The Iraqi regent fled to the RAF facility at Habbaniya on 31 March 1941, and he was flown out, landing at Basra and embarking on HMS Cockchafer. Rashid Ali staged a coup and with four other officers, and named himself head of the new government on 3 April. In answer, the Chiefs of Staff in Britain wanted to intervene, but the theater commanders opposed such a move.
The RAF had the following forces in Iraq:
No.4 Service Flying Training School,
equipped with 32 Hawker Audaxes, 8 Fairey Gordons, 29 Airspeed Oxfords,
3 Gloster Gladiators, 1 Bristol Blenheim I, 5 Hawker Hart trainers
No.244 Bomber Squadron, equipped with Vincents
The Iraqi airforce had about 50 0ar 60 aircraft. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.