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Medina Division (Armored)

On August 2, 1990 Iraq invaded Kuwait. The Hammurabi and Nebuchadnezzar Republican Guard Divisions attacked from the north down the Basra highway, while the Medina [Al Madina Al Munawara - Medina the Luminous] and Tawakalna Republican Guard Divisions attacked from the west across the Wadi al-Batin. The operation was planned in detail and well organized. The Iraqis had used four Republican Guard divisions to seize Kuwait. By early September 1990 these divisions had returned to their preinvasion locations in southeastern Iraq and less-capable Army divisions had been deployed to replace them.

Iraqi leaders failed to anticipate the "left hook " and apparently did not realize the Coalition would invade into southern Iraq.Once the Iraqi leadership apparently did learn of VII and XVIII Corps ' advance from the west, the Republican Guard Tawakalna Mechanized Infantry Division was assigned a rear guard action to allow the Republican Guard Medina and Hammurabi Armored divisions to make good their withdrawal toward Basrah.

On 27 February VII Corps conducted a coordinated main attack against the three mechanized Republican Guard Divisions - the Tawakalna, the Al-Madinah, and the Hammurabi. As this operation began, the 1st Infantry Division, in the south of the Corps zone, conducted a night passage through the 2nd ACR, and immediately engaged the Iraqi forces. To the north, the 1st and 3rd Armored divisions attacked to the east and the 1st Cavalry Division attacked on the northern flank to prevent an Iraqi breakout in that direction. With the Iraqis set up, the massed maneuver elements of VII Corps struck one decisive blow after another. In other sectors, Iraqi elements broke and ran. Here, they stood and fought.

On 27 February 1991 the American 1st Armored Division fought remnants of the Iraqi Tawakalna, Al-Madinah and Adnan Republican Guards Divisions about 50 miles east of Al Busayyah. In one of several large engagements along the advance, the American 2d Brigade, 1st Armored Division, received artillery fire and then proceeded to destroy not only those artillery batteries but also 61 tanks and 34 armored personnel carriers of the Madina Division in less than one hour.

The 3d "Phantom" Brigade, 3d Infantry Distinguished itself as the Advanced Guard Brigade of the 1st Armored Division during offensive operations against the Iraqi Republican Guard Forces Command (RGFC) during Operation Desert Storm from 24 to 28 February 1991. On 27 February, the 3d Brigade was ordered to transition to pursuit operations to establish contact with and destroy the RGFC forces in zone. As the Brigade attacked and fought through the Adnan Division, securing a RGFC major logistics base, it captured 465 EPW's and made contact with the Medinah Armored Division, which was augmented by elements of four other Iraqi divisions. A fierce battle ensued culminating in the destruction of 82 tanks, 31 Armored Personnel Carriers, 11 artillery pieces, 48 trucks, 3 AAA guns and captured 72 EPW's with the loss of 2 Bradley Cavalry vehicles, 30 WIA's and 1 KIA.

On 27 February 1991 remnants of Iraqi operational and theater reserve forces west and south of Al-Basrah attempted to defend against heavy pressure from the Coalition. Remaining elements of the 10th Armored Division linked up with the remains of the RGFC Al-Madinah Division just north of the Iraq-Kuwait border and attempted, unsuccessfully, to defend against advancing US forces.

As of 1997 the Medina [Madinah] Division was assigned to the protection of Baghdad.

As of February 1997 it was reported that the Republican Guard Al-Madeena Al-Munawara Armored Division had been placed under alert to deploy. One of its Armored Brigades was deployed in Al-Rashdiya, while the others are at Al-Taji Military Camp. By early March 1997 the Republican Guard's 10th Armored Brigade (attached to the Republican Guard's Al-Madeena Al-Munawarra Forces based at Al-Taji in Baghdad), has also arrived at Nahiyat Al-Rabee'. By October 1997 Iraqi Republican Guard units had built up in the area of Makhmur, 30 km southwest of Arbil. The Medina Al Munawara armoured division and the Adnan mechanised infantry division moved to the area with 200 tanks, four battalions of heavy artillery and over 10,000 troops.

As of early 1999 the "Al-Medina Al-Munawera" [Medina the Luminous] Forces Command (Quwat Al-Medina Al-Munawera Hares Jimhouri), under the command of the Allahu Akbar Forces-Northern Corps, was based between Al-Taji and Al-Rasheediya.

Opposition sources claimed in January 1999 that the losses inflicted on Saddam's regime during Operation "Desert Fox" included 21 killed among officers and other ranks, with 87 wounded. Destruction or damage to 31 tanks and armored vehicles. The destruction of the armory belonging to the "Al-Medina Al-Munawera" Forces, as well as the destruction of 19 anti-aircraft targets.

In mid-September 2002 U.S. satellites detected two brigades of the Iraqi Republican Guard Medina Division leaving their bases near Taji, north of Baghdad. The units appeared to be moving out to locations that are less vulnerable to US attack.

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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 02:49:29 ZULU