspread of 44 mm). Suspended by a loop attached to the back of the eagle's wings. The same badge is worn for each class and only the ribbon appurtenances differ.

Reverse: Plain.

Ribbon: Basically, 38 mm medium red with two 3 mm white stripes toward each edge and very thin black threads edging the white stripes; 3 mm white, 3 mm red, 3 mm white, 3 mm white, 20 mm red, 3 mm white, 3 mm red, 3 mm white. Different ribbon appurtenances are worn for each class, as outlined below; the medal is, however, often encountered without these ribbon devices.

  • first class - also termed Excellent Class - ribbon has a red and white rosette mounted on a silver (?) plaque is worn on the ribbon
  • second class - also termed First Class - the ribbon has a gold (?) plaque to the rosette
  • third class - also termed Second Class - the ribbon has a palm leaf
  • fourth class - also termed Third Class - the ribbon has a gold star
  • fifth class - also termed Fourth Class - the ribbon is plain, without devices (shown below)

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Army Silver Jubilee Medal

Awarded to all members of the armed forces who were serving on 1 August 1971 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Syrian Arab Army in 1946 (1945?).

Established: By Legislative Decree No. 1589 of 28 July 1971.

Obverse: An ornate 50-mm four-pointed silver-gilt ornate star with diagonal crossed spears. In the center, within a green-enameled wreath, a red-enameled circle with a gilt Iraqi eagle with an upright sliver sword behind and the Iraqi arms, properly enameled, on its breast. Below the shield, on a silver scroll, the Arabic legend "Namin / al-Bish / al-Radari" and, at the botton on a silver scroll "1971 - 8 - 1" or "1.8.1971". Above all, the legend "Nadkari al-Manamasah / Zaashrun" or "25th Anniversary of Creating the Syrian Arab Army" (???). Suspended from the ribbon by a ring.

Reverse: Plain.

Ribbon: 36 mm, rose-pink with narrow edge stripes (reading inward) of 2 mm yellow and 2? mm purple. A sliver (lightly silvered bronze?) star (meaning unknown) is frequently seen on the ribbon.

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6th October Medal

Awarded for Syrian participation in the October/Ramadan/Yom Kippur War with Israel of 6-24 October 1973. The medal was also awarded to civilians and foreign nationals who contributed to Syria's war effort. This was a very costly war for Syria, representing some 7,000 troops killed and 21,000 wounded; 600 tanks were lost, 165 fighter aircraft were destroyed, and 7 ships were sunk. Moreover, Syria lost 845 km2 of territory.

Established: By Legislative Decree No. 19 of 15 February 1974.

Obverse: A 44-mm bronze five-pointed rayed star, with floreate designs between the rays. In the center, a circular medallion, enameled white, with a dark-enameled map of the Arab world in the center. Suspended by an ornate trophy of arms and Syrian eagle.

Reverse: The Arabic legend "Medal of 6th October".

Ribbon: Red, with a 4 mm white center stripe edged by 4 mm black stripes. Awards: Five Syrian divisions, comprising some 45,000 men, participated in the war.

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Order of Devotion

Awarded to all members of the armed forces and to civil servants for extraordinary courage and loyalty, for the performaance of services on behalf of the homeland, or for at least five years of sincere and faithful service. The award may also be presented to foreigners. Normally, the initial appointment will be to the lowest class, with successive appointments by promotion to the higher grades. When awarded for bravery, the badge is surrounded by a wreath of oak leaves (???). Also referred to as the "Order of Loyalty" or the "Loyalty Medal".

Established: By Legislative Decree No. 163 of 4 July 1953.

Obverse: A five-pointed star edged black and with an enameled light green design in the center, all within a wreath (for awards for bravery only). The size of the badge varies by class, as detailed below. In the center, there is an Arabic inscription in black: "Honor and Devotion". The medal is either worn as a neck badge or suspended from an integral straight-bar suspender.

Reverse: A raised horizontal diamond with the Arabic abbreviation for "Syrian Republic"

Ribbon: Equal stripes of black, white, and dark green, left to right. Various devices are worn on the ribbon to indicate the class.

--- with wreath for bravery:

  • first class - also termed Excellent Class - a ??-mm neck badge in silver with wreath
  • second class - also termed First Class - a ??-mm neck badge in silver with wreath
  • third class - also termed Second Class - a 41-mm silver breast badge with wreath and an oal leaf on the ribbon
  • fourth class - also termed Third Class - a ??-mm silver breast badge with wreath
  • fifth class - also termed Fourth Class - a ??-mm bronze breast badge with wreath

--- without wreath for distinguished service:

  • first class - also termed Excellent Class - a ??-mm neck badge in silver
  • second class - also termed First Class - a ??-mm neck badge in silver
  • third class - also termed Second Class - a 41-mm silver breast badge with a bronze oak leaf on the ribbon
  • fourth class - also termed Third Class - a ??-mm silver breast badge
  • fifth class - also termed Fourth Class - a 39-mm bronze breast badge (shown below, sorry it is naked)

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Very interesting, Igor. What documentation do you have for the "VIP" standing of this award? There are many things to be known about this medal, but without some documentation we have serious problems sorting it all out. We now have three varieties (maybe). Thanks for posting, Ed

Edited by Ed_Haynes

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Interesting stuff Ed.

Have you ever seen any medal bars in wear? Or ribbon bars for that matter?

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Today has received a 6th October medal. Very bad quality. It is a copy for tourists or and should be?

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Ed,

An excellent and informative post. I have a few of the medals you illustrate but did not really know the background information. Thanks for posting.

regards,

Jim morrison.

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Wisam Umayad al-Watani / National Order of the Ummayad

Syria?s highest order is named in honor of the Ummayad Dynasty (88-167 A.H., 671-750 C.E.). It is very rarely awarded for outstanding civilian and military services. It is also awarded to selected foreign dignitaries.

Established: 12 July 1934. Known to have been manufactured by Bichay (Cairo, Egypt).

Obverse: A multi-rayed, eight-pointed silver star. In the silver-gilt center, surrounded by a gold fretwork, a white-enameled medallion, surrounded by a green-enameled band, with the Arabic inscription in gold: ?Ummayad?. Suspended by a ring.

Reverse: Presumably plain.

Ribbon: Green with edge stripes (reading inward) of black, green, and white. Also described as red moir??

-- first class ? sash, sash badge, and breast star

-- second class / commander ? neck badge and breast star

-- third class / commander ? neck badge

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