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The Iraq War Portal

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The Iraq War or the Occupation of Iraq, is an ongoing conflict that began with a United States-led invasion of Iraq on 20 March 2003. The main rationale for the Iraq War offered by former U.S. President George W. Bush, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and supporters in the Republican and Democratic parties in the US, was that Iraq was developing weapons of mass destruction. These weapons, it was argued, posed a threat to the United States, its allies and interests. In George W. Bush's 2003 State of the Union Address, he claimed that the U.S. could not wait until the threat from Saddam Hussein became imminent. After the invasion, however, no evidence was found of such weapons. To support the war, other U.S. officials cited claims of connections between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda. Yet others pointed to the human rights abuses of Saddam Hussein's regime and the benefits of establishing democracy in Iraq as reasons for the war. They have also claimed that the economic importance of Iraq's oil supply limited non-military options. Many critics of the war have alleged that this was a primary reason for the invasion.

The war began in March 2003, when a largely British and American force supported by small contingents from Australia, Denmark and Poland attacked Iraq. The invasion soon led to the defeat and flight of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. The U.S.-led coalition occupied Iraq and attempted to establish a new democratic government; however it failed to restore order in Iraq. The unrest led to asymmetric warfare with the Iraqi insurgency, civil war between Sunni and Shiite Iraqis and al-Qaeda operations in Iraq. As a result of this failure to restore order, a growing number of coalition nations have withdrawn troops from Iraq. The causes and consequences of the war remain extremely controversial.

Iraqi Resistance

The Iraqi resistance movement comprises diverse groups of armed resistance to the American-led coalition operating in Iraq. These groups may also resist the newly created Iraqi government. The fighting appears both as a resistance to the perceived foreign occupation as well as a civil war among the diverse Iraqi groups. The insurgents use asymmetric warfare, with assistance from non-governmental militias. The conflict has led to numerous human rights violations by both Resistance groups and coalition forces.

According to a February-March 2007 poll, 51% of the Iraqi population approve of attacks on Coalition forces. When broken down along sectarian lines, over 90% of Arab Sunnis, who were dominant in President Saddam Hussein's Baath Party, approve of the attacks. Iraq's deep sectarian divides have been a major dynamic in the Resistance, whose support varies widely among segments of the population.

Iraq Timeline

Selected picture


A U.S. Navy helicopter flying by the Al-Shaheed Monument.

Selected biography

Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti (Arabic: صدام حسين عبد المجيد التكريتيṢaddām Ḥusayn ʿAbdu 'l-Mağīdi 't-Takrītī; 28 April 193730 December 2006) was the fifth President of Iraq and Chairman of the Iraqi Revolutionary Command Council from 1979 until his overthrow by US forces in 2003. He was executed after being found guilty of war crimes at his trial in 2006.

Did you know...

  • Since the beginning of the Iraq War there have been more than 500 named military operations.
  • The Iraqi Security Forces conducted 7,000 counterinsurgency, border control and infrastructure security operations without Coalition assistance during 2006.
  • More than 530,000 Iraqi Security Force patrolled the streets and neighborhoods of their country during April of 2008

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