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Officially established on 22 April 1931, around a core of 5 pilots and 32 aircraft mechanics, the Royal Iraqi Air Force was the first military flying service in any Arab country. Coming into being with the task of supporting the Iraqi armed forces and the British against revolts by local tribes, it saw extensive combat and gradually grew into a potent force. During the Anglo-Iraqi War of 1941, it became involved in its first conventional campaign in support of an anti-British coup but was destroyed as a fighting force.