Iraqi Air Force
The Iraqi Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the Iraqi Armed Forces, responsible for the policing of international borders and surveillance of national assets. The IQAF acts as a support force for the Iraqi Navy and the Iraqi Army and it allows Iraq to deploy its developing Army; the Iraqi Air Force was founded in 1931, during British control of Iraq after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in WW1, with only a few pilots. Aside from a brief period during the Second World War, the Iraqi Air Force operated British aircraft until the 14 July Revolution in 1958, when the new Iraqi government began increased diplomatic relationships with the Soviet Union; the air force used both Soviet and British aircraft throughout the 1960s. When Saddam Hussein came to power in 1979, the air force grew quickly when Iraq ordered more Soviet and French aircraft, its peak came after the long and bloody Iran–Iraq War, which ended in 1988, when it consisted of 1029 aircraft of all types, becoming the largest air force in the region.
Its downfall came during the Persian Gulf War and continued while coalition forces enforced no-fly zones. The remains of Iraq's air force were destroyed during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. After the invasion, the IQAF was rebuilt, receiving most of its training and aircraft from the United States. In 2007, Iraq asked Iran to return some of the scores of Iraqi fighter planes that flew there to escape capture prior to the Gulf War in 1991; as of 2014, Iran was receptive to the demands and was working on refurbishing an unspecified number of jets. The Royal Iraqi Air Force considered its founding day as 22 April 1931, when the first pilots flew in from training in the United Kingdom. Before the creation of the new air force, the RAF Iraq Command was in charge of all British Armed Forces elements in Iraq in the 1920s and early 1930s; the RIrAF was based at the airport in the Washash neighborhood of Baghdad, consisted of five pilots, aeronautics students trained at the RAF College Cranwell, 32 aircraft mechanics.
The original five pilots were Natiq Mohammed Khalil al-Tay, Mohammed Ali Jawad, Hafdhi Aziz, Akrem Mushtaq, Musa Ali. During the early years of the Royal Iraqi Air Force, it received aircraft from the United Kingdom as well as Breda Ba.65 attack planes and SM-79 bombers from Italy. In the years following Iraqi independence, the Air Force was still dependent on the Royal Air Force; the Iraqi government allocated the majority of its military expenditure to the Iraqi Army and by 1936 the Royal Iraqi Air Force had only 37 pilots and 55 aircraft. The following year, the Air Force showed some growth, increasing its number of pilots to 127; the RIrAF was first used in combat against the revolts by tribes in Diwaniya and Rumaytha southern Iraq in 1934 under order of Bakr Sidqi, where it suffered its first combat loss. Its first combat against another conventional military was in the 1941 Anglo-Iraqi War when the Iraqi government made a bid for full independence following a coup by Rashid Ali against pro-British Iraqi leaders.
The RIrAF was destroyed as a fighting force, resulting in an alliance with the Axis which involved Luftwaffe aircraft and Italian Regia Aeronautica aircraft assisting Iraqi ground forces. The German units were Special Staff Fliegerführer Irak; however losses, a lack of spares and replacements resulted in their departure, following which the coup was defeated by British forces. A 1946 order of battle for the Air Force can be found in Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II; the RIrAF was still recovering from its destruction by the British in 1948 when they joined in the war against the newly created state of Israel in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. The air force only played a small role in the first war against Israel. From 1948 to 1949 the 7th Squadron operated Avro Anson training-bombers from Jordan from where they flew a number of attacks against the Israelis; some of the Ansons were replaced by modern Hawker Fury fighters operated by 1st Squadron, however these aircraft flew only two missions against Israel in Iraqi markings before most were transferred to the Egyptians.
Fourteen Hawker Furies had been delivered but by June 1948 only 6 remained operational. Despite these early problems the RIrAF purchased more Furies, acquiring a total of 38 F. Mk.1 s 4 two-seaters. Which equipped 7th Squadrons; the only Iraqi Fury victory was an Israeli Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bomber. During the 1950s, the RIrAF was affected when the monarchy was toppled in 1958, resulting in the cessation of arms imports from western countries such as Great Britain. From 1950 to 1958 most of the RIrAF aircraft were from the United Kingdom; the first jet fighters, the de Havilland Vampire, were delivered in 1953. The RIrAF received de Havilland Venoms and Hawker Hunters during the mid-1950s. In 1954 and 1956, 19 de Havilland Vampire jet fighters and 14 ex-RAF Hawkers funded by the U. S. were delivered. They received four Bristol 170 Freighters in 1953. During the 14 July Revolution of 1958, the King of Iraq was overthrown and the country established diplomatic and political relationships with Warsaw Pact countries, while severing relations with western nations.
The Iraqi Air Force dropped the "Royal" from its name after the revolution. The Soviets were quick to supply MiG-17s, MiG-19 and MiG-21 fighters, as well as Ilyushin Il-28 bombers to the new Iraqi government, they received 13 Ilyushin Il-14 transports in 1959 from Poland. The first MiG-17s were first delivered in 1958 to replace the de Havilland Vampire. During the late 1960s and or early 1970s additional MiG-17 example
The Bisnovat R-40 is a long-range air-to-air missile developed in the 1960s by the Soviet Union for the MiG-25P interceptor, but can be carried by the MiG-31. It is the largest air-to-air missile in the world to go into production; the development of the Mach 3+ North American XB-70 Valkyrie threatened to make the entire interceptor and missile force of the Voyska PVO obsolete at one stroke, thanks to its incredible speed and altitude performance. In order to counter this new threat, the MiG-25 was designed, but new air-to-air missiles were required to enable the MiG-25 to engage its intended targets at the high speeds and altitudes dictated by the requirements; the Bisnovat design bureau began development of the long-range air-to-air missile in 1962. The resulting R-40 was matched with the Smerch-A radar of the MiG-25, it was built in Infrared homing versions. In order to guarantee a kill at such high speeds and in the thin air, a large warhead was needed in order to have a sufficient blast effect.
Large control fins were required to give the missile enough maneuvrability at high altitude. All this necessitated a large missile and as a result, the R-40 is the largest air-to-air missile to enter production, it is larger than the MIM-23 Hawk surface-to-air missile. Following the defection of Soviet Air Defence Forces pilot Viktor Belenko in 1976 and the compromising of the MiG-25P's systems and the associated R-40s, Vympel developed an improved version of the missile with a better infrared countermeasures resistance and more sensitive seekers; the upgraded missiles were designated with the suffix -D. -D1 versions were developed. Production of the R-40 ended in 1991, but it remains in limited service arming surviving MiG-25 and some MiG-31 interceptors. In Soviet service, the R-40 was never fired in anger. Standard PVO procedure was to fire a 2-missile salvo at a target; as the MiG-25 has been exported to various states in the Middle East, the R-40 has been used in combat by Iraq and by Syria and Libya too.
Author Tom Cooper claims that Syrian Air Force achieved an air victory on 29 June 1981 when Syrian MiG-25PD shot down an Israeli F-15. This has not been confirmed. A declassified document of the CIA reports that in the first night of Desert Storm, on 17 January 1991, Scott Speicher's F/A-18C was shot down by an R-40 fired from an Iraqi MiG-25. Algeria Russia Retired in 2008, but recent photographs suggest the MiG-31 still operates with these missiles. India Iraq Retired. 660 missiles delivered. Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Syria Soviet Union Passed on to successor states. Gordon, Yefim. Soviet/Russian Aircraft Weapons Since World War Two. Hinckley, England: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-188-1. Federation of American Scientists page GlobalSecurity.org page
Battle of Qurah and Umm al Maradim
The Battle for Qurah and Umm al Maradim, were several naval and land battles for control over the islands off the coast of Kuwait in the Persian Gulf the islands of Qurah and Umm al Maradim. Qurah was the first island to be retaken by Coalition Forces. On the 24 January, two A-6's destroyed an enemy minelayer, a minesweeper, a patrol boat near Qurah Island. A second minesweeper was sunk. Helicopters from USS Curts flew over the wreckage to pick up Iraqi survivors and take them back as POWs; as they picked up the survivors, Iraqi troops on Qurah fired at the helicopters forcing them to fall back, managing to get twenty-two survivors out of the water. USS Curts maneuvered itself in a position; this started a six-hour battle to retake the first parcel of Kuwaiti Territory. USS Leftwich landed United States Navy SEALs on the island via helicopter, by the time the gunfire had ceased, three Iraqi soldiers lay dead with fifty-one surrendering. There were no Coalition losses. On the 29 January, in the northern Persian Gulf, the five ships of Amphibious Ready Group ALFA — USS Okinawa, USS Ogden, USS Fort McHenry, USS Cayuga and USS Durham steamed near the Kuwaiti island Umm al Maradim.
United States Marines assaulted the 300-meter by 400-metre island 12 miles off the Kuwaiti coast using embarked Marine helicopter. After several hours of intense combat, the marines succeeded in liberating the second Kuwaiti island. After destroying Iraqi anti-aircraft weapons and artillery stored on the island, used as an early warning post by the enemy, the Marines raised the Kuwaiti flag over the second parcel of reclaimed territory
Battle of Khafji
The Battle of Khafji was the first major ground engagement of the Persian 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 leader Saddam Hussein, who had tried and failed to draw Coalition troops into costly ground engagements by shelling Saudi Arabian positions and oil storage tanks and firing Scud surface-to-surface missiles at Israel, ordered the invasion of Saudi Arabia from southern Kuwait; the 1st and 5th Mechanized Divisions and 3rd Armored Division were ordered to conduct a multi-pronged invasion toward Khafji, engaging Saudi Arabian, U. S. forces along the coastline. These three divisions, damaged by Coalition aircraft in the preceding days, attacked on 29 January. Most of their attacks were repulsed by U. S. Marines as well as U. S. Army Rangers and Coalition aircraft, but one of the Iraqi columns occupied Khafji on the night of 29–30 January.
Between 30 January and 1 February, two Saudi Arabian National Guard battalions and two Kuwaiti tank companies attempted to retake control of the city, aided by Coalition aircraft and U. S. artillery. By 1 February, the city had been recaptured at the cost of 43 Coalition servicemen dead and 52 wounded. Iraqi Army fatalities numbered between 60 and 300, while an estimated 400 were captured as prisoners of war. Although the invasion of Khafji was a propaganda victory for the Ba'athist Iraqi regime, it was swiftly recaptured by Saudi Arabian ground forces; the battle serves as a modern demonstration that air power in a supporting role to ground forces can be of great assistance in halting and defeating a major ground operation. On 2 August 1990, the Iraqi Army occupied the neighboring state of Kuwait; the invasion, which followed the inconclusive Iran–Iraq War and three decades of political conflict with Kuwait, offered Saddam Hussein the opportunity to distract political dissent at home and add Kuwait's oil resources to Iraq's own, a boon in a time of declining petroleum prices.
In response, the United Nations began to pass a series of resolutions demanding the withdrawal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Afraid that Saudi Arabia would be invaded next, the Saudi Arabian government requested immediate military aid; as a result, the United States began marshalling forces from a variety of nations, styled the Coalition, on the Arabian peninsula. Saddam Hussein attempted to deter Coalition military action by threatening Kuwait's and Iraq's petroleum production and export. In December 1990, Iraq experimented with the use of explosives to destroy wellheads in the area of the Ahmadi loading complex, developing their capability to destroy Kuwait's petroleum infrastructure on a large scale. On 16 January, Iraqi artillery destroyed an oil storage tank in Khafji, Saudi Arabia, on 19 January the pumps at the Ahmadi loading complex were opened, pouring crude oil into the Persian Gulf; the oil flowed into the sea at a rate of 200,000 barrels a day, becoming one of the worst ecological disasters to that date.
Despite these Iraqi threats, the Coalition launched a 38-day aerial campaign on 17 January 1991. Flying an estimated 2,000 sorties a day, Coalition aircraft crippled the Iraqi air defense systems and destroyed the Iraqi Air Force, whose daily sortie rate plummeted from a prewar level of an estimated 200 per day to none by 17 January. On the third day of the campaign, many Iraqi pilots fled across the Iranian border in their aircraft rather than be destroyed; the air campaign targeted command-and-control sites, bridges and petroleum storage facilities. Saddam Hussein, believed to have said, "The air force has never decided a war," worried that the air campaign would erode Iraq's national morale; the Iraqi leader believed that the United States would not be willing to lose many troops in action, therefore sought to draw Coalition ground troops into a decisive battle. In an attempt to provoke a ground battle, he directed Iraqi forces to launch Scud missiles against Israel, while continuing to threaten the destruction of oilfields in Kuwait.
These efforts were unsuccessful in provoking a large ground battle, so Saddam Hussein decided to launch a limited offensive into Saudi Arabia with the aim of inflicting heavy losses on the Coalition armies. As the air campaign continued, the Coalition's expectations of an Iraqi offensive decreased; as a result, the United States redeployed the XVIII Airborne Corps and the VII Corps 480 kilometers to the west. The Coalition's leadership believed that should an Iraqi force go on the offensive, it would be launched from the al-Wafra oil fields, in Southern Kuwait; the Iraqi Army had between 350,000 and 500,000 soldiers in theater, organized into 51 divisions, including eight Republican Guard divisions. Republican Guard units received the newest equipment; the Iraqi Army in the Kuwaiti Theater of Operations included nine heavy divisions, composed of professional soldiers, but with weapons of a lesser grade than those issued to the Republican Guard. Most non-Republican Guard armored units had older tank designs the T-55 or its Chinese equivalents, the Type 59 and Type 69.
The remaining 34 divisions were composed of poorly trained conscripts. These divisions were deployed to channel the Coalition's forces through a number of break points along the front, allowing the Iraqi Army's heavy divisions and the Republican Guard units to isolate them and counterattack. However, the Iraqis left their western flank open, failing to account
McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle
The McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle is an American twin-engine, all-weather tactical fighter aircraft designed by McDonnell Douglas to gain and maintain air supremacy in all aspects of aerial combat. Following reviews of proposals, the United States Air Force selected McDonnell Douglas's design in 1967 to meet the service's need for a dedicated air-superiority fighter; the Eagle first flew in July 1972, entered service in 1976. It is among the most successful modern fighters, with over 100 victories and no losses in aerial combat, with the majority of the kills by the Israeli Air Force; the Eagle has been exported to Israel and Saudi Arabia. The F-15 was envisioned as a pure air-superiority aircraft, its design included a secondary ground-attack capability, unused. The aircraft design proved flexible enough that an all-weather strike derivative, the F-15E Strike Eagle, an improved and enhanced version, developed, entered service in 1989 and has been exported to several nations; as of 2017, the aircraft is being produced in different variants with production set to end in 2022.
The F-15 can trace its origins to the early Vietnam War, when the U. S. Air Force and the U. S. Navy fought each other over future tactical aircraft. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara was pressing for both services to use as many common aircraft as possible if performance compromises were involved; as part of this policy, the USAF and Navy had embarked on the TFX program, aiming to deliver a medium-range interdiction aircraft for the Air Force that would serve as a long-range interceptor aircraft for the Navy. In January 1965, Secretary McNamara asked the Air Force to consider a new low-cost tactical fighter design for short-range roles and close air support to replace several types like the F-100 Super Sabre and various light bombers in service. Several existing designs could fill this role; the A-4 and A-7 were more capable in the attack role, while the F-5 less so, but could defend itself. If the Air Force chose a pure attack design, maintaining air superiority would be a priority for a new airframe.
The next month, a report on light tactical aircraft suggested the Air Force purchase the F-5 or A-7, consider a new higher-performance aircraft to ensure its air superiority. This point was reinforced after the loss of two Republic F-105 Thunderchief aircraft to obsolete MiG-15s or MiG-17s on 4 April 1965. In April 1965, Harold Brown, at that time director of the Department of Defense Research and Engineering, stated the favored position was to consider the F-5 and begin studies of an "F-X"; these early studies envisioned a production run of 800 to 1,000 aircraft and stressed maneuverability over speed. On 1 August, Gabriel Disosway took command of Tactical Air Command and reiterated calls for the F-X, but lowered the required performance from Mach 3.0 to 2.5 to lower costs. An official requirements document for an air superiority fighter was finalized in October 1965, sent out as a request for proposals to 13 companies on 8 December. Meanwhile, the Air Force chose the A-7 over the F-5 for the support role on 5 November 1965, giving further impetus for an air superiority design as the A-7 lacked any credible air-to-air capability.
Eight companies responded with proposals. Following a downselect, four companies were asked to provide further developments. In total, they developed some 500 design concepts. Typical designs featured variable-sweep wings, weight over 60,000 pounds, included a top speed of Mach 2.7 and a thrust-to-weight ratio of 0.75. When the proposals were studied in July 1966, the aircraft were the size and weight of the TFX F-111, like that aircraft, were designs that could not be considered an air-superiority fighter. Through this period, studies of combat over Vietnam were producing worrying results. Theory optimized aircraft for this role; the result was loaded aircraft with large radar and excellent speed, but limited maneuverability and lacking a gun. The canonical example was the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, used by the USAF, USN, U. S. Marine Corps to provide air superiority over Vietnam, the only fighter with enough power and maneuverability to be given the primary task of dealing with the threat of Soviet fighters while flying with visual engagement rules.
In practice, due to policy and practical reasons, aircraft were closing to visual range and maneuvering, placing the larger US aircraft at a disadvantage to the much less expensive day fighters such as the MiG-21. Missiles proved to be much less reliable than predicted at close range. Although improved training and the introduction of the M61 Vulcan cannon did much to address the disparity, these early outcomes led to considerable re-evaluation of the 1963 Project Forecast doctrine; this led to John Boyd's energy–maneuverability theory, which stressed that extra power and maneuverability were key aspects of a successful fighter design and these were more important than outright speed. Through tireless championing of the concepts and good timing with the "failure" of the initial F-X project, the "fighter mafia" pressed for a lightweight day fighter that could be built and operated in large numbers to ensure air superiority. In early 1967, they proposed that the ideal design had a thrust-to-weight ratio near 1:1, a maximum speed further reduced to Mach 2.3, a weight of 40,000 pounds, a wing loading of 80 lb/ft².
By this time
Battle for Jalibah Airfield
The Battle for Jalibah Airfield took place when the U. S. 2nd Brigade, 24th Infantry Division attacked and captured the defended Jalibah Southeast Air Base military airfield in Iraq, located 80 miles west of Basra, on February 27, 1991 during the Gulf War. Satellite and aircraft reconnaissance indicated the presence of many dug-in Iraqi soldiers, anti-aircraft guns, tanks prior to the attack on the airfield. At 6 a.m. the morning of 27 February, following an intensive artillery barrage, about 200 vehicles of the 2nd Brigade, under the command of Colonel Paul J. Kern, charged into the airfield and secured it after four hours of fighting. Two thousand enemy soldiers, 80 anti-aircraft guns, a tank battalion were knocked out of action in this brilliantly executed attack; the airfield fuel supplies and ammunition were blown up in a thunderous roar that could be heard for 30 kilometers. 20 enemy aircraft were destroyed. Colonel Paul Kern and his Brigade had become the'aces' of the campaign. Major General McCaffrey flew into the captured Jalibah airstrip to congratulate Colonel Kern of the 2nd Brigade's superb victory.
According to 2nd Lieutenant Neal Creighton, Iraqi soldiers "tried to hide in shallow bunkers and some tried to surrender. Most that moved were cut down under a swath of machine gun fire; the burning helicopters and dead soldiers seemed unreal.... My soldiers were alive, it was the happiest moment of my life." Major David S. Pierson, who served as a task-force intelligence captain in the 2nd Brigade, said he felt "guilty that we had slaughtered them so, they were like children fleeing before us, scared, wishing it all would end. We continued to pour it on."Only one U. S. soldier was wounded by enemy fire during the battle. In the confusion, three U. S. M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles of C Company, 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment were accidentally hit with 5 depleted uranium rounds fired by the tanks of Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment. At the time, the Task Force was under indirect fire and were "buttoned up." The engagement took place using their thermal sights and the Bradleys of C Company were misidentified as retreating Iraqi vehicles.
They fired between 25 rounds at what they identified as T-72 Iraqi tanks. This friendly fire incident resulted in the 10 additional American casualties: two deaths and eight injuries
Iraq the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest and Syria to the west. The capital, largest city, is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Assyrians, Shabakis, Armenians, Mandeans and Kawliya. Around 95% of the country's 37 million citizens are Muslims, with Christianity, Yarsan and Mandeanism present; the official languages of Iraq are Kurdish. Iraq has a coastline measuring 58 km on the northern Persian Gulf and encompasses the Mesopotamian Alluvial Plain, the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range and the eastern part of the Syrian Desert. Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run south through Iraq and into the Shatt al-Arab near the Persian Gulf; these rivers provide Iraq with significant amounts of fertile land. The region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers known as Mesopotamia, is referred to as the cradle of civilisation.
It was here that mankind first began to read, create laws and live in cities under an organised government—notably Uruk, from which "Iraq" is derived. The area has been home to successive civilisations since the 6th millennium BC. Iraq was the centre of the Akkadian, Sumerian and Babylonian empires, it was part of the Median, Hellenistic, Sassanid, Rashidun, Abbasid, Mongol, Safavid and Ottoman empires. The country today known as Iraq was a region of the Ottoman Empire until the partition of the Ottoman Empire in the 20th century, it was made up of three provinces, called vilayets in the Ottoman language: Mosul Vilayet, Baghdad Vilayet, Basra Vilayet. In April 1920 the British Mandate of Mesopotamia was created under the authority of the League of Nations. A British-backed monarchy joining these vilayets into one Kingdom was established in 1921 under Faisal I of Iraq; the Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq gained independence from the UK in 1932. In 1958, the monarchy was overthrown and the Iraqi Republic created.
Iraq was controlled by the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party from 1968 until 2003. After an invasion by the United States and its allies in 2003, Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party was removed from power, multi-party parliamentary elections were held in 2005; the US presence in Iraq ended in 2011, but the Iraqi insurgency continued and intensified as fighters from the Syrian Civil War spilled into the country. Out of the insurgency came a destructive group calling itself ISIL, which took large parts of the north and west, it has since been defeated. Disputes over the sovereignty of Iraqi Kurdistan continue. A referendum about the full sovereignty of Iraqi Kurdistan was held on 25 September 2017. On 9 December 2017, then-Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over ISIL after the group lost its territory in Iraq. Iraq is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of one autonomous region; the country's official religion is Islam. Culturally, Iraq has a rich heritage and celebrates the achievements of its past in both pre-Islamic as well as post-Islamic times and is known for its poets.
Its painters and sculptors are among the best in the Arab world, some of them being world-class as well as producing fine handicrafts, including rugs and carpets. Iraq is a founding member of the UN as well as of the Arab League, OIC, Non-Aligned Movement and the IMF; the Arabic name العراق al-ʿIrāq has been in use since before the 6th century. There are several suggested origins for the name. One dates to the Sumerian city of Uruk and is thus of Sumerian origin, as Uruk was the Akkadian name for the Sumerian city of Urug, containing the Sumerian word for "city", UR. An Arabic folk etymology for the name is "well-watered. During the medieval period, there was a region called ʿIrāq ʿArabī for Lower Mesopotamia and ʿIrāq ʿAjamī, for the region now situated in Central and Western Iran; the term included the plain south of the Hamrin Mountains and did not include the northernmost and westernmost parts of the modern territory of Iraq. Prior to the middle of the 19th century, the term Eyraca Arabic was used to describe Iraq.
The term Sawad was used in early Islamic times for the region of the alluvial plain of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, contrasting it with the arid Arabian desert. As an Arabic word, عراق means "hem", "shore", "bank", or "edge", so that the name by folk etymology came to be interpreted as "the escarpment", viz. at the south and east of the Jazira Plateau, which forms the northern and western edge of the "al-Iraq arabi" area. The Arabic pronunciation is. In English, it is either or, the American Heritage Dictionary, the Random House Dictionary; the pronunciation is heard in US media. In accordance with the 2005 Constitution, the official name of the state is the "Republic of Iraq". Between 65,000 BC and 35,000 BC northern Iraq was home to a Neanderthal culture, archaeological remains of which have been discovered at Shanidar Cave This same region is the location of a number of pre-Neolithic cemeteries, dating from 11,000 BC. Since 10,000 BC, Iraq was one of centres of a Caucasoid Neolithic culture (k