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7th Infantry Division

The 7th Infantry Division is assigned to the Iraqi Army 5th Corps.

When the ground offensive started on 24 February 1991, Iraqi ground forces remained in defensive positions in the KTO. There were no indications of any Iraqi troop withdrawal. Iraqi front line units, including the 7th, 14th and 29th Infantry divisions in the I MEF zone and the 19th Infantry Division in the Joint Forces Command - East [JFC-E] zone, offered sporadic, but sometimes stiff, resistance. These forces were bypassed, withdrew or surrendered.

As the ground offensive progressed, by 25 February 1991 Iraqi units' ineffectiveness became more clear. The Iraqi III Corps units had suffered severe damage. CENTCOM assessed the Corps' 7th, 8th, 14th, 18th, and 29th Infantry divisions, in the I MEF and JFC-E zones, as combat ineffective.

During the Gulf War, the US 2d Armored Division's Tiger Brigade advance split the seam between the Iraqi III and IV Corps, overrunning elements of the 14th, 7th, and 36th Infantry Divisions, as well as brigades of the 3d Armored, 1st Mechanized, and 2d Infantry Divisions. During four days of combat Tiger Brigade task forces destroyed or captured 181 tanks, 148 armored personnel carriers, 40 artillery pieces, and 27 antiaircraft systems while killing an estimated 263 enemy and capturing 4,051 prisoners of war, all at a cost of 2 killed and 5 wounded.

The American I Marine Expeditionary Force began the assault at 0400 on 24 February 1991. The 2nd MARDIV, with the reinforced 6th Marine Regiment in the lead, blasted its way through the obstacle belts against moderate resistance. The leading regiment advanced in three battalion columns through mortar and artillery fire. Once through, the 6th Marine Regiment advanced to its objectives, overrunning elements of the Iraqi 7th and 14th Infantry divisions. The 2nd MARDIV noted in its after action report that the regiment captured more than 4,000 EPW including the Iraqi 9th Tank Battalion with 35 operational tanks.

Beginning on 12 February 1997, the Iraqi army withdrew the 39th and 116th Brigades, both of the 7th Infantry Division, from the Bustaneh - Qushtapa area, on the road between Arbil and Sulaymaniyah. Saddam's forces had occupied this sector during the storming of the Kurdish safe haven in September 1996, and had remained there in numbers since. This constituted a significant reduction in the Iraqi army there. Other units of the 7th Infantry and the 1st Mechanised Division remained. By mid-February 1997 the 29th Brigade of the 7th Division of the Fifth Corps had pulled out of the Al-Guwair area, which lies about 25 km. southwest of Arbil, and moved towards the Southern Sector.



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