2003 invasion of Iraq

2003 military invasion led by the United States

The 2003 invasion of Iraq (March 20, 2003 - May 1, 2003) was the war fought by the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Poland and some other countries against Iraq, to end the rule of Saddam Hussein.[24] The main reason that the war started was said to be because the British and American Governments believed that Iraq had dangerous weapons of mass destruction (such as chemical or nuclear weapons) that could be used against other countries.[25][26][27] This turned out after the invasion to not be true.

2003 invasion of Iraq
Part of the Iraq War

From left to right: Marines of the U.S. 1st Marine Regiment escort Iraqi prisoners of war; a convoy of U.S. military vehicles in a sandstorm; U.S. soldiers watch an enemy building in Baghdad burn; Iraqi civilians cheer as a statue of Saddam Hussein is toppled.
Date20 March – 1 May 2003
(1 month, 1 week and 4 days)

Coalition operational success


Coalition forces:
 United States
 United Kingdom

With military support from:
Iraqi National Congress[1][2][3]


MEK (until ceasefire in 2003)[6]

Ansar al-Islam
Commanders and leaders

United States George W. Bush
United States Dick Cheney
United States Donald Rumsfeld
United States Tommy Franks
United Kingdom Tony Blair
United Kingdom Brian Burridge
Australia John Howard
Australia Peter Cosgrove
Poland Aleksander Kwaśniewski

Masoud Barzani
Babakir Zebari
Jalal Talabani
Kosrat Rasul Ali
Ahmed Chalabi
Iraq Saddam Hussein
Iraq Qusay Hussein
Iraq Uday Hussein
Iraq Abid Hamid Mahmud
Iraq Ali Hassan al-Majid
Iraq Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti
Iraq Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri
Iraq Ra'ad al-Hamdani
Iraq Taha Yassin Ramadan
Iraq Tariq Aziz
Muqtada AlSadr

 United States: 466,985 personnel[8][9][10]
 United Kingdom: 45,000 troops

 Australia: 2,000 troops
 Poland: 194 Special Forces[11]

Iraqi Kurdistan Peshmerga: 70,000[12]

Iraqi National Congress: 620

Iraqi Armed Forces: 538,000 active
650,000 reserves[13][14]
2,000 tanks
3,700 APCs and IFVs
2,300 artillery pieces
300 combat aircraft[15]
 Special Iraqi Republican Guard: 12,000
 Iraqi Republican Guard: 70,000–75,000
 Fedayeen Saddam: 30,000
Arab volunteers: 6,000[16]

Shia Al Mahdi Army: 1600–2800
Casualties and losses

Coalition: 214 killed[17]
606 wounded (U.S.)[18]
24+ killed[19]

238 dead, 1,000+ wounded

Estimated Iraqi combatant fatalities: 30,000 (figure attributed to General Tommy Franks)

7,600–11,000 (4,895–6,370 observed and reported) (Project on Defense Alternatives study)[20][21]

13,500–45,000 (extrapolated from fatality rates in units serving around Baghdad)[22]
Total: 7,600–8,000 killed

Estimated Iraqi civilian fatalities:
7,269 (Iraq Body Count)[23]

3,200–4,300 (Project on Defense Alternatives study)[20]
The famous statue of Saddam Hussein being knocked down by US forces

Another reason for the start of the war was that many people thought that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, one of the leaders of al-Qaeda, was hiding in Iraq after the September 11, 2001 attacks.[28] Though Saddam Hussein was not involved in the planning of the September 11 attacks, many people accused him of giving al-Qaeda a safe place to hide from the United States. The war was extremely controversial. Many British and American people blamed British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the American President, George W. Bush.

Paratroopers landed in the far north of Iraq and a few soldiers attacked from the sea, but most invaded from Kuwait in the south. 4,734 NATO soldiers were killed in Iraq war including 4,600 U.S. servicemen,[29][30] 179 UK servicemen and 139 Other NATO soldiers with a total of 4900 casualties. 31,882 U.S. servicemen and over 3,600 UK servicemen were wounded in Iraq.[31][32][33] More than 180,000 Iraqi civilians who were not soldiers were also killed.[34]

Aftermath change

The United Nations Secretary-General said that "[F]rom our point of view and from the Charter point of view [the war] was illegal."[35]

References change

  1. Graham, Bradley (7 April 2003). "U.S. Airlifts Iraqi Exile Force For Duties Near Nasiriyah". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 8 August 2007. Retrieved 13 September 2009.
  2. John Pike (14 March 2003). "Free Iraqi Forces Committed to Democracy, Rule of Law – DefenseLink". Globalsecurity.org. Archived from the original on 10 September 2009. Retrieved 13 September 2009.
  3. "Deploying the Free Iraqi Forces – U.S. News & World Report". Usnews.com. 7 April 2003. Archived from the original on 4 February 2004. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  4. Kim Ghattas (14 April 2003). "Syrians join Iraq 'jihad'". BBC News. Archived from the original on 21 September 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  5. "Arab volunteers to Iraq: 'token' act or the makings of another Afghan jihad?". Archived from the original on 27 November 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  6. Kahana, Ephraim; Suwaed, Muhammad (2009). The A to Z of Middle Eastern Intelligence. Scarecrow Press. p. 208. ISBN 978-0-8108-7070-3.
  7. "Security Council endorses formation of sovereign interim government in Iraq; welcomes end of occupation by 30 June, democratic elections by January 2005". United Nations. 8 June 2004.
  8. "CRS Report for Congress" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 February 2009. Retrieved 25 December 2022.
  9. Katzman, Kenneth (5 February 2009). "Iraq: Post-Saddam Governance and Security" (PDF). fpc.state.gov/. Congressional Research Service. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2014. In the war, Iraq's conventional military forces were overwhelmed by the approximately 380,000-person U.S. and British-led 30-country18 "coalition of the willing" force, a substantial proportion of which were in supporting roles.
  10. "A Timeline of Iraq War, Troop Levels". Huffington Post. Associated Press. 15 April 2008. Archived from the original on 23 October 2014. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  11. Australian Department of Defence (2004). The War in Iraq. ADF Operations in the Middle East in 2003 Archived 9 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Page 11.
  12. MAJ Isaac J. Peltier. "Surrogate Warfare: The Role of U.S. Army Special Forces" (PDF). p. 2. Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 May 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  13. "If We Fight Iraq" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 August 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-18.
  14. Toby Dodge (16 November 2002). "Iraqi army is tougher than US believes". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 5 March 2017. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  15. "IRAQ: Iraq's Prewar Military Capabilities". Council on Foreign Relations. Archived from the original on 14 December 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  16. "Foreign Irregulars in Iraq". www.washingtoninstitute.org. 10 April 2003. Archived from the original on 3 April 2019. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  17. "Iraq Coalition Casualties: Fatalities by Year and Month" Archived 6 February 2016 at the Wayback Machine iCasualties.org. Retrieved 1 November 2009.
  18. icasualties Iraq Coalition Casualties: U.S. Wounded Totals Archived 24 December 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  19. Willing to face Death: A History of Kurdish Military Forces – the Peshmerga – from the Ottoman Empire to Present-Day Iraq (page 67) Archived 29 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Michael G. Lortz
  20. 20.0 20.1 "The Wages of War: Iraqi Combatant and Noncombatant Fatalities in the 2003 Conflict". Commonwealth Institute of Cambridge. Archived from the original on 2 September 2009. Retrieved 13 September 2009.
  21. "Wages of War – Appendix 1. Survey of reported Iraqi combatant fatalities in the 2003 war". Commonwealth Institute of Cambridge. Archived from the original on 2 September 2009. Retrieved 13 September 2009.
  22. "Body counts". By Jonathan Steele. The Guardian. 28 May 2003.
  23. Iraq Body Count project Archived 14 May 2020 at the Wayback Machine. Source of IBC quote on undercounting by media is Press Release 15 :: Iraq Body Count. Archived 9 November 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  24. "Countries involved in the war". www.islamonline.net. Archived from the original on 2007-09-26. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
  25. "Reason for the war". www.whitehouse.gov. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
  26. Joyce, Elijah (2024). "The Invasion of Iraq (2003) — Modern History Summarized" (Historical summary). Medium. Retrieved 1 March 2024.
  27. Gordon, Michael; Trainor, Bernard (1 March 1995). The Generals' War: The Inside Story of the Conflict in the Gulf. New York: Little Brown & Co.
  28. "Thoughts of the September 11 attacks". www.whitehouse.gov. Archived from the original on 2012-03-24. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
  29. "Casualty Report 14 JAN" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2010-04-20.
  30. "Forces: U.S. & Coalition/Casualties - Special Reports". Archived from the original on 2016-02-18. Retrieved 2010-05-12.
  31. "iCasualties Iraq: iCasualties Home Page". www.icasualties.org.
  32. "U.S. Department of Defense". U.S. Department of Defense.
  33. "Op Telic Casualty Tables 31 July 2009" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-03-31. Retrieved 2010-04-18.
  34. "Iraq Body Count". www.iraqbodycount.org.
  35. "Excerpts: Annan interview". 16 September 2004 – via news.bbc.co.uk.

Other websites change