Rasheed Airbase / Al-Rashid Military Camp
Rasheed Airbase is located approximately 11 kilometers Southeast of downtown Baghdad. The airbase is served by a 8,300 foot long runway. According to the "Gulf War Air Power Survey," there were 10 hardened aircraft shelters at Rasheed of 1991. The associated Al-Rashid Military Camp (also known as Al-Rasheed, Al Rasedia, Al Rasheida, or Al Rashedia) is located on the southern outskirts of Baghdad.
The Iraqi Military Intelligence (Al-Istikhbarat al-Askariyya) Military Brigade that was stationed there prior to 2003 included a rapid intervention battalion to respond to security threats in the Baghdad region. Although the main headquarters complex in the Aladhamia area of Baghdad included a prison and interrogation center in addition to a variety of support facilities, Istikhbarat also had a facility at Al Rashid camp in Baghdad.
By early 1998, the 6th Special Republican Guard Battalion, stationed at al-Rashid barracks, was charged with responsibility to seal off the Shi'i "Saddam City" quarter and bombard it indiscriminately in case of mass revolt, as the Guard did in Najaf and Karbala in 1991.
By April 2002, anti-aircraft guns had been installed over most of Baghdad high-rises including buildings housing the ministries of foreign affairs, interior, planning and state-run radio and television. The move was part of a large-scale mobilisation of the armed forces undertaken in anticipation of a possible US military strike. The government moved several units outside Al-Rasheed military camp.
A multi-story underground detention and torture center reportedly was built under the general military hospital building close to the Al-Rashid military camp. The Center for Human Rights of the Iraqi Communist Party stated that the complex included torture and execution chambers. A section reportedly was reserved for prisoners in a "frozen" state, that is, those whose status, fate, or whereabouts were not disclosed. Al-Rashidiya prison on the Tigris River north of Taji, which reportedly had torture chambers, was unrelated to the Al-Rashid Military Camp.
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