Special Republican Guard (Iraq)

The Iraqi Special Republican Guard (SRG) (Arabic: الحرس الجمهوري الخاص‎ ""Ḥaris al-‘Irāq al-Jamhūriyy al-Khas"), also known as the Special Forces Brigade of the Presidential Palace,[1] Republican Guard Special Protection Forces,[2] or the Golden Division,[1] was an Iraqi personal security force founded in either early 1992 or March 1995 in Ba'athist-era Iraq. The Special Republican Guard was controlled by the Special Security Organization and charged with protecting President Saddam Hussein, presidential sites, Baghdad, and responding to any rebellion, coup, or other threat to his power.[1]

Special Republican Guard
Iraqi Republican Guard Symbol.svg
Republican Guard Forces Command insignia
Country Iraq
BranchSpecial forces
TypePraetorian Guard
Size12,000 (2003)
Part ofIraqi Special Security Organization
Garrison/HQAl-Harthiya Garrison, Baghdad 33°18′35″N 44°21′33″E / 33.309651°N 44.359075°E / 33.309651; 44.359075Coordinates: 33°18′35″N 44°21′33″E / 33.309651°N 44.359075°E / 33.309651; 44.359075
Engagements2003 invasion of Iraq


In order to prevent a coup d'etat, Saddam Hussein forbade the Special Republican Guard (SRG) from coordinating with other forces, even the normal Republican Guard and no other units were ever allowed near SRG.[3]

The Special Republican Guard received better pay and benefits than members of the normal Republican Guard and the regular Iraqi Army. By 2002, there were reportedly 12,000 members of the Special Republican Guard, drawn primarily from clans loyal to Saddam Hussein and his regime. As many as five brigades containing 14 battalions of 1,300–1,500 men each, and also included air defense, armored, and artillery were reported to be in existence at that time. In 2003, the Special Republican Guard was officially dissolved as per CPA Order 2 in the wake of the invasion of Iraq by a U.S.-led international coalition.[4]

Former members of the Special Republican Guard were later suspected of carrying out insurgent attacks on coalition forces in Iraq after the invasion, but also seemed to form the cadre around which the various Sons of Iraq or Anbar Awakening home guard militias, funded, trained, equipped and operated alongside American forces were composed of.


The SRG had 13 or 14 battalions and ranged in troop strength from 15,000[2] to 26,000.[5] This may have fallen to only 12,000 by 2002.[1]

  • 1st Brigade
  • 2nd Brigade
  • 3rd Brigade
  • 4th Brigade
  • Air Defense Command
  • Tank Command


  1. ^ a b c d "Special Republican Guard (SRG)". Globalsecurity.org. 2005-04-26. Retrieved 2008-01-27.
  2. ^ a b al-Marashi, Ibrahim (September 2002). "Iraq's Security and Intelligence Network: A Guide and Analysis". Middle East Review of International Affairs. Archived from the original on 2008-01-10. Retrieved 2008-01-23.
  3. ^ Woods, Kevin; Pease, Michael; Stout, Mark; Murray, Williamson; Lacey, James (March 2006). Iraqi Perspectives Project - A view of Operation Iraqi Freedom from Saddam's senior leadership (PDF). Joint Center for Operational Analysis and Lessons Learned. p. 27. ISBN 0976255014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-12-08. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  4. ^ Coalition Provisional Authority Order Number 2: Dissoulution of Entities Archived 2004-07-01 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Boyne, Sean (1997-07-01). "Inside Iraq's Security Network". Jane's Intelligence Review. Retrieved 2008-01-28.[permanent dead link]

Further readingEdit