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Iraq

 
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Iraq

Internal Security in the 1980s

In addition to the regular armed forces, Iraq's state security system consisted of at least six organizations charged with a wide variety of security functions. Little was publicly known about these paramilitary and police organizations, but their importance was undisputed. In addition to the People's Army, discussed above, internal security organizations consisted of the Security Troops (or Presidential Guard), the Border Guard, the Frontier Force, the regular civil police, and the Mukhabarat (or Department of General Intelligence).

The Security Troops formed an elite group of 4,800 whose primary task was to protect the Baath leadership in Iraq. Their ranks were filled with the most loyal troops serving in the Iraqi armed forces, whose dedication to Baathism and to Saddam Husayn personally had been tested on numerous occasions. These troops faced considerable danger because the frequent assassination attempts on the president and on his close associates usually meant loss of life among bodyguards. Survivors were generously rewarded, however.

The Frontier Guard and the Mobile Force accounted for an estimated 50,000 additional men within the security system. Unlike the People's Army, these forces consisted of full-time, professional men-at-arms. Frontier Guard personnel were stationed principally in northern Iraq along the borders with Iran, Turkey, and Syria to guard against smuggling and infiltrations. Before 1974 the Frontier Guard was under the control of local Kurds, but, after the defeat of the Kurdish revolt in 1975, it was administered by the central government. The Mobile Force was a strike force used to support the regular police in the event of major internal disorders. It was armed with infantry weapons, with artillery, and with armored vehicles, and it contained commando units trained to deal with guerrilla activities.

The regular civil police handled state security in addition to its routine duties of fighting crime, controlling traffic, and the like. After 1982, many of these routine functions were taken over by People's Army "volunteers" to free more able-bodied men for duty on the war front. The regular police were under the Ministry of Interior, and they were commanded by the director of police in Baghdad. There were thought to be several specialized components of the police, including forces assigned exclusively to traffic, to narcotics investigation, and to railroad security. The police operated at least two schools: the Police College for those with secondary degrees and the Police Preparatory School for those without secondary education. Police officers held military ranks identical to those of the regular armed forces, and many were called to serve in the war with Iran.

The Department of General Intelligence was the most notorious and possibly the most important arm of the state security system. It was created in 1973 after the failed coup attempt by Director of Internal Security Nazim Kazzar. In 1982 the Department of General Intelligence underwent a personnel shake-up. At that time, it was headed by Saadun Shakir, who was an RCC member and, like Saddam Husayn, a Tikriti, and who was assisted by Saddam Husayn's younger half-brother, Barazan Husayn. Foreign observers believed that the president was dissatisfied because the agency had not anticipated the assassination attempt at Ad Dujayl. It was also believed that several separate intelligence networks were incorporated within the department, and that Iraqi intelligence agents operated both at home and abroad in their mission to seek out and eliminate opponents of the Baghdad regime.

Data as of May 1988

 

Iraq - TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Government and Politics
  • National Security

  • Go Up - Top of Page






    GENERAL FACTS & LINKS

    Country name
    Iraq
    conventional long form
    Republic of Iraq
    conventional short form
    Iraq
    local long form
    Al Jumhuriyah al Iraqiyah
    local short form
    Al Iraq

    Area -
    total: 437,072 sq km
    land: 432,162 sq km
    water: 4,910 sq km

    Geographic Location - Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iran and Kuwait

    Map references - Middle East

    Capital - Baghdad

    Border Countries - Iran 1,458 km, Jordan 181 km, Kuwait 242 km, Saudi Arabia 814 km, Syria 605 km, Turkey 331 km

    Major Cities - Baghdad

    Independence -
    3 October 1932 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)

    National holiday - Revolution Day, 17 July (1968)

    ISD CODE
    Iraq 964

    Languages Spoken - Arabic (official) and Kurdish

    Weather Forecast -  Baghdad  Mosul  Saddam Irq-Afb / Civ  Shaibah / Basrah

    Major Airports - Baghdad

    Ports - Umm Qasr, Khawr az Zubayr, and Al Basrah have limited functionality

    Population -24,001,816 (July 2002 est.)

    Religion - Muslim 97% (Shi'a 60%-65%, Sunni 32%-37%), Christian or other 3%

    Nationality - Iraqi(s)

    Currency - Iraqi dinar

    Currency Code - IQD

    National Bird - "Kew" (Chukar)

    Lakes - Hammer

    Rivers - Euphrates, Tigris

    Terrain - Mostly broad plains; reedy marshes along Iranian border in south with large flooded areas; mountains along borders with Iran and Turkey

    Climate - Mostly desert; mild to cool winters with dry, hot, cloudless summers; northern mountainous regions along Iranian and Turkish borders experience cold winters with occasionally heavy snows that melt in early spring, sometimes causing extensive flooding in central and southern Iraq

    Geography - Strategic location on Shatt al Arab waterway and at the head of the Persian Gulf

    Waterways - 1,015 km
    note: Shatt al Arab is usually navigable by maritime traffic for about 130 km; channel has been dredged to 3 m and is in use; Tigris and Euphrates Rivers have navigable sections for shallow-draft boats; Shatt al Basrah canal was navigable by shallow-draft craft before closing in 1991 because of the Gulf war

    Natural hazards - Dust storms, sandstorms, floods

    Natural Resources - petroleum, natural gas, phosphates, sulphur


    More Iraq related links from
    1Up Info

     Iraq Country Facts

     Middle Eastern Political Geography

     Iraq Political Geography

     Middle Eastern Physical Geography

     Iraq Towns & Cities

     Iraq History


    Iraq related links from
    1Up Travel

     Iraq Country Guide

     Iraq Detailed Maps

     Iraq Flag

     More Iraqi Flags

     Iraq Geography

     Iraq Travel Warnings

     Iraq Cities Weather

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    Information Courtesy: The Library of Congress - Country Studies


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