The 2003 invasion of Iraq began on 19 March 2003(air) and 20 March, 2003 (ground) and lasted for over one month, including 26 days of major combat operations in which a combined force of troops from United State of America, United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq.
Leading to the war
In 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait and started the Gulf War. After Iraq lost the Gulf War, they agreed to inspections by the United Nations but in the early 2000s, Iraq was refusing to allow UN inspectors into the country. Then the 9/11 happened and the US began to worry that the leader of Iraq, Saddam Hussein was helping terrorist and that he was secret developing weapons of mass destruction such as nuclear weapons, biological weapons and chemical weapons like (poison gas).
According to President George W Bush and UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, the coalition was to disarm Iraq weapon of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein’a support for terrorism and to free the Iraqi People.
Although, the invasion of Iraq was strongly opposed by some long standing US allies including government of France, Canada, New Zealand and Germany. The leaders argued that there was no evidence of mass destruction in Iraq and that invading the country was not justified.
Also, in a CBS poll held in January 2003, 64% of Americans had approved of military actions against Iraq, however, 63% shared the opinion that Bush should find a diplomatic solution rather than go to war and 62% believed that the threat of terrorism direct against the US would increase due to the war.
Despite all this, the US went to war and the army was lead by General Tommy Franks and the invasion called “Operation Iraqi freedom. The war was launched with a strike against a location where Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and top lieutenants were believed to be meeting. Saddam was given an ultimatum by President Bush to leave the country or face an ultimatum.
About 5000 chemical warhead, shells or aviation bombs were discovered during the Iraq war but those had been built and abandoned earlier in Saddam Hussein’a rule before the 1991 Gulf war.
Iraqi President, Saddam Hussein a d the central leadership went into hiding as the war began and the forces completed the occupation. After and intense search, Saddam Hussein was fold by soldiers hiding in a six-to-eight foot deep hole, nine miles outside his hometown of Tikrit. A soldier at the scene described him as ‘a man resigned to his fate’. Saddam Hussein was arrested, began trial in 2005 and executed on December 30, 2006.
No weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq. The US declared an end to the war in Iraq on Dec 15, 2011, nearly ten years after the fighting began.