Iraqi Army

Iraqi Army

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Encyclopedia
The Iraqi Army is the land component of the Iraqi military, active in various forms since being formed by the British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 during their mandate over the country after World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

.

Today, it is tasked with assuming responsibility for all Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

i land-based military operations following the 2003 invasion of Iraq
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

. The Army was rebuilt along U.S. lines with enormous amounts of United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 assistance at every level. Because of the low-level ongoing Iraqi insurgency
Iraqi insurgency
The Iraqi Resistance is composed of a diverse mix of militias, foreign fighters, all-Iraqi units or mixtures opposing the United States-led multinational force in Iraq and the post-2003 Iraqi government...

, as of 2006, the Iraqi Army was designed to be an objective counter-insurgency
Counter-insurgency
A counter-insurgency or counterinsurgency involves actions taken by the recognized government of a nation to contain or quell an insurgency taken up against it...

 force for a period of time until the insurgency is diminished to a level that the police can handle. Thereafter, the Iraqi Army will undergo a modernisation plan which includes purchasing more heavy equipment.

History


The threat of war with newly forming Republic of Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, which claimed the Ottoman vilayet of Mosul
Mosul Province, Ottoman Empire
The Vilayet of Mosul was a vilayet of the Ottoman Empire. It was created from the northern sanjaks of the Vilayet of Baghdad in 1878.At the beginning of the 20th century it reportedly had an area of , while the preliminary results of the first Ottoman census of 1885 gave the population as 300,280...

 as part of their country, led the British to form the Iraqi Army on 6 January 1921. The Mussa Al-Kadhum Brigade consisted of ex-Iraqi-Ottoman officers, whose barracks were located in Al Kazemiyah. The United Kingdom provided support and training to the Iraqi Army and the Iraqi Air Force through a small military mission based in Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

.

Royal Iraqi Army



From 1533 to 1918, Iraq
Ottoman Iraq
Ottoman Iraq refers to the period of the history of Iraq between 1534 and 1920 when the region was ruled by the Ottoman Empire.Ottoman Iraq was divided into the three vilayets.* Mosul Vilayet* Baghdad Vilayet* Basra Vilayet...

 was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

, and fought as part of the Military of the Ottoman Empire
Military of the Ottoman Empire
The history of military of the Ottoman Empire can be divided in five main periods. The foundation era covers the years between 1300 and 1453 , the classical period covers the years between 1451 and 1606 , the reformation period covers the years between 1606 and 1826 ,...

. After 1917, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 took control of the country. The first Iraqi military forces established by the British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 were the Iraq Levies, several battalions of troops tasked to guard the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 (RAF) bases from which the British controlled Iraq.

In August 1921, the British established Hashemite
Hashemite
Hashemite is the Latinate version of the , transliteration: Hāšimī, and traditionally refers to those belonging to the Banu Hashim, or "clan of Hashim", a clan within the larger Quraish tribe...

 King Faisal I
Faisal I of Iraq
Faisal bin Hussein bin Ali al-Hashemi, was for a short time King of the Arab Kingdom of Syria or Greater Syria in 1920, and was King of the Kingdom of Iraq from 23 August 1921 to 1933...

 as the client ruler of the British Mandate of Iraq. Faisal had been forced out as the King of Syria
King of Syria
The title King of Syria, was established briefly following the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire in the aftermath of World War I. Faysal ibn Husayn of the House of Hashim was proclaimed King of Greater Syria on 7 March 1920 in Damascus, following the Arab revolt against the Ottomans of 1916–1918...

 by the French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. Likewise, British authorities selected Sunni Arab elites from the region for appointments to government and ministry offices in Iraq. The British and the Iraqis formalized the relationship between the two nations with the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty of 1922
Anglo-Iraqi Treaty
The Anglo-Iraqi Treaty of 1921 was an agreement signed by the governments of the United Kingdom and the government of Iraq. The treaty was designed to allow locals a limited share in power while allowing the British to control foreign and military policy...

. With Faisal's ascension to the throne, the Iraqi Army became the Royal Iraqi Army (RIrA).

In 1922, the army totalled 3,618 men. This was well below the 6,000 men requested by the Iraqi monarchy and even less than the British set limit of 4,500. Unattractive salaries hindered early recruiting efforts. At this time, the United Kingdom maintained the right to levy local forces like the British-officered Iraq Levies which were under direct British control. With a strength of 4,984 men, the Iraq Levies outnumbered the army with its British set limit of 4,500 men.

In 1924, the RIrA grew to 5,772 men and, by the following year, had grown still more to reach 7,500 men. It was to stay at 7,500 men until 1933. The force now had six infantry battalions, three cavalry regiments, two mountain regiments, and one field battery.

In 1932, the Kingdom of Iraq
Kingdom of Iraq
The Kingdom of Iraq was the sovereign state of Iraq during and after the British Mandate of Mesopotamia. The League of Nations mandate started in 1920. The kingdom began in August 1921 with the coronation of Faisal bin al-Hussein bin Ali al-Hashemi as King Faisal I...

 was granted official independence. This was in accordance with the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty of 1930
Anglo-Iraqi Treaty (1930)
The Anglo-Iraqi Treaty of 1930 was a treaty of alliance between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the British-Mandate-controlled administration of the Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq. The treaty was between the governments of George V of the United Kingdom and Faisal I of Iraq...

, whereby the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 would end its official mandate on the condition that the Iraqi government would allow British advisers to take part in government affairs, allow British military bases to remain, and a requirement that Iraq assist the United Kingdom in wartime.

Upon achieving independence in 1932, political tensions arose over the continued British presence in Iraq, with Iraq's government and politicians split between those considered pro-British and those who were considered anti-British. The pro-British faction was represented by politicians such as Nuri as-Said
Nuri as-Said
Nuri Pasha al-Said was an Iraqi politician during the British Mandate and during the Kingdom of Iraq. He served in various key cabinet positions, and served seven terms as Prime Minister of Iraq....

 who did not oppose a continued British presence. The anti-British faction was represented by politicians such as Rashid Ali al-Gaylani who demanded that remaining British influence in the country be removed. From 1936 to 1941, five coups by the RIrA occurred during each year led by the chief officers of the Army against the government to pressure the government to concede to Army demands.

In early April 1941, during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Rashid Ali al-Gaylani and members of the anti-British "Golden Square
Golden Square (Iraq)
The Golden Square was a group of four officers of the Iraqi armed forces who played a part in Iraqi politics throughout the 1930s and early 1940s...

" launched a coup d'état against the current government. Prime Minister Taha al-Hashimi
Taha al-Hashimi
Taha al-Hashimi served briefly as prime minister of Iraq for two months, from February 1, 1941, to April 1, 1941. He was appointed prime minister by the regent, 'Abd al-Ilah, following the first ouster of the pro-Axis government of Rashid Ali al-Kaylani during World War II...

 resigned and Rashid Ali al-Gaylani took his place as Prime Minister. Rashid Ali also proclaimed himself chief of a "National Defence Government." Rashid Ali did not overthrow the monarchy, but installed a more compliant Regent
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

. He also attempted to restrict the rights of the British which were granted them under the 1930 treaty.

On April 30 Iraqi Army units established itself on the high ground to the south of RAF Habbaniya
RAF Habbaniya
Royal Air Force Station Habbaniya, more commonly known as RAF Habbaniya, was a Royal Air Force station at Habbaniyah, about west of Baghdad in modern day Iraq, on the banks of the Euphrates near Lake Habbaniyah...

. An Iraqi envoy was sent to demand that no movements, either ground or air, were to take place from the base. The British refused the demand and then themselves demanded that the Iraqi units leave the area at once. In addition, the British landed forces at Basra
Basra
Basra is the capital of Basra Governorate, in southern Iraq near Kuwait and Iran. It had an estimated population of two million as of 2009...

 and the Iraqis demanded that these forces be removed.

At 0500 hours on 2 May 1941, the Anglo-Iraqi War
Anglo-Iraqi War
The Anglo-Iraqi War was the name of the British campaign against the rebel government of Rashid Ali in the Kingdom of Iraq during the Second World War. The war lasted from 2 May to 31 May 1941. The campaign resulted in the re-occupation of Iraq by British armed forces and the return to power of the...

 broke out between the British and Rashid Ali's new government when the British at RAF Habbaniya
RAF Habbaniya
Royal Air Force Station Habbaniya, more commonly known as RAF Habbaniya, was a Royal Air Force station at Habbaniyah, about west of Baghdad in modern day Iraq, on the banks of the Euphrates near Lake Habbaniyah...

 launched air strikes against the Iraqis. By this time, the army had grown significantly. It had four infantry divisions with some 60,000 men. At full strength, each division had three brigades. The Iraqi 1st and 3rd Divisions were stationed in Baghdad. Also based within Baghdad was the Independent Mechanized Brigade comprising a light tank company
L3/35
The L3/35 or Carro Veloce CV-35 was an Italian tank used before and during World War II. Although designated a light tank by the Italian Army, its turretless configuration, weight and firepower make it closer to contemporary tankettes....

, an armoured car company
Crossley Motors
Crossley Motors was a British motor vehicle manufacturer based in Manchester, England. They produced approximately 19,000 high quality cars from 1904 until 1938, 5,500 buses from 1926 until 1958 and 21,000 goods and military vehicles from 1914 to 1945.Crossley Brothers, originally...

, two battalions of "mechanized" infantry transported in trucks, a "mechanized" machine-gun company, and a "mechanized" artillery brigade. The Iraqi 2nd Division was stationed in Kirkuk
Kirkuk
Kirkuk is a city in Iraq and the capital of Kirkuk Governorate.It is located in the Iraqi governorate of Kirkuk, north of the capital, Baghdad...

, and the 4th Division was in Al Diwaniyah
Al Diwaniyah
Al Diwaniyah is the capital city of Iraq's Al-Qādisiyyah Governorate. In 2002, its population was estimated at 440,927. The area around Al Diwaniyah, which is well irrigated from the nearby Euphrates river, is often considered to be one on the most fertile parts of Iraq, and is heavily cultivated...

, on the main rail line from Baghdad to Basra. As noted above, all these "mechanized" units were transported by trucks.

Hostilities between the British and the Iraqis lasted from 2 May to 30 May 1941. The German government despatched an aviation unit, Fliegerführer Irak
Fliegerführer Irak
Flyer Command Iraq was a unit of the German Air Force sent to Iraq in May 1941 as part of a German mission to support the regime of Rashid Ali during the Anglo-Iraqi War...

, and Italy
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946)
The Kingdom of Italy was a state forged in 1861 by the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which was its legal predecessor state...

 send limited assistance, but both were too late and far from adequate. In the end, the British were able to march on Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

 and Rashid Ali al-Gaylani fled.

After the Anglo-Iraqi War ended, Nuri as-Said returned as Prime Minister and dominated the politics of Iraq until the overthrow of the monarchy and his assassination in 1958. Nuri as-Said pursued a largely pro-western policy
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

 during this period. The army was not disbanded. Instead, it was maintained to hinder possible German offensive actions launched from southern Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. British troops left in the late 1940s.

1948 Arab-Israeli War


In the 1948 Arab-Israeli War
1948 Arab-Israeli War
The 1948 Arab–Israeli War, known to Israelis as the War of Independence or War of Liberation The war commenced after the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine and the creation of an independent Israel at midnight on 14 May 1948 when, following a period of civil war, Arab armies invaded...

, the Iraqis deployed an expeditionary force which peaked at 15-18,000 men. In 1948, the RIrA deployed 21,000 men in twelve brigades and the Royal Iraqi Air Force
Iraqi Air Force
The Iraqi Air Force or IQAF is the military branch in Iraq responsible for the policing of international borders, surveillance of national assets and aerial operations...

 deployed 100 planes, mostly British. Initially the Iraqis committed around 3,000 men to the war effort including four infantry brigades, one armoured battalion and support personnel. These forces were to operate under Jordanian guidance During the first truce the Iraqis increased their force to about 10,000. Ultimately, the Iraqi expeditionary force numbered around 15,000 to 18,000 men.

The first Iraqi forces to be deployed reached Jordan in April 1948 under the command of General Nur ad-Din Mahmud. On 15 May, Iraqi engineers built a pontoon bridge
Pontoon bridge
A pontoon bridge or floating bridge is a bridge that floats on water and in which barge- or boat-like pontoons support the bridge deck and its dynamic loads. While pontoon bridges are usually temporary structures, some are used for long periods of time...

 across the Jordan River and attacked the Israeli settlement of Gesher
Gesher, Israel
Gesher is a kibbutz in the Beit She'an Valley in northeastern Israel. Founded in 1939 by immigrants from Germany, it falls under the jurisdiction of Valley of Springs Regional Council. It is situated 10 km south of kibbutz Deganya Aleph and 15 km south of Tiberias. The population is...

 with little success. Following this defeat Iraqi forces moved into the Nablus
Nablus
Nablus is a Palestinian city in the northern West Bank, approximately north of Jerusalem, with a population of 126,132. Located in a strategic position between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, it is the capital of the Nablus Governorate and a Palestinian commercial and cultural center.Founded by the...

-Jenin
Jenin
Jenin is the largest town in the Northern West Bank, and the third largest city overall. It serves as the administrative center of the Jenin Governorate and is a major agricultural center for the surrounding towns. In 2007, the city had a population of 120,004 not including the adjacent refugee...

-Tulkarm
Tulkarm
Tulkarem or Tulkarm is a Palestinian city in the northern Samarian mountain range in the Tulkarm Governorate in the extreme northwestern West Bank adjacent to the Netanya and Haifa districts to the west, the Nablus and Jenin Districts to the east...

 strategic triangle, where they suffered heavy casualties in the Israeli attack on Jenin which began on 3 June, but they managed to hold on to their positions. Active Iraqi involvement in the war effectively ended at this point.

In May 1955 the British finally withdrew from Iraq. The Iraqi authorities said during the withdrawal negotiations that a motorised infantry brigade was to be formed, based at the previous RAF Habbaniya
RAF Habbaniya
Royal Air Force Station Habbaniya, more commonly known as RAF Habbaniya, was a Royal Air Force station at Habbaniyah, about west of Baghdad in modern day Iraq, on the banks of the Euphrates near Lake Habbaniyah...

, a location that had been occupied by the British Iraq Levies.

Republic Declared



The Hashemite
Hashemite
Hashemite is the Latinate version of the , transliteration: Hāšimī, and traditionally refers to those belonging to the Banu Hashim, or "clan of Hashim", a clan within the larger Quraish tribe...

 monarchy lasted until 1958, when it was overthrown through a coup d'état
Coup d'état
A coup d'état state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either...

 by the Iraqi Army, known as the 14 July Revolution
14 July Revolution
The 14 July Revolution was a coup which took place on 14 July 1958 in Iraq, marking the overthrow of the Hashemite monarchy established by King Faisal I in 1932 under the auspices of the British. In 1958, the coup overthrew King Faisal II, the regent and Crown Prince 'Abd al-Ilah, and Prime...

. King Faisal II of Iraq
Faisal II of Iraq
Faisal II was the last King of Iraq. He reigned from 4 April 1939 until July 1958, when he was killed during the "14 July Revolution" together with several members of his family...

 along with members of the royal family were executed. The coup brought Abd al-Karim Qasim to power. He withdrew from the Baghdad Pact and established friendly relations with the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

.

When Qāsim distanced himself from Abd an-Nāsir
Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein was the second President of Egypt from 1956 until his death. A colonel in the Egyptian army, Nasser led the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 along with Muhammad Naguib, the first president, which overthrew the monarchy of Egypt and Sudan, and heralded a new period of...

, he faced growing opposition from pro-Egypt officers in the Iraqi army. `Arif, who wanted closer cooperation with Egypt, was stripped of his responsibilities and thrown in prison. When the garrison in Mosul
Mosul
Mosul , is a city in northern Iraq and the capital of the Ninawa Governorate, some northwest of Baghdad. The original city stands on the west bank of the Tigris River, opposite the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh on the east bank, but the metropolitan area has now grown to encompass substantial...

 rebelled against Qāsim's policies, he allowed the Kurdish leader Barzānī
Mustafa Barzani
Mustafa Barzani also known as Mullah Mustafa was a Kurdish nationalist leader, and the most prominent political figure in the modern Kurdish politics. In 1946 he was chosen as the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party to lead the Kurdish revolution against Iraqi regimes...

 to return from exile in the Soviet Union to help suppress the pro-Nāsir rebels.

The creation of the new Fifth Division, consisting of mechanized infantry, was announced on 6 January 1959, Army Day. Qāsim was also promoted to the rank of general.

In 1961 an Army buildup close to Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

, in conjunction with Iraqi claims over the small neighbouring state, led to a crisis, with British military forces (land
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

, sea
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

, and air
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

) deployed to Kuwait for a period. In 1961, Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

 gained independence from Britain and Iraq claimed sovereignty over Kuwait. As in the 1930s, Qasim based Iraq's claim on the assertion that Kuwait had been a district of the Ottoman province of Basra, unjustly severed by the British from the main body of Iraqi state when it had been created in the 1920s. Britain reacted strongly to Iraq's claim and sent troops to Kuwait to deter Iraq. Qāsim was forced to back down and in October 1963, Iraq recognized the sovereignty of Kuwait.

Qāsim was assassinated in February 1963, when the Ba'ath Party took power
February 1963 Iraqi coup d'état
The February 1963 Iraqi coup d'état was a February 8, 1963 armed military coup by the Ba'ath Party's Iraqi wing which overthrew the regime of the Prime Minister of Iraq, Brigadier General Abd al-Karim Qasim. General Ahmed Hasan al-Bakr became the new Prime Minister and Colonel Abdul Salam Arif...

 under the leadership of General Ahmed Hasan al-Bakr (prime minister
Prime Minister of Iraq
The Prime Minister of Iraq is Iraq's head of government. Prime Minister was originally an appointed office, subsidiary to the head of state, and the nominal leader of the Iraqi parliament. Under the newly adopted constitution the Prime Minister is to be the country's active executive authority...

) and Colonel Abdul Salam Arif
Abdul Salam Arif
Abdul Salam Mohammed Arif Aljumaily was President of Iraq from 1963 till his death. He played a leading role in the coup in which the Hashemite monarchy was overthrown on July 14, 1958.-1958 revolution and conflict with Qasim:...

 (president
President of Iraq
The President of Iraq is the head of state of Iraq and "safeguards the commitment to the Constitution and the preservation of Iraq's independence, sovereignty, unity, the security of its territories in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution." The President is elected by the Council of...

). Nine months later `Abd as-Salam Muhammad `Arif led a successful coup against the Ba'ath government. On 13 April 1966, President Abdul Salam Arif died in a helicopter crash and was succeeded by his brother, General Abdul Rahman Arif
Abdul Rahman Arif
Hajj Abdul Rahman Mohammed Arif Aljumaily was president of Iraq from April 16, 1966 to July 17, 1968.-Biography:...

. Following the Six Day War of 1967, the Ba'ath Party felt strong enough to retake power (17 July 1968). Ahmad Hasan al-Bakr became president and chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC).

Six Day War


During the Six Day War, the Iraqi 3rd Armoured Division
3rd Division (Iraq)
The 3rd Division is a formation of the Iraqi Army. It was active by 1941, disbanded along with the rest of the Iraqi Army in 2003, but reactivated by 2005.-History:...

 was deployed in eastern Jordan. However, the Israeli attack against the West Bank unfolded so quickly that the Iraqi force could not organise itself and reach the front before Jordan ceased fighting. Repeated Israeli airstrikes also held them up so that by the time they did reach the Jordan River the entire West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 was in Israeli hands. During the course of the Jordanian Campaign
Jordanian campaign (1967)
The Jordanian campaign of 1967 was part of the broader Six-Day War, in which Israel inflicted a devastating defeat on Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq...

 ten Iraqis were killed and 30 Iraqis were wounded, especially as the main battle was in Jerusalem. Fighting also raged in other areas of the West Bank, where Iraqi commandos and Jordanian soldiers defended their positions.

Barzānī and the Kurds who had begun a rebellion in 1961 were still causing problems in 1969. The secretary-general of the Ba`th party, Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

, was given responsibility to find a solution. It was clear that it was impossible to defeat the Kurds by military means and in 1970 a political agreement was reached between the rebels and the Iraqi government.

Following the Arab defeat in 1967, Jordan became a hotbed of Palestinian resistance. During this time PLO elements attempted to create a Palestinian state within Jordan caused the Jordanians to launch their full military force against the PLO. As they were doing this Syria invaded Jordan and Iraq moved a brigade in Rihab, Jordan. Otherwise the only Iraqi activity was that they fired upon some Jordanian aircraft.

Iraq sent a 60,000 man expeditionary force to the Syrian front during the Yom Kippur War
Yom Kippur War
The Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War or October War , also known as the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and the Fourth Arab-Israeli War, was fought from October 6 to 25, 1973, between Israel and a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria...

. It consisted of the 3rd and 6th Armoured Division
6th Division (Iraq)
The 6th Division is a formation of the Iraqi Army, first formed after 1959, converted to armoured status by 1973, but disbanded in 2003. It was reformed as part of the new army in August 2005....

s, two infantry brigades, twelve artillery battalions, and a special forces brigade. The two armoured divisions were, Pollack says, 'unquestionably the best formations of the Iraqi Army.'(Pollack p. 167) Yet during their operations on the Golan Heights, their performance was awful in virtually every category of military effectiveness. Military intelligence, initiative, and small unit independent action was virtually absent.

After the war, Iraq started a major military build-up. Active duty manpower doubled, and so did number of divisions, from six to twelve, of which four were now armoured and two mechanised infantry. (Pollack p. 182)

Iran-Iraq war


Later, Saddam Hussein, looking to build fighting power against Iran soon after the outbreak of the Iran–Iraq War doubled the size of the Iraqi army from 1981, when it numbered 200,000 soldiers in 12 divisions and 3 independent brigades, to 1985, when it had 500,000 men in 23 divisions and nine brigades. The first new divisions were created in 1981 when the 11th and 12th Border Guard Divisions were converted into infantry formations and the 14th Infantry Division was formed. (Pollack 2002 p. 207) Yet the rise in number of divisions is misleading, because during the war Iraqi divisions abandoned a standard organisation with permanent ('organic') brigades assigned to each division. Instead division headquarters were assigned a mission or sector and then assigned brigades to carry out the task - up to eight to ten brigades on some occasions. (Pollack 2002 p. 208)

The war came at a great cost in lives and economic damage - a half a million Iraqi and Iranian soldiers as well as civilians are believed to have died in the war with many more injured and wounded - but brought neither reparations nor change in borders. The conflict is often compared to World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, in that the tactics used closely mirrored those of the 1914-1918 war, including large scale trench warfare
Trench warfare
Trench warfare is a form of occupied fighting lines, consisting largely of trenches, in which troops are largely immune to the enemy's small arms fire and are substantially sheltered from artillery...

, manned machine-gun posts, bayonet charges, use of barbed wire
Barbed wire
Barbed wire, also known as barb wire , is a type of fencing wire constructed with sharp edges or points arranged at intervals along the strand. It is used to construct inexpensive fences and is used atop walls surrounding secured property...

 across trenches and on no-mans land, human wave attacks and Iraq's extensive use of chemical weapons (such as mustard gas) against Iranian troops and civilians as well as Iraqi Kurd
Kürd
Kürd or Kyurd or Kyurt may refer to:*Kürd Eldarbəyli, Azerbaijan*Kürd Mahrızlı, Azerbaijan*Kürd, Goychay, Azerbaijan*Kürd, Jalilabad, Azerbaijan*Kürd, Qabala, Azerbaijan*Qurdbayram, Azerbaijan...

s.

Invasion of Kuwait and Gulf War


By the eve of the Invasion of Kuwait
Invasion of Kuwait
The Invasion of Kuwait, also known as the Iraq-Kuwait War, was a major conflict between the Republic of Iraq and the State of Kuwait, which resulted in the seven-month long Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, which subsequently led to direct military intervention by United States-led forces in the Gulf...

 which led to the 1991 Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

, the Army was estimated to number 1,000,000 men. Just before the Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

 began, the force comprised grouped into 47 infantry divisions plus nine armoured and mechanised divisions, grouped in seven corps. This gave a total of about 56 army divisions, and total land force divisions reached 68 when the twelve Iraqi Republican Guard
Iraqi Republican Guard
The Iraqi Republican Guard was a branch of the Iraqi military during the presidency of Saddam Hussein. It later became the Republican Guard Corps, and then the Republican Guard Forces Command with its expansion into two corps....

 divisions were included. Although it was said at the time in Western media that Iraqi troops numbered approximately 545,000 (even 600,000) today most experts think that both the qualitative and quantitative descriptions of the Iraqi army at the time were exaggerated, as they included both temporary and auxiliary support elements. Many of the Iraqi troops were also young, under-resourced and poorly trained conscripts. Hussein did not trust the army; among counterbalancing security forces was the Iraqi Popular Army
Iraqi Popular Army
The Iraqi Popular Army also known as the People's Army or People's Militia was a paramilitary agency composed of civilian volunteers to protect the Ba'ath regime against internal opposition and to serve as a counter-balance against any coup attempt by the regular Iraqi Army.In 1987 the People's...

.


The widespread support for Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war meant Iraq had military equipment from almost every major dealer of the world's weapons market. This resulted in a lack of standardization in this large heterogeneous force, which additionally suffered from poor training and poor motivation. The majority of Iraqi armoured forces still used old Chinese Type 59
Type 59
The Type 59 main battle tank is a Chinese produced version of the Soviet T-54A tank, an improvement over the ubiquitous T-54/55. The first vehicles were produced in 1958 and it was accepted into service in 1959, with serial production beginning in 1963...

s and Type 69s, Soviet-made T-55
T-55
The T-54 and T-55 tanks were a series of main battle tanks designed in the Soviet Union. The first T-54 prototype appeared in March 1945, just before the end of the Second World War. The T-54 entered full production in 1947 and became the main tank for armored units of the Soviet Army, armies of...

s from the 1950s and 1960s, and some T-72
T-72
The T-72 is a Soviet-designed main battle tank that entered production in 1970. It is developed directly from Obyekt-172, and shares parallel features with the T-64A...

s from the 1970s in 1991. These machines were not equipped with up-to-date equipment, such as thermal sights or laser rangefinders, and their effectiveness in modern combat was very limited. The Iraqis failed to find an effective countermeasure to the thermal sights and the sabot rounds used by the M1 Abrams
M1 Abrams
The M1 Abrams is a third-generation main battle tank produced in the United States. It is named after General Creighton Abrams, former Army Chief of Staff and Commander of US military forces in Vietnam from 1968 to 1972. The M1 is a well armed, heavily armored, and highly mobile tank designed for...

, Challenger 1
Challenger 1 tank
The British FV4030/4 Challenger 1, was the main battle tank of the British Army from 1983 to the mid 1990s, when it was superseded by the Challenger 2. It is also currently used by the Jordanian Armed Forces as their main battle tank after heavy modifications...

 and the other Coalition tanks. This equipment enabled Coalition tanks to effectively engage and destroy Iraqi tanks from more than three times the distance that Iraqi tanks could engage.

The Iraqi tank crews used old, cheap steel penetrators
Kinetic energy penetrator
A kinetic energy penetrator is a type of ammunition which, like a bullet, does not contain explosives and uses kinetic energy to penetrate the target....

 against the advanced Chobham Armour
Chobham armour
Chobham armour is the name informally given to a composite armour developed in the 1960s at the British tank research centre on Chobham Common, Surrey, England...

 of these US and British tanks, with disastrous results. The Iraqi forces also failed to utilize the advantage that could be gained from using urban warfare
Urban warfare
Urban warfare is combat conducted in urban areas such as towns and cities. Urban combat is very different from combat in the open at both the operational and tactical level...

 — fighting within Kuwait City
Kuwait City
-Suburbs:Although the districts below are not usually recognized as suburbs, the following is a list of a few areas surrounding Kuwait city:Al-Salam ""السلام"" -Economy:...

 — which could have inflicted significant casualties on the attacking forces. Urban combat reduces the range at which fighting occurs and can negate some of the technological advantage that well equipped forces enjoy. Iraqis also tried to use Soviet military doctrine, but the implementation failed due to the lack of skill of their commanders and the preventive air strikes of the USAF and RAF on communication centers and bunkers.

The exact number of Iraqi combat casualties is unknown, but known to be heavy. Immediate estimates said up to 100,000 Iraqis were killed. Some now estimate that Iraq sustained between 20,000 and 35,000 fatalities. However other figures still maintain fatalities as high as 200,000. A report commissioned by the U.S. Air Force, estimated 10,000-12,000 Iraqi combat deaths in the air campaign and as many as 10,000 casualties in the ground war. This analysis is based on Iraqi prisoner of war reports. It is known that between 20,000 and 200,000 Iraqi soldiers were killed. According to the Project on Defense Alternatives study, 3,664 Iraqi civilians and between 20,000 and 26,000 military personnel were killed in the conflict. 75,000 Iraqi soldiers were wounded in the fighting.

Between the Gulf Wars


The International Institute for Strategic Studies
International Institute for Strategic Studies
The International Institute for Strategic Studies is a British research institute in the area of international affairs. It describes itself as "the world’s leading authority on political-military conflict"...

 (IISS) estimated the Army's composition immediately after the 1991 War as 6 'armoured'/'mechanised' divisions, 23 infantry divisions, 8 Republican Guard divisions and four Republican Guard internal security divisions. Jane's Defence Weekly
Jane's Defence Weekly
Jane's Defence Weekly is a weekly magazine reporting on military and corporate affairs, edited by Peter Felstead. It is one of a number of military-related publications named after John F. T. Jane, an Englishman who first published Jane's All the World's Fighting Ships in 1898...

 for 18 July 1992 stated that 10,000 troops from 5 divisions were fighting against Shia Muslims in the southern marshlands.

The IISS gave the Iraqi Army's force structure as of 1 July 1997 as seven Corps headquarters, six armoured or mechanised divisions, 12 infantry divisions, 6 RGF divisions, four Special Republican Guard Brigades, 10 commando, and two Special Forces Brigades. It was estimated to number 350,000 personnel, including 100,000 recently recalled reservists.

Second Gulf War



In the days leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

 and the following Iraq War, the Army consisted of 375,000 troops, organized into 5 corps
Corps
A corps is either a large formation, or an administrative grouping of troops within an armed force with a common function such as Artillery or Signals representing an arm of service...

. In all, there were 11 infantry
Infantry
Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are the backbone of armies...

 divisions
Division (military)
A division is a large military unit or formation usually consisting of between 10,000 and 20,000 soldiers. In most armies, a division is composed of several regiments or brigades, and in turn several divisions typically make up a corps...

, 3 mechanized
Mechanized infantry
Mechanized infantry are infantry equipped with armored personnel carriers , or infantry fighting vehicles for transport and combat ....

 divisions, and 3 armored divisions. The Republican Guard consisted of between 50,000 and 60,000 troops (although some sources indicate a strength of up to 80,000).

In January 2003, before the beginning of the Second Gulf War, the force was primarily located in eastern Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

. The 5 corps were organised as follows:
  • 1st Corps, near Kirkuk
    Kirkuk
    Kirkuk is a city in Iraq and the capital of Kirkuk Governorate.It is located in the Iraqi governorate of Kirkuk, north of the capital, Baghdad...

     consisted of the 5th Mechanized Division, 2nd Infantry Division, 8th Infantry Division and the 38th Infantry Division.
  • 2nd Corps, near Diyala, had the 3rd Armored Division, 15th Infantry Division, and 34th Infantry Division.
  • 3rd Corps, near An Nasiriyah, had the 6th Armored Division, the 51st Mechanized Division, and the 11th Infantry Division.
  • 4th Corps, near Amarah
    Amarah
    Amarah , is a city in southeastern Iraq, located on a low ridge next to the Tigris River waterway south of Baghdad about 50 km from the border with Iran. It lies at the northern tip of the marshlands between the Tigris and Euphrates....

    , included the 10th Armored Division, 14th Infantry Division and 18th Infantry Division.
  • 5th Corps, near Mosul
    Mosul
    Mosul , is a city in northern Iraq and the capital of the Ninawa Governorate, some northwest of Baghdad. The original city stands on the west bank of the Tigris River, opposite the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh on the east bank, but the metropolitan area has now grown to encompass substantial...

    , had the 1st Mechanized Division, and the 4th, 7th, and 16th Infantry Divisions.
  • Western Desert Force, consisting of an armored infantry division and other units in western Iraq.


During the 2003 invasion of Iraq
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

 the Iraqi Army was defeated in a number of battles, including by Task Force Viking
Task Force Viking
Joint Special Operations Task Force – North , also known as Task Force Viking was the command responsible for the northern front during Operation Iraqi Freedom Rotation I...

 in the north, and the Battle of Nasiriyah
Battle of Nasiriyah
The Battle of Nasiriyah was one of the first major battles of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Heavy fighting took place in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah between Iraqi forces and U.S. Marines over control of key bridges over the Euphrates River and the Saddam Canal.The battle began early on 23...

 and the Battle of Baghdad. The Iraqi Army was disbanded by Coalition Provisional Authority Order Number 2
Coalition Provisional Authority Order Number 2
Coalition Provisional Authority Order Number 2: Dissolution of Entities signed by CPA civil administrator L. Paul Bremer on May 23, 2003, disbanded the Iraqi military, security, and intelligence infrastructure of President Saddam Hussein...

 issued by U.S. Administrator of Iraq Paul Bremer on May 23, 2003 after its decisive defeat during the Second Gulf War. Bremer said that it was not feasible to reconstitute the armed forces. His justifications for the disbandment included postwar looting, which had destroyed all the bases; that the largely Shiite draftees of the army would not respond to a recall plea from their former commanders, who were primarily Sunnis, and that recalling the army would be a political disaster because to the vast majority of Iraqis it was a symbol of the old Baathist-led Sunni ascendancy..."

Corps

  • I Corps
  • II Corps - reorganised as an armoured corps for the Persian Gulf War
    Gulf War
    The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

    , comprising the 17th Armoured Division and the 51st Mechanised Division
  • III Corps - In 2003, Nasiriyah was the headquarters of the Iraqi Army's 3rd Corps, composed of the 11th ID, 51st Mech ID, and 6th Armored Division
    6th Division (Iraq)
    The 6th Division is a formation of the Iraqi Army, first formed after 1959, converted to armoured status by 1973, but disbanded in 2003. It was reformed as part of the new army in August 2005....

     — all at around 50 percent strength. The 51st operated south covering the oilfields, and the 6th was north near Al Amarah, which left three brigade-sized elements of the 11th ID to guard the An Nasiriyah area.
  • IV Corps
  • V Corps
  • VI Corps
  • VII Corps
  • Jihad Forces, Persian Gulf War
    Gulf War
    The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...


Infantry and mechanised divisions

  • 1st Division (Iraq)
    1st Division (Iraq)
    The 1st Division, Iraqi Army is a formation of the Army formed c.2005-2007.The 1st Division was originally formed from the battalions of the Iraqi Intervention Force....

    , active from at least 1941. 1st Mechanised Division in Persian Gulf War
    Gulf War
    The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

     and Iraq War. Reformed after 2003.
  • 2nd Division (Iraq)
    2nd Division (Iraq)
    The 2nd Division is a formation of the Iraqi Army. It is headquartered at Mosul. The 2nd Division is one of the most experienced formations in the Iraqi Army. The division is today engaged in totality in the city of Mosul to assure its security....

    , active from at least 1941
  • 3rd Division (Iraq)
    3rd Division (Iraq)
    The 3rd Division is a formation of the Iraqi Army. It was active by 1941, disbanded along with the rest of the Iraqi Army in 2003, but reactivated by 2005.-History:...

    , active from at least 1941
  • 4th Division (Iraq)
    4th Division (Iraq)
    The 4th Division is a infantry formation of the Iraqi Army. It was formed before 1941, disbanded in 2003, but reactivated after 2004.It was one of the four original divisions of the Iraqi Army, being active in 1941. At the beginning of the Anglo-Iraqi War it was in Al Diwaniyah on the main rail...

    , active from at least 1941
  • 5th Division (Iraq)
    5th Division (Iraq)
    The 5th Division is a formation of the Iraqi Army, originally formed in 1959 as a mechanised division. It fought in the Iran-Iraq War, and in the Persian Gulf War...

    , activated 1959. As 5th Mechanised Division, fought in Battle of Khafji
    Battle of Khafji
    The Battle of Khafji was the first major ground engagement of the Gulf War. It took place in and around the Saudi Arabian city of Khafji, from 29 January to 1 February 1991 and marked the culmination of the Coalition's air campaign over Kuwait and Iraq, which had begun on 17 January 1991.Iraqi...

    .
  • 7th Division (Iraq)
    7th Division (Iraq)
    The 7th Division is a division of the Iraqi Army. First formed in the 1960s or 1970s, it was disbanded in 2003. It was reformed after 2004. It is now headquartered at Al Asad. This division was trained by the United States Marine Corps. Today it is one of the better Iraqi formations, it played a...

    , served in Second Battle of Al Faw
    Second Battle of Al Faw
    The Second Battle of Al-Faw, fought on April 17, 1988, was a battle of the Iran–Iraq War. After their defeat at the First Battle of Al-Faw two years earlier, the newly restructured Iraqi Army conducted a major operation to clear the Iranians out of the peninsula...

     1988
  • 8th Division (Iraq)
    8th Division (Iraq)
    The 8th Division is a division of the Iraqi Army. Before being reformed after 2004 it was part of the previous Iraqi Army, and fought in the Iran-Iraq War...

  • 11th Division (Iraq)
    11th Division (Iraq)
    The 11th Infantry Division is a formation of the Iraqi Army. Its headquarters is located in the former Ministry of Defence building in Baghdad.Division units:...

    , Persian Gulf War
    Gulf War
    The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

  • 14th, 15th, 16th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th Divisions,
  • 26th, 27th, 28th, 28th, 30th, 31st, 33rd, 34th, 36th, 37th, 38th Divisions
  • 39th, 42nd, 44th, 45th, 46th, 47th, 48th, 49th, 50th, 53rd, 54th, 56th Divisions
  • Eisenstadt reported 'about eight infantry divisions remain unaccounted for' as of March 1993.

Armoured divisions up to 2003

  • 3rd Armoured Division, active by 1967, served in Yom Kippur War
    Yom Kippur War
    The Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War or October War , also known as the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and the Fourth Arab-Israeli War, was fought from October 6 to 25, 1973, between Israel and a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria...

    , Operation Ramadan
    Operation Ramadan
    Operation Ramadan was an offensive in the Iran-Iraq War. It was launched by Iran in July 1982 near Basra and featured the use of human wave attacks in one of the largest land battles since World War II...

    , Iran-Iraq War
    Iran-Iraq War
    The Iran–Iraq War was an armed conflict between the armed forces of Iraq and Iran, lasting from September 1980 to August 1988, making it the longest conventional war of the twentieth century...

  • 6th Armoured Division
    6th Division (Iraq)
    The 6th Division is a formation of the Iraqi Army, first formed after 1959, converted to armoured status by 1973, but disbanded in 2003. It was reformed as part of the new army in August 2005....

    , served in Yom Kippur War
    Yom Kippur War
    The Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War or October War , also known as the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and the Fourth Arab-Israeli War, was fought from October 6 to 25, 1973, between Israel and a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria...

    , 1988 Blessed Ramadan Offensive
  • 9th Armoured Division
    9th Division (Iraq)
    The 9th Armoured Division is a formation of the Iraqi Army, originally formed probably around 1975, but disbanded in 1982. It was reformed after 2004....

    , served in Iran-Iraq War, disbanded after First Battle of Basrah/Operation Ramadan
    Operation Ramadan
    Operation Ramadan was an offensive in the Iran-Iraq War. It was launched by Iran in July 1982 near Basra and featured the use of human wave attacks in one of the largest land battles since World War II...

    , July 1982 (Pollack p. 205). Reformed after 2003.
  • 10th Armoured Division, served in Iran-Iraq War
    Iran-Iraq War
    The Iran–Iraq War was an armed conflict between the armed forces of Iraq and Iran, lasting from September 1980 to August 1988, making it the longest conventional war of the twentieth century...

     (Operation Ramadan
    Operation Ramadan
    Operation Ramadan was an offensive in the Iran-Iraq War. It was launched by Iran in July 1982 near Basra and featured the use of human wave attacks in one of the largest land battles since World War II...

    ), in Persian Gulf War
    Gulf War
    The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

     with Jihad Forces (corps)
  • 12th Armoured Division, served in Persian Gulf War
    Gulf War
    The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

     with Jihad Forces (corps)
  • 17th Armoured Division http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/iraq/17ad.htm
  • 52nd Armoured Division

Brigades


The 65th Special Forces Brigade, 66th Special Forces Brigade, 68th Special Forces Brigade, and 440th Marine Brigade were active during the Persian Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

. (Eisenstadt)

Reform of the army



Based on Bush administration expectations that coalition forces would be welcomed as liberators after the overthrow of the Hussein regime, prewar planners had only been expecting little if any resistance from the Iraqi people. Thus the new army was initially focused on external defence operations. The new Army was originally intended to comprise 27 battalions in three divisions numbering 40,000 soldiers in three years time. Vinnell Corporation was engaged to train the first nine battalions.

The Coalition Military Assistance Training Team
Coalition Military Assistance Training Team
The Coalition Military Assistance Training Team was a section of the Multi-National Security Transition Command - Iraq that was responsible for organizing, training and equipping of the Iraqi Army...

, headed by Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton
Paul Eaton
Major General Paul D. Eaton is a retired United States Army General most known for his command of operations to train Iraqi troops in George W. Bush's invasion of that country...

, was the organization set up by the United States military with the responsibility of training and development of the new army. On August 2, 2003, the first battalion of New Iraqi Army recruits started a nine-week training course at a training base in Kirkush. They graduated on October 4, 2003. Training of Iraqi forces was initially done by Vinnell Corporation contractors.
On April 5, 2004, several Iraqi battalions refuse to fight as part of the force engaged in the First Battle of Fallujah. In June 2004, the CMATT was dissolved, and passed on its responsibilities to the Multi-National Security Transition Command - Iraq
Multi-National Security Transition Command - Iraq
Multi-National Security Transition Command – Iraq was the branch of the Multi-National Force - Iraq that is responsible for developing, organizing, training, equipping, and sustaining the Iraqi Security Ministries and their associated Iraqi Security Forces , i.e...

 (MNSTC-I) (initially headed by Lt. Gen. David Petraeus
David Petraeus
David Howell Petraeus is the current Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, sworn in on September 6, 2011. Prior to his assuming the directorship of the CIA, Petraeus was a four-star general serving over 37 years in the United States Army. His last assignments in the Army were as commander...

) with the new focus on providing security for the Iraqi people from the emerging threat posed by the Iraqi insurgency
Iraqi insurgency
The Iraqi Resistance is composed of a diverse mix of militias, foreign fighters, all-Iraqi units or mixtures opposing the United States-led multinational force in Iraq and the post-2003 Iraqi government...

.

While the regular army was being formed, U.S. commanders around the country needed additional troops more quickly, and thus the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps (later to become the Iraqi National Guard) was formed. Coalition commanders formed these militia-type units separately in each area; only later were they gradually brought together as one force. There were several instances where they have refused to take military action against fellow Iraqis, such as in Fallujah
Fallujah
Fallujah is a city in the Iraqi province of Al Anbar, located roughly west of Baghdad on the Euphrates. Fallujah dates from Babylonian times and was host to important Jewish academies for many centuries....

, deserted, or allegedly aided the resistance. It is alleged that most guardsmen were drawn from the Shia majority in Southern Iraq or the Kurd
Kürd
Kürd or Kyurd or Kyurt may refer to:*Kürd Eldarbəyli, Azerbaijan*Kürd Mahrızlı, Azerbaijan*Kürd, Goychay, Azerbaijan*Kürd, Jalilabad, Azerbaijan*Kürd, Qabala, Azerbaijan*Qurdbayram, Azerbaijan...

ish majority in northern Iraq, rather than from the Sunni area which they were ordered to attack. In September 2004, a senior member of the National Guard, General Talib al-Lahibi was arrested on suspicion of having links with insurgent groups. In December 2004, it was announced that the Iraqi National Guard would be dissolved. At this time its strength was officially over 40,000 men. Its units became part of the Army. The absorption of the ING by the regular army appears to have taken place on January 6, 2005, Iraqi Army Day.

On August 14, 2004, the NATO Training Mission - Iraq
NATO Training Mission - Iraq
The NATO Training Mission-Iraq was established in 2004 at the request of the Iraqi Interim Government under the provisions of UN Security Council Resolution 1546. The aim of NTM-I is to assist in the development of Iraqi security forces training structures and institutions so that Iraq can build...

 was established to assist the Iraqi military, including the Army. On September 20 the provisional Fallujah Brigade dissolved after being sent in to secure the city. The Fallujah Brigade experiment of using former insurgents to secure a city was not repeated.

Army training was transferred from Vinnell Corporation to the United States armed forces
United States armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

 supported by U.S. allies, and is now done by three Iraqi training battalions. Training has been impeded by domestic instability, infiltration by insurgents, and high desertion rates. From June 2004, the partnership between Coalition forces and Iraqi forces has increased due to the growing number of battalions in the Iraqi army, which then stood around 115. Out of this number, it was deemed that 80 of them were able to carry out operations in the field with Coalition support limited to logistics and strategic planning, whilst another 20-30 battalions still needed major Coalition support to carry out their operations. As of October 5, 2005 the Iraqi Army had 90 battalions trained well enough to be "deployed independently", i.e. without the help of others such as the United States.

On May 3, 2006 a significant command-and-control development took place. The Iraqi Army command and control center opened in a ceremony at the Iraqi Ground Forces Command
Iraqi Ground Forces Command
The Ground Forces Command at Victory Base Complex near Baghdad Airport is the most important fighting formation in the Iraqi Army. The headquarters of the Iraqi Ground Forces Command and the Iraqi Joint Forces Command are the same entity....

 (IFGC) headquarters at Camp Victory
Camp Victory
Camp Victory is the primary component of the Victory Base Complex which occupies the area surrounding the Baghdad International Airport . The Al-Faw Palace, which served as the headquarters for the Multi-National Corps - Iraq , is located on Camp Victory...

. The IGFC was established to exercise command and control of assigned Iraqi Army forces and, upon assuming Operational Control, to plan and direct operations to defeat the Iraqi insurgency
Iraqi insurgency
The Iraqi Resistance is composed of a diverse mix of militias, foreign fighters, all-Iraqi units or mixtures opposing the United States-led multinational force in Iraq and the post-2003 Iraqi government...

. At the time, the IFGC was commanded by Lt. Gen. Abdul-Qadar. In 2006 the ten planned divisions began to be certified and assume battlespace responsibility: the 6th and 8th before June 26, 2006, the 9th on June 26, 2006, the 5th on July 3, 2006, the 4th on August 8, 2006, and the 2nd on December 21, 2006. After divisions were certified, they began to be transferred from U.S. operational control to Iraqi control of the IGFC. The 8th Division was transferred on September 7, 2006, and the 3rd Division on December 1, 2006. Another unspecified division also was transferred to IGFC control. Also transferred to the Iraqi chain of command
Chain of Command
Chain of Command may refer to:* Chain of command, in a military context, the line of authority and responsibility along which orders are passed* "Chain of Command" , the fifth episode of the first season of Beast Wars...

 were smaller logistics units: on November 1, 2006, the 5th Motor Transport Regiment (MTR) was the fifth of nine MTRs to be transferred to the Iraqi Army divisions. 2007 plans included, MNF-I said, great efforts to make the Iraqi Army able to sustain itself logistically.

As of June 26, 2006, three Iraqi divisions, 18 brigades and 69 battalions were in control of battlespace (including two police commando battalions).

2008




On March 25, 2008, the Iraqi Army launched its first solely planned and executed high-profile division-level operation, Operation Charge of the Knights
Battle of Basra (2008)
The Battle of Basra began on March 25, 2008, when the Iraqi Army launched an operation to drive the Mahdi Army militia out of the southern Iraqi city of Basra...

 in Basra. They received Multi-National Force - Iraq support only in air support, logistics and via embedded advisors. Also, a British infantry brigade, part of Multi-National Division South-East
Multi-National Division (South-East) (Iraq)
Multi-National Division was a British commanded division responsible for security in the south east of Iraq from 2003 to 2009. It was responsible for the large city of Basra and its headquarters were located at Basra Airport. The division was initially responsible for the governorates of Al...

, and stationed in Basra, were ready in a tactical overwatch role. Their participation was limited to the provision of embedded training teams.

In April–June 2008, two brigades of the Iraqi Army 11th Division, supported by US forces, moved into the southern third of Sadr City
Sadr City
Sadr City is a suburb district of the city of Baghdad, Iraq. It was built in 1959 by Prime Minister Abdul Karim Qassim and later unofficially renamed Sadr City after deceased Shia leader Mohammad Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr....

. They were tasked to stop rocket and mortar attacks on US bases and the Green Zone
Green Zone
The Green Zone is the most common name for the International Zone of Baghdad. It is a area of central Baghdad, Iraq, that was the governmental center of the Coalition Provisional Authority and remains the center of the international presence in the city...

. Following the Siege of Sadr City
Siege of Sadr City
The Siege of Sadr City was a blockade of the Shi'a district of northeastern Baghdad carried out by U.S. and Iraqi government forces in an attempt to destroy the main power base of the insurgent Mahdi Army in Baghdad...

 - a month of fighting - the Mahdi Army agrees to let Iraqi forces into the remaining portion of the city. On May 20, troops from the Iraqi Army 3rd Brigade of the 1st (Iraqi Reaction Force) Division
1st Division (Iraq)
The 1st Division, Iraqi Army is a formation of the Army formed c.2005-2007.The 1st Division was originally formed from the battalions of the Iraqi Intervention Force....

 and a brigade from the 9th Division move into the northern districts of Sadr City and begin clearing operations.
  • May – Iraqi army forces launch Operation Lion's Roar (later renamed to Operation Mother of Two Springs) in Mosul and surrounding areas of Nineva province. Iraq became one of the top current purchasers of U.S. military equipment with their army trading its AK-47
    AK-47
    The AK-47 is a selective-fire, gas-operated 7.62×39mm assault rifle, first developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov. It is officially known as Avtomat Kalashnikova . It is also known as a Kalashnikov, an "AK", or in Russian slang, Kalash.Design work on the AK-47 began in the last year...

     assault rifles for the more accurate U.S. M-16
    M16 rifle
    The M16 is the United States military designation for the AR-15 rifle adapted for both semi-automatic and full-automatic fire. Colt purchased the rights to the AR-15 from ArmaLite, and currently uses that designation only for semi-automatic versions of the rifle. The M16 fires the 5.56×45mm NATO...

     and M-4
    M4 Carbine
    The M4 carbine is a family of firearms tracing its lineage back to earlier carbine versions of the M16, all based on the original AR-15 designed by Eugene Stoner and made by ArmaLite. It is a shorter and lighter variant of the M16A2 assault rifle, with 80% parts commonality.It is a gas-operated,...

     rifles, among other equipment.


In June 2008 the Army moved troops to the southern Maysan province. Following a four-day amnesty for insurgents to turn over weapons, the Iraqi Army moved into the provincial capital Amarah.

Structural capacities still lacking within the Army include the lack of any formalized apparatus for the collection of military intelligence. Currently it must rely on intelligence provided by the United States for the majority of its operations. Developing a professional intelligence corps to augment the effectiveness of the Iraqi Army remains an ongoing challenge. In addition, the Army presently must rely on US logistical support to conduct the majority of its operations. It currently lacks critical support services such as transportation, medevac
MEDEVAC
Medical evacuation, often termed Medevac or Medivac, is the timely and efficient movement and en route care provided by medical personnel to the wounded being evacuated from the battlefield or to injured patients being evacuated from the scene of an accident to receiving medical facilities using...

 capabilities, and medical logistics
Medical logistics
Medical logistics is the logistics of pharmaceuticals, medical and surgical supplies, medical devices and equipment, and other products needed to support doctors, nurses, and other health and dental care providers...

. Until the Iraqi Army can develop these capabilities, it will continue to depend on US forces for support. A military justice system also remains to be developed.

Two further problems are infiltration and an insufficient U.S. advisory effort. The new Army aimed to exclude recruits that are former regime security and intelligence organizations members, personnel of the Special Republican Guard, top-level Ba'ath Party members, and Ba'ath Party security and militia organizations. However the Army is widely known to have been infiltrated by a multitude of groups ranging from local militias to foreign insurgents. This has led to highly publicized deaths and compromised operations (perhaps the most prominent being the attack on a US military base near Mosul in December 2004. More than 20 people, including 13 American servicemen, were killed when a suicide bomber wearing an Iraqi military uniform detonated his vest inside a dining tent).

Structure


The Iraqi Army began the Anglo-Iraqi War
Anglo-Iraqi War
The Anglo-Iraqi War was the name of the British campaign against the rebel government of Rashid Ali in the Kingdom of Iraq during the Second World War. The war lasted from 2 May to 31 May 1941. The campaign resulted in the re-occupation of Iraq by British armed forces and the return to power of the...

 with a force of four divisions. A fifth was formed in 1959. By the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq War
Iran-Iraq War
The Iran–Iraq War was an armed conflict between the armed forces of Iraq and Iran, lasting from September 1980 to August 1988, making it the longest conventional war of the twentieth century...

, the force had grown to nine divisions. By 1990, with wartime expansion, the force had grown greatly to at least 56 divisions, making the Iraqi army the fourth largest army in the world and one of the strongest in the middle east.
After the defeat in the Persian Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

 in 1991, force size dropped to around 23 divisions, as well as Republican Guard
Republican Guard
Republican Guard is the organization of a republic which serves to protect the President and the government. Usually synonymous with Presidential Guard.* Albanian Republican Guard* Algerian Republican Guard...

 formations. The new army formed after 2003 was initially planned to be three divisions strong, but was then raised to ten divisions, and the force is now expected to grow to 20 divisions.

The U.S. House Armed Services Committee commented in 2007 that "It is important to note that in the initial fielding plan, five army divisions would be tied to the regions from where they were recruited and the other five would be deployable throughout Iraq. This was partially due to the legacy of some army divisions being formed from the National Guard units and has caused some complications in terms of making these forces available for operations in all areas of Iraq, and the military becoming a truly national, non-sectarian force."

According to the United States Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

 Measuring Safety and Security in Iraq report of August 2006, plans at that time called for the Iraqi Army to be built up to an approximately 300,000-person force. This was based around an Army with 10 infantry divisions and 6 mechanised infantry division consisting of 36 brigades and 113 battalions (91 infantry, 12 special forces, 24 mechanised infantry, 60 armored battalions, 1 security). Nine Motorized Transportation Regiments, 5 logistics battalions, 2 support battalions, 5 Regional Support Units (RSUs), and 91 Garrison Support Units (GSUs) are intended to provide logistics and support for each division, with Taji National Depot providing depot-level maintenance and resupply. Each battalion, brigade, and division headquarters will be supported by a Headquarters and Service Company (HSC) providing logistical and maintenance support to its parent organisation. The Army will also include 17 SIBs and a Special Operations Forces Brigade consisting of two special operational battalions.

Current Status


The Iraqi Army consists of nine regional joint commands. The Joint Operational Commands fall under the command of the National Operations Center. The Iraqi Ground Forces Command
Iraqi Ground Forces Command
The Ground Forces Command at Victory Base Complex near Baghdad Airport is the most important fighting formation in the Iraqi Army. The headquarters of the Iraqi Ground Forces Command and the Iraqi Joint Forces Command are the same entity....

 does not directly command the army's divisions.

As of July 2009, the Iraqi Army had 14 divisions (1st-12th, 14th, and 17th, the designation 13 not being used), containing 56 brigades or 185 combat battalions. The 6th Division and the 17th Division are still missing their fourth manoeuvre brigades.
By April 2010, the combat battalion total had risen to 197 combat battalions.

Each division has four line brigades, an engineering regiment, and a support regiment. In 2009, a field artillery regiment was planned to be added to each division, with an artillery battalion added to each brigade. As of April 2010, the 9th Division was the only division with field artillery, with another division (possibly the 7th) also receiving its first artillery pieces.

Three of the 56 brigades are not Iraqi Ground Forces Command
Iraqi Ground Forces Command
The Ground Forces Command at Victory Base Complex near Baghdad Airport is the most important fighting formation in the Iraqi Army. The headquarters of the Iraqi Ground Forces Command and the Iraqi Joint Forces Command are the same entity....

 combatant brigades and are not assigned to a division. They are the Baghdad Brigade formed in the fall of 2008, the 1st Presidential Brigade formed in January 2008, and the new 2nd Presidential Brigade formed in the spring of 2009. These three independent “praetorian” security brigades are still building and only have six combat battalions between them.

Budget problems are continuing to hinder the manning of combat support and combat service support units. The lack of soldiers entering boot camp is forcing Iraqi leaders at all levels to face the dual challenge of manning and training enabler units out of existing manpower.

Divisions are forming engineer, logistics, mortar, and other units by identifying over-strength units, such as the Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) battalions and other headquarters elements, and then transferring them as needed. Recently, the Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence (Iraq)
The Ministry of Defence is the Iraq government agency responsible for Defence of Iraq. It is also involved with internal security.- Authority :...

 issued an order to all Iraqi Army divisions requiring analysis on the effect of dissolving the 4th Battalion in each brigade and using those soldiers to man enabler units throughout the army.

The new army continues preparation for the fielding of 120mm mortar batteries and 81mm mortar platoons. The start of unit mortar fielding was planned in July 2008.

The Iraqi Special Operations Forces
Iraqi Special Operations Forces
Iraqi Special Operations Forces refers to the Iraqi special forces unit created by Coalition forces after the 2003 invasion. As of November 2009, the forces, directed by the Iraqi Counter-Terrorist Bureau, consist of the Iraqi Counter-Terrorist Command, which has two brigades subordinate to it...

 are a Ministry of Defence (Iraq)
Ministry of Defence (Iraq)
The Ministry of Defence is the Iraq government agency responsible for Defence of Iraq. It is also involved with internal security.- Authority :...

 funded component that reports directly to the Prime Minister of Iraq
Prime Minister of Iraq
The Prime Minister of Iraq is Iraq's head of government. Prime Minister was originally an appointed office, subsidiary to the head of state, and the nominal leader of the Iraqi parliament. Under the newly adopted constitution the Prime Minister is to be the country's active executive authority...

.

Structure as of August 2009



As of August 2009, the soldiers of the Iraqi Army were organized as follows:
  • National Operations CenterBaghdad
    Baghdad
    Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

    • Baghdad Operational Command – Baghdad – Lt. Gen. Abud Qanbar
      Abud Qanbar
      Lieutenant General Abud Qanbar is a military officer in the Iraqi military. On January 13, 2007, he was appointed by Prime Minister Nouri Maliki as the Iraqi commander for the Baghdad Operational Command, which controls all Iraqi security forces in Baghdad and is charged with securing the...

      • Karkh Area Command (KAC) - Western Baghdad. Responsible for the Kadhimiyah, Karkh, Mansour, Bayaa, and Doura Security Districts.
      • Rusafa Area Command (RAC) - Eastern Baghdad. Responsible for the Adhamiyah, Rusafa, Sadr City, New Baghdad, and Karadah Security Districts.
      • 6th Motorised Division
        6th Division (Iraq)
        The 6th Division is a formation of the Iraqi Army, first formed after 1959, converted to armoured status by 1973, but disbanded in 2003. It was reformed as part of the new army in August 2005....

        :
        – Western Baghdad
      • 9th Armored Division
        9th Division (Iraq)
        The 9th Armoured Division is a formation of the Iraqi Army, originally formed probably around 1975, but disbanded in 1982. It was reformed after 2004....

        – Taji – Division certified and assumes responsibility of the battle space of north Baghdad Governorate June 26, 2006.
      • 11th Infantry Division
        11th Division (Iraq)
        The 11th Infantry Division is a formation of the Iraqi Army. Its headquarters is located in the former Ministry of Defence building in Baghdad.Division units:...

        – East Baghdad (Probably planned to become mech div)
      • 17th Commando Division – HQ Mahmadiyah The 17th Division commander has been reported as Staff Maj. Gen. Ali Jassam Mohammad.
        • 23rd Commando Brigade
        • 25th Commando Brigade - 'Baghdad Eagles' - former 4th Bde, 6th Div. Has received commando training by U.S. Special Forces
          Special forces
          Special forces, or special operations forces are terms used to describe elite military tactical teams trained to perform high-risk dangerous missions that conventional units cannot perform...

           and air assault training.
        • 55th Commando Brigade
  • Iraqi Ground Forces Command
    Iraqi Ground Forces Command
    The Ground Forces Command at Victory Base Complex near Baghdad Airport is the most important fighting formation in the Iraqi Army. The headquarters of the Iraqi Ground Forces Command and the Iraqi Joint Forces Command are the same entity....

    (IGFC)
    • Ninewa Operational Command - Mosul
      • 2nd Division
        2nd Division (Iraq)
        The 2nd Division is a formation of the Iraqi Army. It is headquartered at Mosul. The 2nd Division is one of the most experienced formations in the Iraqi Army. The division is today engaged in totality in the city of Mosul to assure its security....

        – Mosul
      • 3rd Motorised Division
        3rd Division (Iraq)
        The 3rd Division is a formation of the Iraqi Army. It was active by 1941, disbanded along with the rest of the Iraqi Army in 2003, but reactivated by 2005.-History:...

        – Al-Kasik
      • 15th Division – (transfer from KRG/Forming)
      • 16th Division – (transfer from KRG/Forming)
    • Diyala Operational Command - Sulamaniyah, Diyala, Kirkuk, Salahadin
      • 4th Motorised Division
        4th Division (Iraq)
        The 4th Division is a infantry formation of the Iraqi Army. It was formed before 1941, disbanded in 2003, but reactivated after 2004.It was one of the four original divisions of the Iraqi Army, being active in 1941. At the beginning of the Anglo-Iraqi War it was in Al Diwaniyah on the main rail...

        – Tikrit – Division certified August 8, 2006.
      • 5th Infantry Division
        5th Division (Iraq)
        The 5th Division is a formation of the Iraqi Army, originally formed in 1959 as a mechanised division. It fought in the Iran-Iraq War, and in the Persian Gulf War...

         (Iron)
        Diyala Governorate – Division certified July 3, 2006.
      • 12th Motorized Division
        12th Division (Iraq)
        The 12th Light Infantry Division is a formation of the Iraqi Army. It was activated in the 1970s or 1980s, probably disbanded after 1991, but reformed in 2008. It was an armoured division during the Persian Gulf War. It is now located in Tikrit....

        – Tikrit – split off from 4 Div in mid-2008
    • Basrah Operational Command – Basrah
    • Anbar Operational Command – Ramadi
      • 1st Infantry Division
        1st Division (Iraq)
        The 1st Division, Iraqi Army is a formation of the Army formed c.2005-2007.The 1st Division was originally formed from the battalions of the Iraqi Intervention Force....

        – Fallujah
      • 7th Infantry Division
        7th Division (Iraq)
        The 7th Division is a division of the Iraqi Army. First formed in the 1960s or 1970s, it was disbanded in 2003. It was reformed after 2004. It is now headquartered at Al Asad. This division was trained by the United States Marine Corps. Today it is one of the better Iraqi formations, it played a...

        – Ramadi, West Al Anbar Province – transferred to Iraqi Ground Forces Command, November 1, 2007.

Training



There are three levels of troop capability in the new army: one, two, and three. Level three refers to troops that have just completed basic training, level two refers to troops that are able to work with soldiers, and level one refers to troops that can work by themselves.

Members of NATO Training Mission – Iraq (NTM-I) opened a Joint Staff College in ar Rustamiyah in Baghdad on September 27, 2005 with 300 trainers. Training at bases in Norway, Italy, Jordan, Germany, and Egypt has also taken place and 16 NATO countries have allocated forces to the training effort.

The Multi-National Force Iraq has also conducted a variety of training programs for both enlisted men and officers including training as medic
Medic
Medic is a general term for a person involved in medicine, especially emergency or first-response medicine, such as an emergency medical technician, paramedic, or a military member trained in battlefield medicine. Also the term is used toward a Nurse in pre-hospital care and/or emergency...

s, engineer
Engineer
An engineer is a professional practitioner of engineering, concerned with applying scientific knowledge, mathematics and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical problems. Engineers design materials, structures, machines and systems while considering the limitations imposed by practicality,...

s, quartermaster
Quartermaster
Quartermaster refers to two different military occupations depending on if the assigned unit is land based or naval.In land armies, especially US units, it is a term referring to either an individual soldier or a unit who specializes in distributing supplies and provisions to troops. The senior...

s, and military police
Military police
Military police are police organisations connected with, or part of, the military of a state. The word can have different meanings in different countries, and may refer to:...

. Beyond the various courses and programs being held in-country, both American staff college
Staff college
Staff colleges train military officers in the administrative, staff and policy aspects of their profession. It is usual for such training to occur at several levels in a career...

s and military academies
Military academy
A military academy or service academy is an educational institution which prepares candidates for service in the officer corps of the army, the navy, air force or coast guard, which normally provides education in a service environment, the exact definition depending on the country concerned.Three...

 have begun taking Iraqi applicants, with Iraqi cadets being enrolled at both the United States Military Academy
United States Military Academy
The United States Military Academy at West Point is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located at West Point, New York. The academy sits on scenic high ground overlooking the Hudson River, north of New York City...

 and the US Air Force Academy
United States Air Force Academy
The United States Air Force Academy is an accredited college for the undergraduate education of officer candidates for the United States Air Force. Its campus is located immediately north of Colorado Springs in El Paso County, Colorado, United States...

.

Recruits and enlisted men


Iraqi Army recruits undergo a standard eight week basic training course that includes basic soldiering skills, weapons marksmanship and individual tactics. Former soldiers are eligible for an abbreviated three week "Direct Recruit Replacement Training" course designed to replace regular basic training to be followed by more training once they have been assigned to a unit.

Soldiers later go on to enroll in more specific advanced courses targeted for their respective fields. This could involve going to the Military Intelligence School, the Signal School, the Bomb Disposal School, the Combat Arms Branch School, the Engineer School, and the Military Police School.

Officers


The Iraqi Armed Service and Supply Institute located in Taji plays a significant role in training aspiring Iraqi non-commissioned officer
Non-commissioned officer
A non-commissioned officer , called a sub-officer in some countries, is a military officer who has not been given a commission...

s and commissioned officers. The training is based on a Sandhurst
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst , commonly known simply as Sandhurst, is a British Army officer initial training centre located in Sandhurst, Berkshire, England...

 model, chosen in part due to its shorter graduation time compared to West Point
United States Military Academy
The United States Military Academy at West Point is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located at West Point, New York. The academy sits on scenic high ground overlooking the Hudson River, north of New York City...

. Much of the Iraqi officer training programme is copied directly from the Sandhurst course.

CMATT's main recruiting stations are located in Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

, Basra
Basra
Basra is the capital of Basra Governorate, in southern Iraq near Kuwait and Iran. It had an estimated population of two million as of 2009...

 and Mosul
Mosul
Mosul , is a city in northern Iraq and the capital of the Ninawa Governorate, some northwest of Baghdad. The original city stands on the west bank of the Tigris River, opposite the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh on the east bank, but the metropolitan area has now grown to encompass substantial...

. The most desired recruits are individuals who have prior military service or are skilled in specific professions such as first aid, heavy equipment operation, food service and truck driving. A recruitment target of approximately one thousand men is desired to eventually form a 757-man battalion. Soldier fallout usually occurs due to voluntary withdrawal or failure to meet training standards.

Due to the current demand for these battalions to become active as soon as possible, the first four battalions' officers, non-commissioned officers, and enlisted men are being trained simultaneously (in separate groups). Notable differences in training between CAATT and former training under Saddam
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

's regime include schooling in human rights, the laws of land warfare, and tolerance in a multi-ethnic team.

Based on the philosophy used by the U.S. military to boost its own size in response to World War II — that an army can be built faster by focusing on the training on its leadership rather than enlisted men — CMATT has pursued a similar strategy of focusing recruitment and training on commissioned and non-commissioned officers for the remaining 23 Iraqi battalions. Upon successful completion of officer training, these groups of officers will form the battalion's leadership cadre, which will then be responsible for overseeing its own recruitment, training, and readiness of its enlisted men. It is hoped that having the Iraqi leadership train its own will overcome problems faced by CAATT's training process; namely recruitment, desertion, and unit loyalty.

Military Transition Teams


All Iraqi Army battalions have embedded U.S. Military transition team
Military transition team
A Military Transition Team, or Transition Team, is a 10-15 soldier team that and trains local forces. The term has been used in the context of the "War on Terror" to design groups training in particular the Iraqi Security Forces, Afghan Army and other Afghan security forces.- Mission :The primary...

s, according to the National Strategy for Victory in Iraq
National Strategy for Victory in Iraq
The National Strategy for Victory in Iraq is a document by the United States National Security Council which articulated the strategy of the United States President, in 2003, and provided an update on progress in various challenges and conflicts, notably Iraq....

. The MiTTs advise their Iraqi battalions in the areas of intelligence, communications, fire support, logistics and infantry tactics. Larger scale operations are often done jointly with American battalions. This operational training aims to make the battalion self-sustainable tactically, operationally and logistically so that the battalion will be prepared to take over responsibility for battle space.

The level of the U.S. advisory effort is insufficient. The DOD (as of March '07) reported that 6000 advisors arranged in 480+ teams were embedded with Iraqi units. However, in April, the Congressional Research Service
Congressional Research Service
The Congressional Research Service , known as "Congress's think tank", is the public policy research arm of the United States Congress. As a legislative branch agency within the Library of Congress, CRS works exclusively and directly for Members of Congress, their Committees and staff on a...

 reported that only around 4000 U.S. forces were embedded with Iraqi units at a rate of 10 per battalion. Former U.S. Army analyst Andrew Krepinevich
Andrew Krepinevich
Andrew F. Krepinevich, Jr. is a defense policy analyst, currently executive director of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. His influential book, The Army and Vietnam, contends that the United States could have won the Vietnam War had the Army adopted a small-unit pacification...

 argued that the roughly twelve advisors per Iraqi battalion (approximately 500 troops) is less than half the sufficient amount needed to efficiently implement the combat advisory effort . Krepinevich argues that officers try to avoid taking on advisory tasks due to the US Army's practice of prioritising the promotion of officers that have served with a U.S. unit over ones that have served with foreign forces.

Equipment


Virtually all of the equipment used by the former Iraqi Army
Former Equipment of the Iraqi Army
-Pre-2003 Equipment:Estimated quantities for certain types are listed in after the name.* Main battle tanks** Type 59: ** Type 69: ** T-72: ** T-62:...

 was either destroyed by the U.S. and British Forces during the invasion
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

, or was looted during the chaotic aftermath shortly after the fall of the Hussein regime. Four T-55
T-55
The T-54 and T-55 tanks were a series of main battle tanks designed in the Soviet Union. The first T-54 prototype appeared in March 1945, just before the end of the Second World War. The T-54 entered full production in 1947 and became the main tank for armored units of the Soviet Army, armies of...

 tanks however have been recovered from an old army base in al-Muqdadiyah and are now in service with the 1st Division
1st Division (Iraq)
The 1st Division, Iraqi Army is a formation of the Army formed c.2005-2007.The 1st Division was originally formed from the battalions of the Iraqi Intervention Force....

.

On February 2, 2004 the U.S government announced that Nour USA was awarded a $327,485,798 contract to procure equipment for both the Iraqi Army and the Iraqi National Guard; however, this contract was canceled in March 2004 when an internal Army investigation (initiated due to complaints from losing bidders) revealed that Army procurement officers in Iraq were violating procedures with sloppy contract language and incomplete paperwork.

On May 25, 2004 the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command
U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command
The United States Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command , formerly known as Tank-automotive and Armaments Command , headquartered at the Detroit Arsenal in Warren, Michigan, is part of the United States Army Materiel Command . It generates, provides, and sustains mobility, lethality, and...

 (TACOM) stated that they would award a contract worth $259,321,656 to ANHAM Joint Venture in exchange for procuring the necessary equipment (and providing its required training) for a minimum of 15 and a maximum of 35 battalions. The minimum bid would begin to be delivered immediately and further orders could be placed until the maximum of 35 battalion sets or September 2006 after the first order was fully delivered.

In May 2005, Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 agreed to donate 77 T-72
T-72
The T-72 is a Soviet-designed main battle tank that entered production in 1970. It is developed directly from Obyekt-172, and shares parallel features with the T-64A...

s to the Iraqi Army, with the refurbishment contract going to Defense Solutions to bring the tanks up to operational status for an estimated 4.5 million dollars US. After a delay in the payment of funds from the Iraqi government, the 9th Mechanised Division
9th Division (Iraq)
The 9th Armoured Division is a formation of the Iraqi Army, originally formed probably around 1975, but disbanded in 1982. It was reformed after 2004....

 received the tanks at its headquarters in Taji over a three day period starting on November 8, 2005.

On July 29, 2005, the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

 gained approval to purchase 180 M113A1
M113 Armored Personnel Carrier
The M113 is a fully tracked armored personnel carrier that has formed the backbone of the United States Army's mechanized infantry units from the time of its first fielding in Vietnam in April 1962. The M113 was the most widely used armored vehicle of the U.S...

 APCs in good condition from Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, with the intent to transfer them to Iraq as a gift. Domestic political opposition in Switzerland successfully froze the sale, fearing that the export would violate the country's longstanding tradition of neutrality as well as perhaps make Switzerland a target for terrorism.

173 M113s, 44 Panhard
Panhard
Panhard is currently a French manufacturer of light tactical and military vehicles. Its current incarnation was formed by the acquisition of Panhard by Auverland in 2005. Panhard had been under Citroën ownership, then PSA , for 40 years...

s, and 100 FV103 Spartan
FV103 Spartan
FV103 Spartan is a tracked armoured personnel carrier of the British Army. It was developed as the APC variant of the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance family. The vehicle can carry up to 7 personnel, including 3 crew members. Armed with a single machine gun, it is almost indistinguishable from the...

s were donated by Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 and UAE. 600 AMZ Dzik-3 (Ain Jaria) APCs were ordered in Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 (option for 1,200) for delivery by Jan 2007. 573 Otokar Akrep APCs for delivery by Jan 2007. 756 Cougar H APC
Cougar (vehicle)
The Cougar is an armored fighting vehicle designed to be resistant to anti-vehicle mines and improvised munitions.It is a family of armored vehicles produced by Force Protection Inc, which manufactures ballistic and mine-protected vehicles. The automotives are integrated by Spartan Motors...

s (option for 1,050) for delivery by November 2008. Greece donated 100 BMP-1
BMP-1
The BMP-1 is a Soviet amphibious tracked infantry fighting vehicle. BMP stands for Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty 1 , meaning "infantry fighting vehicle". The BMP-1 was the world's first mass-produced infantry fighting vehicle...

 to the Iraqi Army.

713 M1114 and 400 M1151
M1151
The M1151 Enhanced Armament Carrier is an improved version of the standard Humvee designed to replace the M1025A2 used by the United States Armed Forces as a response to United States Central Command requirements....

 HMMWVs purchased for IA with delivery complete by end July 2006.

Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

 has signed a US$230m deal with Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 to sell weapons and military equipment, the defence ministry said in March 2008. It did not specify the weapons but Serbian military experts believe they include Serbian-made CZ-99
CZ-99
The CZ 99 is a Semi-automatic pistol, which is produced in Zastava Arms, Serbia, first model developed in 1989. Designed with the intent to replace the Zastava M57 TT pistol as the standard issue handgun for the Yugoslavian Military and Police. The frame design was influenced by the Walther P 88...

 hand guns, Zastava M21
Zastava M21
The Zastava M21 is a 5.56mm assault rifle developed and manufactured by the Zastava Arms company.-Overview:The M21 is based on the AK-47 Kalashnikov principle, chambered in the 5.56×45mm cartridge...

 5.56 mm assault rifles, Zastava M84
Zastava M84
The Zastava M84 is a 7.62mm general-purpose machine gun manufactured by Zastava Arms. The M84 is based on the PK machine gun. The M84 chambers the 7.62×54mmR round. It is gas-operated, air-cooled, belt-fed and fully automatic.-M84:...

 machine guns, anti-tank weapons (M79 "Osa"
M79 rocket launcher
The 90 mm M79 Manual Rocket Launcher nicknamed "Osa" is a light, reusable, and effective rocket launcher system made of fiber-reinforced plastics. It consists of the launcher, a CN-6 Sighting piece, rocket and the carrying case for the rocket. While primarily intended as an anti-tank weapon,...

, Bumbar
Bumbar
The BUMBAR is a short-range portable anti-tank missile system developed and produced by Serbia.-Description:Bumbar is an anti-armor weapon from Serbia. The Bumbar is a wire guided, man-portable, short-ranged missile system for use against ground targets...

, and M90 "Strsljen"
M90 Rocket Launcher
The RBR-120 mm M90 nicknamed "Strsljen" is a light-weight weapon, made of fiber-reinforced plastics, intended for fight against armored vehicles, tanks, fortifications as well as live force...

), ammunition and explosives and about 20 Lasta 95
Utva Lasta
-See also:-References:*Taylor, John W R. . Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1988-89. Coulsdon, Surrey, UK: Jane's Information Group, 1988...

 basic trainer aircraft. Iraq's defence Minister Abdul-Qadir al-Obaidi
Qadir Obeidi
Lt. Gen. Abdul Qadir Mohammed Jassim Obeidi al-Mifarji was the Defence Minister of Iraq in the Council of Ministers of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki from 2006 to 2010...

 visited Belgrade
Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

 in September and November to discuss boosting military ties with Serbia.

In August 2008, the United States has proposed military sales to Iraq, which will include the latest upgraded M1A1 Abrams battle tanks, attack helicopters, Stryker
Stryker
The IAV Stryker is a family of eight-wheeled, 4-wheel-drive , armored fighting vehicles derived from the Canadian LAV III and produced by General Dynamics Land Systems, in use by the United States Army. The vehicle is named for two American servicemen who posthumously received the Medal of Honor:...

 armored vehicles, modern radios, all to be valued at an estimated $2.16 billion.

In December 2008 the United States approved a $6 billion arms deal with Iraq that included 140 M1A1 Abrams tanks and 400 Stryker
Stryker
The IAV Stryker is a family of eight-wheeled, 4-wheel-drive , armored fighting vehicles derived from the Canadian LAV III and produced by General Dynamics Land Systems, in use by the United States Army. The vehicle is named for two American servicemen who posthumously received the Medal of Honor:...

 combat vehicles for elite Iraqi army units.

In January 2009 U.S. defense companies and Pentagon officials announced that the Iraqi Army is planning to buy up to 2,000 retrofitted Soviet-era T-72M tanks. Redesignated as T-91s, the tanks would form the heavy core of a reconstituted force meant to be able to defend its country after most U.S. forces leave in 2011. The tanks would be bought from Eastern European countries such as the Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine and Slovakia, and then stripped to their frames and rebuilt under a contract managed by Defense Solutions of Exton, Pennsylvania
Exton, Pennsylvania
Exton is a census-designated place in West Whiteland Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, United States. Its population was 4,842 at the 2010 census. The Exton Square Mall is located within Exton along with several other shopping centers, making Exton the major shopping district in Chester...

 with advanced gun systems, modern armor, and fire control systems to levels almost similar to the M1A1 Abrams. This proposal has since been discredited by Pentagon sources.

In February 2009 the US military announced it had struck deals with Iraq that will see Baghdad spend $5 billion on American-made weapons, equipment and training.

Uniforms and personal weapons


The average Iraqi soldier is equipped with an assortment of uniforms ranging from the Desert Camouflage Uniform
Desert Camouflage Uniform
The Desert Camouflage Uniform is essentially the same as the United States military's Battle Dress Uniform uniform, only featuring the three-color desert camouflage pattern of light tan, pale green, and brown, as opposed to the dark green, black, brown, and dark tan of the BDU's woodland pattern...

, the 6 color "Chocolate Chip" DBDU and the woodland pattern BDU
Battle Dress Uniform
The Battle Dress Uniform were the fatigues that the armed forces of the United States used as their standard uniform for combat situations from September 1981 to April 2005. Since then, it has been replaced in every branch of the U.S. military. Only the U.S. Navy currently authorizes wear of the...

 to the US MARPAT
MARPAT
MARPAT is a digital camouflage pattern in use with the United States Marine Corps, introduced with the Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform , which replaced the Camouflage Utility Uniform. The pattern is formed by a number of small rectangular pixels of color...

 or Jordanian KA7. Nearly all have a PASGT ballistic helmet, generation I OTV ballistic vest and radios. Their light weapons consist of stocks of AKM
AKM
The AKM is a 7.62mm assault rifle designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov. It is an upgraded version of the AK-47 rifle and was developed in the 1950s....

 and Type 56 assault rifles, and American M16A4 rifles and M4 carbine
M4 carbine
The M4 carbine is a family of firearms tracing its lineage back to earlier carbine versions of the M16, all based on the original AR-15 designed by Eugene Stoner and made by ArmaLite. It is a shorter and lighter variant of the M16A2 assault rifle, with 80% parts commonality.It is a gas-operated,...

s. Soviet PKM
Pkm
Pkm or PKM indicates the following:* Passenger-kilometre or pkm is a unit of passenger transportation quantity* Personal knowledge management* PK machine gun* PKMzeta* Parallel Kinematics Machine* Short for Pokémon...

 machineguns are still used by machine/support gunners and AT soldiers use RPG-7
RPG-7
The RPG-7 is a widely-produced, portable, unguided, shoulder-launched, anti-tank rocket-propelled grenade launcher. Originally the RPG-7 and its predecessor, the RPG-2, were designed by the Soviet Union, and now manufactured by the Bazalt company...

s.

However weapons registration is poor. A 2006 report by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction
Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction
The Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction was created in October 2004 as the successor to the Coalition Provisional Authority Office of Inspector General . SIGIR is an independent government agency created by the Congress to provide oversight of the use – and potential...

 (SIGIR) notes that out of the 370,000 weapons turned over to the US since the fall of Saddam's regime, only 12,000 serial numbers have been recorded. The lack of proper accounting for these weapons makes the acquisition of small arms by anti governmental forces such as insurgents or sectarian militias much easier.

See also


  • Iraqi Army Ranks Insignia
    Iraqi Army Ranks Insignia
    -Iraqi military ranks: Every military needs discipline and respect in order to achieve its objective. The military uses ranks in order to achieve a chain of command that is responsible for work to go smoothly...

  • Iraqi Air Force
    Iraqi Air Force
    The Iraqi Air Force or IQAF is the military branch in Iraq responsible for the policing of international borders, surveillance of national assets and aerial operations...

  • Iraqi Navy
    Iraqi Navy
    The Iraqi Navy is one of the components of the military of Iraq currently being reconstructed by UK-US Coalition forces in Iraq. Its primary responsibilities are the protection of Iraq's coastline and offshore assets...


Further reading

  • Tzvi Ofer, 'The Iraqi Army in the Yom Kippur War,' transl. 'Hatzav,' Tel Aviv: Ma'arachot, 1986
  • Michael Knights, “Free rein: domestic security forces take over in Iraq,” Jane's Intelligence Review (November 4, 2010), http://www.janes.com/news/security/jir/jir101104_1_n.shtml.
  • Loose Ends: Iraq's Security Forces between U.S. Drawdown and Withdrawal (Baghdad/Washington/Brussels: International Crisis Group, October 26, 2010).

External links