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8th Division, Iraqi Army

The 8th Division, Iraqi Army is composed of the 30th, 31st, 32nd, and 33rd Brigades, the 8th Motorized Transportation Regiment, and a Headquarters and Service Company.

On 25 March 2005, soldiers from the 8th Division, Iraqi Army seized a 3-ton cache of TNT and hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition following an Iraqi army raid near Jurf al-Sakher. 121 suspects were also detained in the raid. In total the raid led to the confiscation of:

  • 3 tons of TNT
  • 624 rifles
  • 250,000 light ammunition rounds
  • 22,000 medium ammunition rounds
  • 193 RPG launchers
  • 300 RPG rockets
  • 27 82mm mortar tubes
  • 155 82mm mortar rounds

On 20 December 2005, staff of the 8th Division, Iraqi Army accomplished the certification process. This meant that the Division was certified in the ability of its staff to plan and conduct the operations with limited support of the Coalition Forces. The units of the 8th Division, Iraqi Army would continue to move forward to achieve the full combat readiness. In the nearest future final coordination with local and central administration would be completed in order to formally finalize the process of battlespace transfer.

The certification process was preceded by long term trainings, exercises and combat operations. Before certification at the division staff level, 6 battalions and 2 brigades of the 8th Iraqi Army Division completed certification process towards the goal of combat readiness. The main elements of the training process included planning and executing counter insurgency operations, which encompassed cordon and search techniques check points, patrolling and convoy protection. Tactical training such as weapons proficiency, engineering, communication, medical support and logistics also contributed to the overall certification process.

The final test to check the capabilities of 8th Division, Iraqi Army soldiers was conducted during parliament elections in December 2005. Division staff, under the supervision of MNDCS Military Transition Teams had planned and conducted operation to provide the security environment during elections. Staff and Iraqi soldiers passed this exam successfully.

The ceremony of signing the protocol of certification took place at the 8th Division, Iraqi Army headquarters in Ad Diwaniyah. Protocol was signed by MNDCS Commanding General Major General Piotr Czerwinski and the 8th Division, Iraqi Army Commanding General Major General Othman Ali Ferhood. Iraqi Land Forces Commander and Multinational Security Transition Command - Iraq Commander participated in the ceremony.

The Division was reorganized with the rest of the Iraqi Army in 2006, with its brigades being redesignated as the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Brigades. As of April 2006 the 8th Division was deployed in the Wasit, Qadisiyah, Najaf provinces. The Iraqi 8th Division was paired with coalition forces including units from Poland and Australia.

By 2008, the Iraqi Army as a whole attempted to rationalize its unit designations for brigades, redesignating all 54 brigades to start in sequence starting with the 1st Brigade, 1st Division.

Sunni tribes in Ramadi, Falluja and Haditha revolted in late 2013 when Iraq's prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, moved his forces into the cities to suppress a year-long anti-government protest movement. Islamic State insurgents then entered the cities and became the dominate force over the course of several months' fighting.

On 17 September 2014 the Iraqi Army's 8th division hit areas in western Ramadi with mortars, artillery and rocket fire. Government-aligned Sunni tribal fighters also clashed with Islamic State in Ramadi, leaving eight people dead.

By 25 Novemer 2014 Islamic State fighters penetrated to the core of Ramadi, the provincial capital of Iraqs largest province, prompting local security officials to warn that the city was on the verge of falling to the extremists. Islamic State forces cut roads to the Iraqi Armys 8th Division base to the west and the road to Habaniyya airbase to the east.

Iraqi security forces killed at least 28 "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) elements in military operations carried out in Anbar and near Baghdad, the Iraqi Ministry of Defence said 16 January 2015. "A joint force from the 8th Division and the Anbar police carried out combat operations in al-Yatama, Ameriyat al-Fallujah, al-Sufiyya and Omar bin Abdulaziz Bridge in Ramadi, killing six ISIL terrorists," the ministry said in a statement 15 January 2015.

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Page last modified: 30-01-2015 19:25:49 ZULU