The Iraqi Army 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 in its modern form was first created by the United Kingdom during the inter-war period of de facto British control of Mandatory Iraq. Following the invasion of Iraq by U. S. forces in 2003, the Iraqi Army was rebuilt along American lines with enormous amounts of U. S. military assistance at every level. Because of the Iraqi insurgency that began shortly after the invasion, the Iraqi Army was designed to be a counter-insurgency force. With the withdrawal of U. S. troops in 2011, Iraqi forces have assumed full responsibility for their own security. A New York Times article suggested that, between 2004 and 2014, the U. S. had provided the Iraqi Army with $25 billion in training and equipment in addition to an larger sum from the Iraqi treasury.
The Army extensively collaborated with Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces during anti-ISIL operations. 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. The United Kingdom provided support and training to the Iraqi Army and the Iraqi Air Force through a small military mission based in Baghdad. Iraqi Army Day celebrates the soldiers. From 1533 to 1918, Iraq was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, 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 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. 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. In 1922, the army totalled 3,618 men; this was well below the 6,000 men requested by the Iraqi monarchy and 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, one field battery.
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, 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 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. In 1936, General Bakr Sidqi, who had won a reputation from suppressing tribal revolts, was named Chief of the General Staff and pressured the King to demand that the Cabinet resign.
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. 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 proclaimed himself chief of a "National Defence Government." He installed a more compliant Regent. He 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 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. At full strength, each division had three brigades; the Iraqi 1st and 3rd Divisions were stationed in Baghdad. Based within Baghdad was the Independent Mechanized Brigade comprising a L3/35 light tank company, an a
Coalition Provisional Authority
The Coalition Provisional Authority was a transitional government of Iraq established following the invasion of the country on 19 March 2003 by the U. S.-led Multinational Force and the fall of Ba'athist Iraq. Citing United Nations Security Council Resolution 1483 and the laws of war, the CPA was established in May 2003 and vested itself with executive and judicial authority over the Iraqi government from the period of the CPA's inception on 21 April 2003 until its dissolution on 28 June 2004; the Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance was established on 20 January 2003 by the United States government two months before the 2003 invasion of Iraq. It was intended to act as a caretaker administration in Iraq until the creation of a democratically elected civilian government. Retired United States Army Lieutenant General Jay Garner was appointed as the Director of ORHA, along with three deputies, including British Major-General Tim Cross, in 2003. Upon the dissolution of ORHA and the creation of the CPA, he became the first chief executive of the CPA.
Due to his past military experiences in Iraq during Operation Desert Storm in 1991 and his reconstruction efforts in northern Iraq during Operation Provide Comfort, Garner's credentials and close ties to the U. S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld made him an obvious choice for the task, his term, lasted only from 21 April 2003 until he was replaced abruptly less than a month by L. Paul Bremer on 11 May 2003. Garner's swift dismissal from his post by U. S. authorities came as a surprise to many within the CPA. In an interview with the BBC program Newsnight, Garner publicly stated that his preference was to put the Iraqi people in charge as soon as possible and to do it with some form of elections. There was intense pressure from the U. S. government to begin a process of removing members of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party from their positions within the Iraqi government and military. Garner's refusal to implement this "de-Ba'athification" of Iraqi society as a matter of public policy infuriated several senior members of the U.
S. government, led directly to his dismissal. Upon assuming the post of chief executive of the CPA in May 2003, L. Paul Bremer assumed the title of U. S. Presidential Envoy and Administrator in Iraq, he was called Ambassador by numerous media organizations and the White House because it was the highest government rank he had achieved. But Bremer was not ambassador to Iraq, there was no U. S. diplomatic mission in Iraq at the time. The CPA was created and funded as a division of the United States Department of Defense, as Administrator, Bremer reported directly to the Secretary of Defense. Although troops from several of the coalition countries were present in Iraq at this time, the U. S. Central Command was the primary military apparatus charged with providing direct combat support to the CPA to enforce its authority during the occupation of Iraq. While many of Saddam Hussein's ornate palaces were looted in the days following the invasion, most of the physical structures themselves survived intact.
It is in these numerous palaces situated throughout the country that the CPA chose to set up office in order to govern. Several of these palaces were retained by the U. S. government after the transition of power back to the Iraqi people. The administration was centered in a district of Baghdad known as the Green Zone, which became a secure walled-off enclave; the CPA was responsible for administering the Development Fund for Iraq during the year following the invasion. This fund superseded the earlier UN oil-for-food program, provided funding for Iraq's wheat purchase program, the currency exchange program, the electricity and oil infrastructure programs, equipment for Iraq's security forces, Iraqi civil service salaries, the operations of the various government ministries; the first act of the CPA under Bremer, Coalition Provisional Authority Order 1, was to order the de-Ba'athification of Iraqi society. On 23 May, CPA Order Number 2 formally disbanded the Iraqi army On 22 July 2003, the CPA formed the Iraqi Governing Council and appointed its members.
The Council membership consisted of Iraqi expatriates who had fled the country during the rule of Saddam Hussein and with many outspoken dissidents, persecuted by the former regime. Though still subordinate to the CPA, the Iraqi Governing Council had several key responsibilities of its own: appointing representatives to the United Nations, appointing interim ministers to Iraq's vacant cabinet positions, drafting a temporary constitution known as the Transitional Administrative Law, which would be used to govern Iraq until a permanent constitution could be written and approved by the general electorate. In the late afternoon of 14 December 2003, the CPA held a press conference at the Iraqi Forum convention center within Baghdad's Green Zone to announce that former President of Iraq Saddam Hussein had been taken into custody the previous night from a foxhole in a town near Saddam's home town of Tikrit, Iraq. Present at the announcement was Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez of the U. S. Army, Administrator Bremer, members of the British and American intelligence agencies, several members of the Iraqi Governing Council, a large room full of journalists representing news organizations from around the world.
In order to defeat possible insurgent planning and under pressure from the Bush White House which wanted the occupation to end by the 2004 presidential election, the CPA transferred power to the newly appointed Iraqi Interim G
Iraqi insurgency (2003–2011)
An insurgency began in Iraq after the 2003 US-led invasion, lasted throughout the ensuing Iraq War. The first phase of the insurgency began shortly after the 2003 invasion and prior to the establishment of the new Iraqi government. From around 2004 to May 2007, the insurgency targeted the Multi-National Force – Iraq, while latterly, Iraqi security forces, seen, by Iraqi insurgents, as collaborators with the coalition, were targeted. With the full-scale eruption of the sectarian civil war in February 2006, many militant attacks in American-controlled central Iraq were directed at the Iraqi police and military forces of the Iraqi government; the attacks continued during the transitional reconstruction of Iraq, as the Iraqi government tried to establish itself. Civil war violence decreased in late 2008 and the insurgency continued through the American withdrawal from Iraq in 2011. After the withdrawal in December 2011, a renewed wave of sectarian and anti-government insurgency swept Iraq, causing thousands of casualties in 2012.
Increasing violence in 2013 raised fears of another civil war. The insurgents in Iraq have been composed of a diverse mix of militias, foreign fighters, all-Iraqi units or mixtures opposing the American-led Multi-National Force – Iraq and the post-2003 Iraqi government. During the height of the Iraq War in 2006 to 2008, the fighting involved both armed conflict against the American-led military coalition, as well as sectarian violence among the different ethnic groups within the population; the insurgents were involved in asymmetric warfare and a war of attrition against the American-supported Iraqi government and American forces in central Iraq, while conducting coercive tactics against rivals or other militias. Iraq's deep sectarian divides have been a major dynamic in the insurgency, with support for the insurgents varying among different segments of the population; the 2003 invasion of Iraq began the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the government of Saddam Hussein within 21 days of major combat operations.
The invasion phase consisted of a conventionally fought war which concluded with the capture of the Iraq capital Baghdad by U. S. forces. Four countries participated with troops during the initial invasion phase, which lasted from 19 March to 9 April 2003; these were the United States, United Kingdom and Poland. Thirty-six other countries were involved in its aftermath. In preparation for the invasion, 100,000 U. S. troops were assembled in Kuwait by 18 February. The United States supplied the majority of the invading forces, but received support from Kurdish irregulars in Iraqi Kurdistan; the invasion was preceded by an air strike on the Presidential Palace in Baghdad on 19 March 2003. The following day coalition forces launched an incursion into Basra Province from their massing point close to the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border. While the special forces launched an amphibious assault from the Persian Gulf to secure Basra and the surrounding petroleum fields, the main invasion army moved into southern Iraq, occupying the region and engaging in the Battle of Nasiriyah on 23 March.
Massive air strikes across the country and against Iraqi command and control threw the defending army into chaos and prevented an effective resistance. On 26 March the 173rd Airborne Brigade was airdropped near the northern city of Kirkuk where they joined forces with Kurdish rebels and fought several actions against the Iraqi army to secure the northern part of the country; the main body of coalition forces continued their drive into the heart of Iraq and met with little resistance. Most of the Iraqi military was defeated and Baghdad was occupied on 9 April. Other operations occurred against pockets of the Iraqi army including the capture and occupation of Kirkuk on 10 April, the attack and capture of Tikrit on 15 April. Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and the central leadership went into hiding as the coalition forces completed the occupation of the country. On 1 May, an end of major combat operations was declared, ending the invasion stage of the Iraq War and beginning the military occupation period and the Iraqi insurgency against coalition forces.
The Iraqi insurgency of 2003–06 erupted following the invasion of Iraq and the toppling of Saddam Hussein's rule in May 2003. The armed insurgent opposition to the United States-led multinational force in Iraq and the post-2003 Iraqi government lasted until early 2006, when it deteriorated into a sectarian civil war, the most violent phase of the Iraq War. Following the U. S.-launched 2003 invasion of Iraq, the situation deteriorated, by 2007, the intercommunal violence between Iraqi Sunni and Shi'a factions was described by the National Intelligence Estimate as having elements of a civil war. In a 10 January 2007 address to the American people, President George W. Bush stated that "80% of Iraq's sectarian violence occurs within 30 miles of the capital; this violence is splitting Baghdad into sectarian enclaves, shaking the confidence of all Iraqis." Two polls of Americans conducted in 2006 found that between 65% to 85% believed Iraq was in a civil war. In October 2006, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Iraqi government estimated that more than 370,000 Iraqis had been displaced since the 2006 bombing of the al-Askari Mosque, bringing the total number of Iraqi refugees to more than 1.6 million.
By 2008, the UNHCR raised the estimate of refugees to a total of about 4.7 million. The number of refugees estimated