Qwat al-Khasah or SFI (Special Forces of Iraq) are handpicked from the Iraqi Security Force or ISF, whose members come from all regions of Iraq and many different backgrounds. They consider themselves a non-sectarian specialized fighting force, putting their country first, and always ready to answer the call in defense of the nation.
SFI, under the Iraq Ministry of Defense, is the first special operations force in the Iraqi military and operates similar to US Army Rangers. The name Qwat al-Khasah is Arabic for “Special Forces.”
“The Special Forces of Iraq have a long and prestigious history as a well-known and highly respected unit prior to partnership with Coalition Special Operations,” states the U.S. Special Forces Commander currently advising the SFI on training and combat operations against Daesh. “When the Qwat al-Khasah arrive to locations throughout Iraq, just their presence in the area has a stabilizing affect as they are highly respected by the people for their humanity and outreach to locals, but also because of their skill at closing with and destroying Daesh.”
With three battalions that stand ready to deploy anywhere in Iraq within 96 hours, the Qwat al-Khasah is a specialized light fighting force capable of rapid infiltration, raid, ambush, aerial and ground reconnaissance, and wide area clearance. The group is also trained on various weapons platforms, ranging from light machine guns to mortar systems.
Since 2018, validation of the 1st and 2nd Qwat al-Khasah battalions included real-world operations outside of traditional training grounds. This specialized training paired with real operations have quickly transformed them into an elite force that supports and strengthens the Iraqi Army and other Iraqi Security Forces with their expertise in small unit tactics for counter-terrorism operations.