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September 15, 2003: New Iraqi army is born in desert

An initial batch of 750 soldiers included ex-members of Saddam Hussain’s disbanded army and Kurdish Peshmerga rebels

Image Credit: Gulf News Archives
A trainee in the new Iraqi army jumping for cover as the first recruits showed off their fighting skills at a desert camp. - Gulf News Archives
Gulf News

2003 - The first recruits to the fledgling New Iraqi Army showed off their fighting skills at a desert camp where the United States-led occupiers hope to turn out 35,000 soldiers in a year. An initial batch of 750 soldiers at the Kirkush camp, near the Iranian border northeast of Baghdad, included ex-members of Saddam Hussain’s disbanded army and Kurdish Peshmerga rebels who until five months ago had been fighting one another.

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