Military Wiki
Iraqi Ground Forces Emblem.png
Emblem of the Iraqi Ground Forces with Insignia
Founded 1921 (1921)
Country  Iraq
Type Army
Role Ground-based military warfare
Size Active: 54,000[1]
Part of Iraqi Ministry of Defense
Garrison/HQ Baghdad, Iraq
Nickname(s) Al-firka Al-thahabia "The golden divisions"
Anniversaries January 6[2]
Engagements First incarnation:
Anglo-Iraqi War
1948 Arab–Israeli War
First Iraqi–Kurdish War
Six-Day War
Yom Kippur War
Second Iraqi–Kurdish War
Iran–Iraq War
Persian Gulf War
Iraq War
Second incarnation:
Iraq War
Iraqi Civil War
2017 Iraqi–Kurdish conflict
Northern Iraq offensive (June 2014)
Northern Iraq offensive (August 2014)
Military intervention against ISIL
Flag Flag of the Iraqi Ground Forces.svg

The Iraqi Army, officially the Iraqi Ground Forces, is the ground force component of the Iraqi Armed Forces, having been active in various incarnations throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. It was known as the Royal Iraqi Army up until the coup of July 1958. The Iraqi Army has been active in various forms since being formed by the British during their mandate over the country after World War I.

Today, it is tasked with assuming responsibility for all Iraqi land-based military operations following the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The Army was rebuilt along U.S. lines with enormous amounts of United States Army assistance at every level. Because of the low-level ongoing Iraqi insurgency, as of 2006, the Iraqi Army was designed to be an objective counter-insurgency force for a period of time until the insurgency is diminished to a level that the police can handle.[4] Thereafter, the Iraqi Army will undergo a modernisation plan which includes purchasing more heavy equipment.

The Iraqi contains 700,000 troops and has been active since 1921.

It has fought in the following wars:

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).

Soldiers from the 3rd Brigade of the 14th Iraqi Army Division graduate from basic training in Besmaya. February 13th,2008.


The threat of war with newly forming Republic of Turkey, which claimed the Ottoman vilayet of Mosul 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 Kadhimyah.[3] The United Kingdom provided support and training to the Iraqi Army and the Iraqi Air Force through a small military mission based in Baghdad.[4] Iraqi Army Day celebrates the soldiers that fight for Iraq.

Royal Iraqi Army

From 1533 to 1918, Iraq was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, and fought as part of the Military of the Ottoman Empire. After 1917, the United Kingdom took control of the country. The first Iraqi military forces established by the British were the Iraq Levies, several battalions of troops tasked to guard the Royal Air Force (RAF) bases from which the British controlled Iraq.

In August 1921, the British installed Hashemite King Faisal I as the client ruler of the British Mandate of Iraq. Faisal had been forced out as the King of Syria by the French. 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. 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 army 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.[5]

In 1932, the Kingdom of Iraq was granted official independence. This was in accordance with the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty of 1930, whereby the United Kingdom 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.[6]

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 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.[7] In 1936, General Bakr Sidqi, who had won a reputation from suppressing tribal revolts, was named Chief of the General Staff and successfully pressured the King to demand that the Cabinet resign.[8] From that year 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.[7]

1941 coup

In early April 1941, during World War II, Rashid Ali al-Gaylani and members of the anti-British "Golden Square" launched a coup d'état against the current government. Prime Minister Taha al-Hashimi resigned and Rashid Ali al-Gaylani took his place as Prime Minister. Rashid Ali also proclaimed himself chief of a "National Defence Government." He did not overthrow the monarchy, but installed a more compliant Regent. He also attempted to restrict the rights of the British which were granted them under the 1930 treaty.

On April 30 Iraqi Army units took the high ground to the south of RAF Habbaniya. 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 and the Iraqis demanded that these forces be removed.

At 0500 hours on 2 May 1941, the Anglo-Iraqi War broke out between the British and Rashid Ali's new government when the British at RAF Habbaniya launched air strikes against the Iraqis. By this time, the army had grown significantly. It had four infantry divisions with some 60,000 men.[9] 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 L3/35 light tank company, an armoured car company, two battalions of "mechanized" infantry transported in trucks, a "mechanized" machine-gun company, and a "mechanized" artillery brigade. The 2nd Division was stationed in Kirkuk, and the 4th Division was in Al Diwaniyah, on the main rail line from Baghdad to Basra. All these "mechanized" infantry 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, and Italy sent limited assistance, but both were too late and far from adequate. In the end, the British were able to march on Baghdad 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 during this period.[10] The army was not disbanded. Instead, it was maintained to hinder possible German offensive actions launched from southern Russia. British troops left in the late 1940´s.

1948 Arab–Israeli War

In the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, the Iraqis deployed an expeditionary force which peaked at 15,000–18,000 men.[11] In 1948, the RIrA deployed 21,000 men in twelve brigades and the Royal Iraqi Air Force deployed 100 planes, mostly British. Initially the Iraqis committed around 3,000[12] men to the war effort including four infantry brigades, one armoured battalion and support personnel. These forces were to operate under Jordanian guidance[13] During the first truce the Iraqis increased their force to about 10,000.[14] Ultimately, the Iraqi expeditionary force numbered around 15,000 to 18,000 men.[15]

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 across the Jordan River and attacked the Israeli settlement of Gesher. Over 3,000 Iraqi soldiers with armor and air support were unable to defeat less than 50 lightly armed Jewish defenders. Following this defeat Iraqi forces moved into the Nablus–Jenin–Tulkarm 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.[16]

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, a location that had been occupied by the British Iraq Levies.[17]

Republic declared

The Hashemite monarchy lasted until 1958, when it was overthrown through a coup d'état by the Iraqi Army, known as the 14 July Revolution. King Faisal II of Iraq along with members of the royal family were murdered. The coup brought Abd al-Karim Qasim to power. He withdrew from the Baghdad Pact and established friendly relations with the Soviet Union.

When Qāsim distanced himself from Abd an-Nāsir, 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 rebelled against Qāsim's policies, he allowed the Kurdish leader Barzānī 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.[18] Qāsim was also promoted to the rank of general.

In 1961, an Army buildup close to Kuwait in conjunction with Iraqi claims over the small neighbouring state, led to a crisis with British military forces (land, sea, and air) deployed to Kuwait for a period. In 1961, Kuwait 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.[19] 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 under the leadership of General Ahmed Hasan al-Bakr (prime minister) and Colonel Abdul Salam Arif (president). 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. 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

Iraqi Army Panhard AML-60 armored car, 1970s. Iraq ordered about 250 of these vehicles between 1968 and 1976.

During the Six-Day War, the Iraqi 3rd Armoured Division was deployed in eastern Jordan.[20] 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 was in Israeli hands. During the course of the Jordanian Campaign 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.[21]

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, 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 activity. 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.[citation needed] 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. It consisted of the 3rd and 6th Armoured Divisions, 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.[22]

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.[23] 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.[24]

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,[25] in that the tactics used closely mirrored those of the 1914–1918 war, including large scale trench warfare, manned machine-gun posts, bayonet charges, use of barbed wire across trenches and on no-man´s land, human wave attacks by Iran, and Iraq's extensive use of chemical weapons (such as mustard gas) against Iranian troops and civilians as well as Iraqi Kurds.

Invasion of Kuwait and the Persian Gulf War

Demolished Iraqi vehicles line the Highway of Death on 18 April 1991.

By the eve of the Invasion of Kuwait which led to the 1991 Persian Gulf War, the army was estimated to number 1,000,000 men.[26] Just before the Persian Gulf War began, the force comprised 47 infantry divisions plus 9 armoured and mechanised divisions, grouped in 7 corps.[27] This gave a total of about 56 army divisions, and total land force divisions reached 68 when the 12 Iraqi Republican Guard divisions were included.[28] Although it was said at the time in Western media[which?] that Iraqi troops numbered approximately 545,000 (even 600,000) today most experts[which?] 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[citation needed]. Many of the Iraqi troops were also young, under-resourced and poorly trained conscripts[citation needed]. Saddam did not trust the Army[citation needed]; among counterbalancing security forces was the Iraqi Popular Army.

The widespread support for Iraq during the Iran–Iraq War meant Iraq had military equipment from almost every major arms-selling country[citation needed]. This resulted in a lack of standardization in this large heterogeneous force, which additionally suffered from poor training[citation needed] and poor motivation[citation needed]. The majority of Iraqi armoured forces still used old Chinese Type 59´s and Type 69´s, Soviet-made T-55´s from the 1950s and 1960s, and some T-72´s from the 1970s in 1991[citation needed]. 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[citation needed]. The Iraqis failed to find an effective countermeasure to the thermal sights and the sabot rounds used by the M1 Abrams, Challenger 1 and the other Coalition tanks[citation needed]. This equipment enabled Coalition tanks to effectively engage and destroy Iraqi tanks from more than three times the distance that Iraqi tanks could engage[citation needed].

The Iraqi tank crews used old, cheap steel penetrators[which?][citation needed] against the advanced Chobham Armour of the US and British tanks, with disastrous results[Clarification needed]. The Iraqi forces also failed to utilize the advantage that could be gained from using urban warfare — fighting within Kuwait City — 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[citation needed]. Iraqis also tried to use Soviet military doctrine[citation needed], but the implementation failed due to the lack of skill of their commanders[citation needed] and the preventive air strikes of the USAF and RAF on communication centers and bunkers[citation needed].

While the exact number of Iraqi combat casualties has yet to be firmly determined, sources agree that the losses were substantial. Immediate estimates said up to 100,000 Iraqis were killed. More recent estimates indicate that Iraq probably sustained between 20,000 and 35,000 fatalities, though other figures still maintain fatalities could have been as high as 200,000.[29] 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.[30] This analysis is based on Iraqi prisoner of war reports. It is known[by whom?] that between 20,000 and 200,000 Iraqi soldiers were killed. According to the Project on Defense Alternatives study,[31] 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.

During the 1990s

The International Institute for Strategic Studies (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.[32] Jane's Defence Weekly 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.[33] It was estimated to number 350,000 personnel, including 100,000 recently recalled reservists.[33]

Invasion of 2003

In the days leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the following Iraq War, the army consisted of 375,000 troops, organized into five corps. In all, there were 11 infantry divisions, 3 mechanized 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 start of the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, the force was primarily located in eastern Iraq. The five corps were organised as follows:

  • 1st Corps, near Kirkuk 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, included the 10th Armored Division, 14th Infantry Division and 18th Infantry Division.
  • 5th Corps, near Mosul, 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 the Iraqi Army was defeated in a number of battles, including by Task Force Viking in the north, and the Battle of Nasiriyah and the Battle of Baghdad. The Iraqi Army was disbanded by Coalition Provisional Authority Order Number 2 issued by U.S. Administrator of Iraq Paul Bremer on May 23, 2003 after its decisive defeat.[34] 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..."[35]


This is the list of military equipment of the Iraqi Army,be advised that this list is possibly incomplete and/or outdated on some aspects.

Infantry weapons

Small arms

Name Country of origin
Glock 19  Austria
SIG P226  Germany
FB P99  Germany
Beretta 92  Italy
Beretta M1951 (Tariq local copy)  Italy
CZ-99  Yugoslavia
Makarov  Soviet Union

Submachine guns

Name Country of origin
PM-84 Glauberyt  Poland
PM-63 RAK  Poland
Skorpion vz. 61  Czechoslovakia

Assault Rifles

Name Country of origin
Kbk wz. 1988 Tantal  Poland
Type 56  China
vz. 58 (most likely withdrawn from service)  Czechoslovakia
AKM (from Soviet and Romanian manufactures)  Romania  Soviet Union
Zastava M70 (license-produced in Al-Qadissiya Establishments as the Tabuk)  Yugoslavia  Iraq
M4 United States
M16A4 United States


Name Country of origin
Benelli M4 Super 90  Italy

Sniper rifles

Name Country of origin
M14 EBR United States
M24 United States
Tabuk Sniper Rifle  Iraq
SVD  Soviet Union
PSL  Romania

Light Machine Guns

Name Country of origin
M249 United States
RPK  Soviet Union
RPD  Soviet Union
Zastava M72  Yugoslavia

General Purpose Machine Guns

Name Country of origin
M240 United States
PK  Soviet Union
Zastava M84  Yugoslavia

Heavy Machine Guns

Name Country of origin
M2 Browning United States
DShK  Soviet Union
NSV  Soviet Union
KPV  Poland

Grenade launchers

Name Country of origin
M203 United States
Mk 19 AGL United States
RPG-7  Soviet Union
Type 69 RPG  China
AT4  Sweden

Recoilless Guns

Name Country of origin
SPG-9  Soviet Union

Anti-tank Guided Missiles

Name Country of origin
Kornet  Soviet Union
Milan ATGM  France

Land Mines

Name Country of origin
M16 United States
M18A1 Claymore United States
PROM-1  Yugoslavia
Valmara 69  Italy

Armored Vehicles

An Iraqi M1A1 Abrams driving through an instructor course at Camp Taji, Iraq

A pair of BMP-1´s at a coalition checkpoint in Tarmiya

Iraqi T-55 based Armoured Recovery Vehicles

Name Origin Type In service Notes
Heavy armor
M1 Abrams United States Main battle tank 146[36]
T-90S  Russia Main battle tank 36[37] 37 on order[37][38]
T-72  Soviet Union Main battle tank 127[36] supplied by Czech Republic (50), Hungary (77)
M-88 Hercules United States Armoured recovery vehicle 24[36]
BREM-1  Soviet Union Armoured recovery vehicle 88[36] supplied by Ukraine
VT-55A  Czechoslovakia Armoured recovery vehicle 4[36] supplied by Hungary
Light armor
BRDM-2  Soviet Union Reconnaissance 13[36] supplied by Ukraine
Otokar Akrep  Turkey Reconnaissance 573[36]
HMMWV United States light utility vehicle 8,614[36]
BMP-1  Soviet Union Infantry fighting vehicle 535[36] supplied by Czech Republic (45), Greece (100), Ukraine (110), Bulgaria (280)
ATF Dingo  Germany Infantry mobility vehicle 5[36] supplied to the Kurdish Regional Government
Mohafiz  Pakistan Infantry mobility vehicle 60[36]
Dzik  Poland Infantry mobility vehicle 600[36]
Shorland APV  United Kingdom Infantry mobility vehicle 72[36]
Cougar United States Infantry mobility vehicle 543[36]
Panhard VCR  France Armoured personnel carrier 10[36] supplied by the United Arab Emirates
Panhard M3  France Armoured personnel carrier 44[36] supplied by the United Arab Emirates
Talha  Pakistan Armoured personnel carrier 44[36] supplied by Jordan
BTR-80  Russia Armoured personnel carrier 98[36] supplied by Hungary (66), Ukraine (32)
Mamba  South Africa Armoured personnel carrier 115[36] Reva-3 variant
Barracuda  South Korea Armoured personnel carrier 12[36]
BTR-4  Ukraine Armoured personnel carrier 270[36] 150 of the units are the BTR-4K variant
BTR-94  Ukraine Armoured personnel carrier 50[36] supplied by Jordan
Saxon  United Kingdom Armoured personnel carrier 60[36] supplied by the United Arab Emirates
FV103 Spartan  United Kingdom Armoured personnel carrier 100[36] supplied by Jordan
M113 United States Armoured personnel carrier 1,004[36] 100 supplied from Jordan[36]
M1117 United States Armoured personnel carrier 264[36]
Caiman United States Armoured personnel carrier 267[36]
M109 United States Self-propelled howitzer 44[36]
M198 United States Howitzer 120[36] 155mm artillery piece
Type 63  China Multiple rocket launcher 20[36]
TOS-1  Russia Multiple rocket launcher 10[36]
Air defence
Pantsir-S1  Russia Mobile SAM 24[36]
TWQ-1 Avenger United States Mobile SAM 8[36]

Army Aviation

An Iraqi Bell 407 departs on a training mission

An Iraqi UH-1H departs on a Med-evac mission

Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Antonov An-178  Ukraine transport 2 on order[39]
Bell 407 United States light utility 25[39]
Bell UH-1 United States utility UH-1H 15[39]
Bell OH-58 United States scout OH-58C 8[39]
Mil Mi-17  Russia transport / utility Mi-8/17 42[39]
Mil Mi-24  Russia attack Mi-35 14[39]
Mil Mi-28  Russia CAS / anti-armor 11 4 on order[39]
Eurocopter EC635  France utility/light attack 24[39]
Trainer aircraft
Bell 407 United States trainer 3[39]
Bell OH-58 United States trainer OH-58C 1[39]


  1. International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Military Balance 2017, 380.
  2. Al-Marashi, Ibrahim; Sammy Salama (2008). Iraq's Armed Forces: An Analytical History. London and New York: Routledge. p. 206. ISBN 0-415-40078-3.  Al-Marashi and Salama note that the eighty-third anniversary of Iraqi Army Day was celebrated in 2004.
  3. Kenneth M. Pollack, Arabs at War: Military Effectiveness 1948–91, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln/London, 2002, p.149
  4. Lyman, p. 25
  5. Al-Marashi, pp. 23–24
  6. Ghareeb, Edmund A.; Dougherty, Beth K. Historical Dictionary of Iraq. Lanham, Maryland and Oxford: The Scarecrow Press, Ltd., 2004. Pp. lvii.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Ghareeb; Dougherty. Pp lvii
  8. S.E. Finer, The Man on Horseback, 1962, 157-8.
  9. Playfair, I.S.O.; and others (2006). The Mediterranean and Middle East, Volume II The Germans come to the help of their Ally (1941). History of the Second World War, United Kingdom Military Series, Official Campaign History, Naval & Military Press. ISBN 1-84734-427-5, p.182 and Lyman, Iraq 1941, p. 25
  10. Ghareeb; Dougherty. Pp lviii
  11. Kenneth M. Pollack, Arabs at War: Military Effectiveness 1948–91, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln/London, 2002, p.150, 156.
  12. D. Kurzman, Genesis 1948, 1972, p. 382.
  13. I. Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, 2006, p. 129.
  14. Kurzman, p. 556.
  15. Pollack, 2002, p. 150.
  16. Pollack, 2002, pp. 149–155.
  17. Solomon (Sawa) Solomon, "The Assyrian Levies, The Final Chapter", Nineveh Magazine 4Q,93, V16, No4.
  18. The Times, 'New Division for Iraq Army,' 7 January 1959
  19. Tripp, Charles. A History of Iraq. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2002, p.165
  20. Pollack, 2002, p.167
  21. Follow me- The story of the Six Day War 2. Six Day War- Tom Segev
  22. Pollack p.173-5, citing among others Tzvi Ofer, 'The Iraqi Army in the Yom Kippur War,' transl. 'Hatzav,' Tel Aviv: Ma'arachot, 1986, p.128-65. Pollack notes that the various accounts of Iraqi operations on the Golan Heights are highly contradictory. He relies on Ofer, 1986, which is an Israeli General Staff critique of the official Iraqi General Staff analysis of the battle.
  23. Pollack 2002 p. 207
  24. Pollack 2002 p. 208
  25. Abrahamian, Ervand, A History of Modern Iran, Cambridge, 2008, p.171
  26. Brassey's, IISS Military Balance 1989-90, p.101
  27. Michael Eisenstadt, 'The Iraqi Armed Forces Two Years On, Jane's Intelligence Review, March 1993, p.124
  28. Eisenstadt notes that four IRG security divisions were formed between the invasion of Kuwait and the outbreak of war. They remained in Iraq during the war. Eisenstadt p.124
  29. Robert Fisk, The Great War For Civilisation; The Conquest of the Middle East (Fourth Estate, 2005), p.853.
  30. Keaney, Thomas; Eliot A. Cohen (1993). Gulf War Air Power Survey. United States Dept. of the Air Force. ISBN 0-16-041950-6. 
  31. "Wages of War - Appendix 2: Iraqi Combatant and Noncombatant Fatalities in the 1991 Gulf War". 
  32. IISS Military Balance 1992-3
  33. 33.0 33.1 IISS Military Balance 1997-98
  34. Iraqi Security and Military Force Developments: A Chronology, 2, 4, 6, 7 [1]
  35. Bremer III, L. Paul (2007-09-06). "How I Didn't Dismantle Iraq's Army". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  36. 36.00 36.01 36.02 36.03 36.04 36.05 36.06 36.07 36.08 36.09 36.10 36.11 36.12 36.13 36.14 36.15 36.16 36.17 36.18 36.19 36.20 36.21 36.22 36.23 36.24 36.25 36.26 36.27 36.28 36.29 36.30 36.31 36.32 36.33 "SIPRI". Stockholm Int’l Research Institute. Retrieved 21 January 2016. 
  37. 37.0 37.1 "Iraq Receives 36 T-90S Tanks From Russia". DefenseWorld. Retrieved 20 February 2018. 
  38. "T-90 MBTs delivered to Iraq". Jane's 360. Retrieved 20 February 2018. 
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2 39.3 39.4 39.5 39.6 39.7 39.8 39.9 "World Air Forces 2016 pg. 21". Flightglobal Insight. 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2016.