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Special Republican Guard (SRG)
[Special Forces Brigade of the Presidential Palace]

The Special Republican Guard (SRG) is responsible for protecting the president and providing a military response to any attempt at a rebellion or coup. This elite para-military unit was founded in March 1995 by Saddam Hussein, with recruits drawn from Tikrit, Baiji, al-Sharqat and small towns south and west of Mosul and around Baghdad -- areas and clans noted for their loyalty Saddam's person and regime. Initially the unit consisted of some 15,000 young troops composing thirteen battalions of 1,300-1,500 men each. Subsequently this force grew to upwards of 26,000 troops in thirteen battalions. Units are deployed to guard Saddam's palaces, to escort Saddam on his travels, and others as `emergency response' forces. This new unit, responsible to Qusai Saddam Hussein, is reportedly under the immediate command of Major Safa' Mustapha Magtoof who is one of Qusai's personal guards, who was previously the manager of a Special Security office in Nidhal Street in Baghdad. Staff Major General Namiq Mohammad has also been reported as the immediate commander of this unit.

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Updated Wednesday, November 26, 1997 5:56:23 PM