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This Iraqi Security Force (ISF) update provides a summary of changes to the ISF during July 2012. The Iraqi Security Force Order of Battle is updated as of 31 July 2012. The July 2012 update was separately updated to reflect the GoI denial of Bulgarian/Polish arms deals. The “ISF Total Force Mobilization Update July 2012” was published reflecting the apparent changes in the command structure and planned force composition. These articles will not be addressed here.
Highlights in this update include:
- Claims of KRG arms deals by unknown officials; Rumors of UH-1s or AH-64s for the KRG not supported – US Consulate Aviation assets from Kirkuk relocating to Irbil with close of Kirkuk.
- Possible Russian deal, 15 IA Divisions?; One Avenger Battery for IA; Howitzer update; counter-battery radar possible sale; Consolidating operational commands; IA deployment to Syrian border results in face off with KRG troops.
- Recon pods for IqAF F16s; An-32 delivery.
- Al Basrah delivering to IqN.
- First report of Samarra 4th Emergency Battalion.
While Iraqi officials keep claiming major arms deals [including “heavy weapons”] by the KRG, no real details or officials willing to be named have appeared. These anonymous officials also do not explain how delivery of heavy weapons is to be made – It is unlikely that Iran, Turkey, Syria or Iraq would allow tanks to be delivered to the KRG through their territory. Infantry weapons and other lighter systems could be flown in.
Despite claims of UH-1s and Apache helicopters being sold or provided to the KRG by the US Government – no such deal has occurred. All the recent photos and video provided to support those claims have been of aircraft in US State Department colors and markings – part of the US Consulate Irbil. The increase in US aviation assets in Irbil is a result of the ongoing closure of the US Kirkuk Facilities and the relocation of those US aircraft to Irbil. Under US Law, any military sale to the KRG would require US Congressional notification in advance. Civil aircraft [unarmed] could be sold to the KRG without that notice.
While the Government of Iraq denies arms deals with Bulgaria or Poland, it does reference Russian negotiations. The claims so far are of air defense equipment in negotiation – however, there are no actual contracts. The Iraqi Government had been reported allocating additional funds for air defense but, no details on what was to be bought. This is touted as the largest Russian-Iraqi arms deal in 30 years. That would not be difficult since it would be the first legal Iraqi direct purchase of Russian arms since the collapse of the Soviet Union. [The Mi-17/171s were bought through US FMS.] Also of note are the repeated mentions of 15 IA Divisions. There have been no new IA Divisions announced. The possibilities include redesignating/expanding ISOF, the Presidential Brigades, the IqM, or forming a new force [not to mention repeated errors in press reporting]. Known IA Divisions are 1st through 12th, 14th, and 17th.
The July 2012 SIGIR Report was released and noted [pg 58]: 8 Avenger Air Defense Systems with associated Radar, 6 M1A1, and 8 M88A2 turning over. One Short-Range Air Defense Battery does not significantly add to the IA air defense – probably just a test battery to decide on future buys. The M1A1/M88A2s are probably finishing up the tank and support vehicle deliveries.
IMoD’s Khaima magazine included a report on salvaged IA artillery and new received howitzers [in Arabic]. 40 Type 83s noted in one picture. 4 courses have been trained on the M109 and M198 projects, and in addition to the US supplied units some have been refurbished from Taji stocks. The 6th Division [due to their proximity] has been in close cooperation with the Artillery school on training and support for field artillery. There are also indications that 12th Division has formed a Field Artillery Regiment. Total numbers and types of functional howitzers in the IA are unknown.
"The Government of Iraq has requested a possible sale of 6 AN/TPQ-36(V)11 FIREFINDER Radar Systems, 6 AN/TPQ-37(V)9 FIREFINDER Radars, 3 Meteorological Measuring Sets, 86 AN/VRC-92 export variant Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio Systems, 12 Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data Systems, 3 Improved Position and Azimuth Determining Systems, 63 M1152A1 and 3 M1151A1 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles, 12 M1083A1 Family of Medium Tactical Utility Vehicles, ..." This is the start of establishing an effective counter-battery capability for IA’s artillery forces but only represents counter battery radars for 2 Field Artillery Regiments and a training set.
The ISF is consolidating or re-subordinating the Joint Operational commands by consolidating Samarra OC, Kirkuk OC, and Diyala OC into Tigris Operational Command just as Wasit OC and Karbala OC were consolidated into Furat Awsat OC. This appears to be reducing to the de facto IA peacetime Corps commands. In wartime these would be Army-level commands. Of note, the same IA General that commanded 12th Division when it had its problems with the KRG is assuming command of Tigris OC.
Elements of 38/10 Brigade were ordered to the Syrian border for dealing with the refugee problem only to get a battalion into a confrontation with the KRG in the disputed areas. 1-38/10 Motorized and 2-38/10 Motorized Battalions [DZIK3s] were split between Qaim/Ba'aj and Sinjar, while 1-36/9 Armor Regiment [M1A1] was sent to Qaim. A face off developed between a 38/10 Battalion and the Kurdish 8th Regional Guards Brigade that was already there. [Reporting is contradictory as to which IA motorized battalion was involved – most claim 2-38/10.] An unconfirmed report indicates that elements of 37/9 Mechanized Brigade, an Armor Battalion of 6/2 Brigade, and the 104th Field Artillery Regiment were to reinforce the IA. There was also mention of possible KRG movements in Diyala, HOWEVER, there have been no confirmations of those claimed movements or any reported shooting. Most of the fight appears to be in political press releases at this point with claims and counter-claims.
Iraq is apparently buying 4 DB-110 reconnaissance pods for its F16s. Also a second F16 contract has been awarded for 18 F16s bringing the total to 36. The second contract is to be complete by 30 May 2018.
"The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the future Al Basrah (OSV 401), the first of two 60-meter offshore support vessels procured on behalf of the Iraqi navy, from prime contractor RiverHawk Fast Sea Frames LLC of Tampa, Fla., July 16." Factoring in delivery time to Iraq, this vessel will probably transfer to IqN in September.
Ministry of Interior
The 4th Regiment [Bn] of Emergency Police at Samarra was mentioned. This is the first mention of a 4th Emergency Battalion there and one of the few mentions of unit IDs in the press over the last year. The Federal Police and ISOF websites are down and the ISF does not normally announce unit IDs since the 2009 gag-order. This month has had an unusual number of units identified in press reporting.