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NEWS | Dec. 4, 2019

Iraq Ministry of Defense deploys elite force

SOUTHWEST ASIA – 1st Qwat al-Khasah Special Mission Company, an elite Iraqi Ministry of Defense force, conducted its first partnered mission with Coalition Special Operation Forces in Tarmiyah, Iraq, Nov. 23, 2019. The QK SMC led a partnered clearance operation targeted two Daesh bed down locations to deny the terrorist group safe haven.

"The Qwat al-Khasah is an elite force with specialized training. They give the Iraqi MOD more capability to raid ISIS remnants," said Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool, Iraqi MOD spokesman

The operation involved a small arms enemy engagement, but no reported Coalition injuries.

QK was recently assessed as a viable partner for Iraq-focused, counter-terrorism missions with Special Operations Joint Task force – Operation Inherent Resolve. This first successful partnered counter-terrorism mission marks the continual strengthening of the Iraqi Security Forces.

"We remain committed to providing the necessary training, advice, and assistance to the Iraqi Security Forces," said U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Eric T. Hill, SOJTF-OIR commander. "The Iraqi security forces are taking the fight to Daesh."

The Qwat al-Khasah, Arabic for "Special Forces," is a highly trained and specialized infantry unit, similar to the U.S. Army Rangers, with expertise in small unit tactics for counter-terrorism operations.

According to the Iraqi MoD Facebook page, the Qwat al-Khasah can be rapidly deployed via ground or air within 24-72 hours throughout Iraq to seize, clear, and hold terrain.

The QK School was first stood up in 2015 and the now fully operational 1st Qwat al-Khasah Battalion was formed in November 2017, with an additional two battalions formed since then. The 2nd Qwat al-Khasah Battalion and 3rd Qwat al-Khasah Battalion are expected to be fully operational by the end of 2020.

The 1st and 2nd QK battalions have been used in small operations since 2018 while concurrently going through training. They are known as the reserve force within the Iraqi MoD to support and strengthen Iraqi Army and other Iraqi Security Forces.

Photos from the operation can be located at

Qwat al-Khasah conduct simulated raid
Qwat al-Khasah, Arabic for Special Forces, soldiers practice scouting simulated extremist fighters’ positions on a training range at the Taji Military Complex, Iraq, Nov. 14, 2019. The QK specializes in raids, seizing, clearing and holding terrain for limited durations and conducting reconnaissance, counter-insurgency or counter terrorism operations. Training in Iraq is shifting focus towards Iraqi-delivered training with Coalition mentors. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Alec Dionne)

B Roll from the operation can be located at


Iraqi MoD Facebook page: