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5th Mechanized Division

During the night of 29 and 30 January 1991, Iraqi armored and mechanized infantry forces began several battalion-sized attacks against Coalition ground forces. The eastern most Iraqi force occupied the Saudi Arabian border town of Al-Khafji. The Iraqi forces were from the 5th Mechanized and the 3rd Armored divisions of the regular army, equipped with several hundred tanks and other armored vehicles, but they had no air support. The combination of dogged resistance by the ground forces and the constant pounding from Coalition air forces stopped the Iraqi advance.

By 24 February 1991 Iraqi regular army units constituting the second echelon in Kuwait were directed to reposition themselves. Concealed by the dense smoke of the oil fires that were ignited beginning 21 February, parts of what was left of the second echelon of the Iraqi army -- 1st Mechanized Infantry Division, 3d Armored Division, 5th Mechanized Infantry Division, 6th Armored Division, the 10th Armored Division and the 12th Armored Division -- were in a movement toward Basrah.

On 26 February 1991 the American 2nd MARDIV reached Al-Jahra, overcoming the Iraqi rear guard dug in south of the city in quarries and dumps. The 6th Marines advanced into the quarry area, encountering stiff resistance from elements of the Iraqi 3rd Armored and 5th Mechanized divisions, some equipped with T-72 tanks. Elaborate bunkers were uncovered that housed brigade CPs, complete with kitchens and classrooms. 1st Battalion, 6th Marines advanced to the outskirts of Al-Jahra, the first Marine unit to reach Kuwait City. Relatively few prisoners were taken since the Iraqi rearguard chose to fight rather than surrender.

On 17 September 1997 it was reported by the Kurds in northern Iraq that Baghdad had cut down on troop reinforcement south of the city of Arbil. The Iraqi armoured troop concentration in the area had been reduced to 30 tanks and armoured vehicles. The Iraqi army sent in a reinforcement of 200 tanks and armoured vehicles as well as several battalions of its Fifth Division to the Ghous Tappeh and Altun Kupri on 1 September 1997.



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