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Royal Air Force Station Hinaidi was a British Royal Air Force station near Baghdad in the Kingdom of Iraq. It was established as the main British base in Iraq after World War I, initially under British Army command until the Royal Air Force took over in 1922. There were extensive barracks, recreational facilities, a large hospital, Air Headquarters, communication facilities, maintenance units, aeroplane squadron hangars, RAF Armoured Car Company lines and a Civil Cantonment. Two hundred and ninety-nine British personnel still lie buried in the Hinaidi RAF Peace Cemetery (renamed Ma'asker Al Raschid RAF Cemetery in 1961), which has been derelict for many years. The poor condition of the cemetery has at last been addressed, with the first phase of restoration commencing on the 29th September 2021, when measurements of the cemetery were taken and earth moving equipment moved into place to dig the foundations for a concrete perimeter wall. For more details as to the history of RAF Hinaidi and the progress made with reconstruction of the cemetery, refer to

In Clause 1 of the "Annexure to Treaty of Alliance" section of the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty of 1930, maintaining a force at Hinaidi was indicated to be permitted for a period of "five years after the entry into force of this Treaty." This time was provided "in order to enable His Majesty the King of 'Iraq to organise the necessary forces to replace them."

RAF Dhibban (renamed RAF Habbaniya in 1938) was built to replace Hinaidi and the RAF began to move there in 1936, and Hinaidi was handed over to the Iraqi Government in 1938.[1]

By April 1941, during the 1941 Iraqi coup d'état, the base had been vacated by the British and was renamed "Rashid Airfield" by the Iraqis.[2]  The name was in honor of Rashid Ali, former Iraqi Prime Minister and the leader of the coup.  During the Anglo-Iraqi War in May 1941, the base was used by the Royal Iraqi Air Force in the fighting against the RAF.

See also


  1. The National Archives UK AIR 28/330 et al
  2. Lyman, p. 27


  • Lyman, Robert (2006). Iraq 1941: The Battles for Basra, Habbaniya, Fallujah and Baghdad. Campaign. Oxford, New York: Osprey Publishing. pp. 96. ISBN 1-84176-991-6. 

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