Iraq: February 17, 2003

Archives

Order of Battle

Iraqi Forces 

Seven corps, 25 divisions, 7 independent brigades. About 85 combat brigades total. 
City unit is stationed in shown in (parenthesis, along with number of troops). 

1st Army Corps (Kirkuk, 45,000 troops in four divisions) 
2nd Infantry Division (Alrabee), 5th Mechanized Division (Shuwan), 8th Infantry Division (Shuwan), 38th Infantry Division (Quader Karam) 

2nd Army Corps (Deyala, 35,000 troops in three divisions) 
3rd Armored Division (Jalawia), 15th Infantry Division (Amerli), 34th Infantry Division (Khanaqin). 

3rd Army Corps (Al Nasseria, 35,000 troops in three divisions) 
6th Armored Division (Majnoon), 11th Infantry Division (Al Nasseria), 51st Mechanized Division (Zubair). 

4th Army Corps (Al Amara, 35,000 troops in three divisions) 
10th Armored Division (Al Teab), 14th Infantry Division (Al Amara), 18th Infantry Division (Al Musharah). 

5th Army Corps (Mosul, 40,000 troops in four divisions) 
1st Mechanized Division (Makhmur), 4th Infantry Division (Bashiqa), 7th Infantry Division (Alton Kopri Castle), 16th Infantry Division (Saddam Dam). 

1st (Northern) Republican Guard Corps (Tikrit, 40,000 troops in four divisions)
1st Adnan Mechanized Division (Mosul), al Nida Armored Division (Bagubah), 2nd Baghdad Infantry Division (Maqloob Maontin-Mosul), Al Abed (Infantry Division (Kirkuk). 

2nd (Southern) Republican Guard Corps (Al Hafreia, 40,000 troops in three divisions)
Al Madina Armored Division (As Suwayrah), Nebuchadnezzer Infantry Division (Al Husseinia-al Kutt), Hamurabi Mechanized Division (Al Taji). 
Special Republican Guard Division 
Four motorized infantry brigades (14 battalions), an armored brigade and an air defense brigade (Baghdad, 20,000 troops)
Special Forces Command
1st, 2nd, 3rd, 33rd, 65th, 66th and 68th Special Forces Brigades. Each of these brigades has about a thousand well trained light infantry. These men are used for protecting senior government officials and "special weapons (chemical and nuclear), terrorizing civilians suspected of disloyalty and commando type operations. These troops did not perform particularly well in 1991, but have been reorganized and retrained since then.

There are also 100,000 secret police, armed with some heavy weapons. There are also (in theory) 200,000 Saddam loyalists who could be armed. But would they fight? These forces were of no use in 1991.
Iraq's army is, on paper, a formidable force. They have 25 combat divisions, and seven independent brigades. Nine of the divisions are armored or mechanized. But Iraq only has about 1,800 tanks in working order, and most of these are 1950s and 60s designs. They can be dangerous to American IFVs (M-2 Infantry Fighting Vehicles), but are otherwise just targets to American tanks and anti-tank weapons. The four mechanized divisions probably have fewer than a hundred tanks each. The two Republican Guard tank divisions probably have about 250 tanks each, and the two Republican Guard mechanized infantry divisions about half as many. Some infantry divisions have tank battalions, as does the Special Republican Guard division. This leaves the regular army tank and mechanized divisions with about two thirds as many tanks as the Republican Guard units. Moreover, the Republican Guard has the more modern tanks (T-72s, a 1970s design). The Iraqis also have about 2,000 lighter armored vehicles, and nearly a thousand ATGM (anti-tank guided missile launchers) of various models. The infantry divisions get most of the ATGMs, which did little damage to U.S. forces in 1991. The Iraqis also have about 2200 artillery, which are evenly distributed among the divisions, with the Republican Guard getting the 150 self propelled guns and most of the 200 rocket launchers. Iraqi artillery did not perform well in 1991. 

Iraqi divisions are about two-thirds the size of American ones, in terms of manpower. Most Iraqi divisions have 8-10,000 troops, although this can be increased by a few thousand if reserves are called up. A major problem with the Iraqi army is that about 80 percent of the population want Saddam and his gang gone. So most of the Saddam loyalists are in the Republican Guard units, or serve as officers in the regular army units. Saddam uses a combination of terror and rewards to keep the troops in line, and this works in peacetime. When there's a war, and Iraqis are getting beat on, the troops not loyal to Saddam tend to run away or surrender to the enemy. They did this during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war and during the 1991 Gulf War. There's nothing to indicate that the average Iraqi has changed his mind about this matter. 


Iraq is thought to have some 140 SA-2 launchers, 100 SA-3 launchers, 100 SA-6s,
25 SA-8s, 35 SA-9s, a few SA-13s, and 24 Roland VI and 4 Crotale surface-to-air
launchers. Iraq may have a dozen or more missiles per launcher. There are also about 2,000 shoulder fired SA-7s and SA-14s, and some SA-16s.

The Iraqi Air Force has nearly 300 aircraft, but most are out of action for want of spare parts. It is thought the Iraqis can put into the air less than a third of their existing warplanes. What is thought to be on hand at the moment is;

150-200 Fighters (20-30 Mirage F-1s, 12 MiG-29s, 40-60 MiG-23s, 50-150 MiG-21s) 

12 Reconnaissance aircraft (MiG-25s). 

80-90 Ground Attack aircraft (25-30 Su-25s, and 50-60 Su-17s, Su-20s, and Su-22s).


Coalition Forces

Kurd Forces

5 KDP brigades 
3 PUK brigades

Shia Forces (southern Iraq)

Anywhere from 3-20 brigades 
depending on negotiations with
Shia leaders.
Turkomen Forces
One or two brigades armed by the Turks.

US and British Forces
US 4th Infantry Division, 3rd Infantry Division, 101st Airmobile Division, 1st Marine Division, 82nd Airborne Division, 1st Cavalry Division, 1st Infantry Division, 1st Armored Division. Not all of each division expected to be used, meaning that about 20 American combat brigades will be in action. 
British 7th Armored Brigade, Royal Marine Commando Brigade, 16th Air Assault Brigade. 
Several thousand Special Forces and commando troops.
Over 500 warplanes, with the final number being close to 1,000 (on land and aboard carriers.)

11 Mechanized Infantry Brigades
3 Air Mobile infantry brigades
3 Airborne infantry brigades 
3 Marine brigades
3 British brigades
Some 800-1000 warplanes. 
Turkish Forces
2nd Corps (35,000 troops)
3rd Corps (35,000)
Kurdistan Brigade (2,000)

 

Article Archive

Iraq: Current 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


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