This is a timeline of the events surrounding the United States-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Protests against a possible invasion of Iraq begin to take place around the world.
The first assaults on Baghdad begin shortly following the 01:00 UTC expiry of the United States' 48-hour deadline for Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and his sons to leave Iraq.
Oh, brave fighters! Hit your enemy with all your strength. Oh Iraqis, fight with the strength of the spirit of jihad which you carry in you and push them to the point where they cannot go on.
The Iran–Iraq War was an armed conflict between Iran and Iraq that lasted from September 1980 to August 1988. It began with the Iraqi invasion of Iran and lasted for eight years, until the acceptance of United Nations Security Council Resolution 598 by both sides. Iraq's primary rationale for the attack against Iran cited the need to prevent Ruhollah Khomeini—who had spearheaded the Iranian Revolution in 1979—from exporting the new Iranian ideology to Iraq; there were also fears among the Iraqi leadership of Saddam Hussein that Iran, a theocratic state with a population predominantly composed of Shia Muslims, would exploit sectarian tensions in Iraq by rallying Iraq's Shia majority against the Baʽathist government, which was officially secular and dominated by Sunni Muslims. Iraq also wished to replace Iran as the power player in the Persian Gulf, which was not seen as an achievable objective prior to the Islamic Revolution because of Pahlavi Iran's economic and military superiority as well as its close relationships with the United States and Israel.
The Iraqi Republican Guard was a branch of the Iraqi military from 1969 to 2003, which existed primarily during the presidency of Saddam Hussein. It later became known as the Republican Guard Corps, and then the Republican Guard Forces Command (RGFC) with its expansion into two corps. The Republican Guard was disbanded in 2003 after the invasion of Iraq by a U.S.-led international coalition.
The Gulf War was an armed conflict between Iraq and a 42-country coalition led by the United States. The coalition's efforts against Iraq were carried out in two key phases: Operation Desert Shield, which marked the military buildup from August 1990 to January 1991; and Operation Desert Storm, which began with the aerial bombing campaign against Iraq on 17 January 1991 and came to a close with the American-led Liberation of Kuwait on 28 February 1991.
The United States-led invasion of the Republic of Iraq was the first stage of the Iraq War. The invasion phase began on 19 March 2003 (air) and 20 March 2003 (ground) and lasted just over one month, including 26 days of major combat operations, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq. Twenty-two days after the first day of the invasion, the capital city of Baghdad was captured by coalition forces on 9 April 2003 after the six-day-long Battle of Baghdad. This early stage of the war formally ended on 1 May 2003 when U.S. President George W. Bush declared the "end of major combat operations" in his Mission Accomplished speech, after which the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) was established as the first of several successive transitional governments leading up to the first Iraqi parliamentary election in January 2005. U.S. military forces later remained in Iraq until the withdrawal in 2011.
The Iraqi no-fly zones conflict was a low-level conflict in the two no-fly zones (NFZs) in Iraq that were proclaimed by the United States, United Kingdom, and France after the Gulf War of 1991. The United States stated that the NFZs were intended to protect the ethnic Kurdish minority in northern Iraq and Shiite Muslims in the south. Iraqi aircraft were forbidden from flying inside the zones. The policy was enforced by the United States and the United Kingdom until 2003, when it was rendered obsolete by the 2003 invasion of Iraq. French aircraft patrols also participated until France withdrew in 1996.
Fedayeen Saddam was a paramilitary Fedayeen organization intensely loyal to the Ba'athist Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein. The name was chosen to mean "Saddam's Men of Sacrifice". At its height, the group had 30,000–40,000 members. The Fedayeen operated completely outside the law, above and outside political and legal structures.
The Battle of Baghdad, also known as the Fall of Baghdad, was a military engagement that took place in Baghdad in early April 2003, as part of the invasion of Iraq.
The following is a timeline of major events during the Iraq War, following the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Following the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, a protracted insurgency began and lasted for the duration of the Iraq War. The initial outbreak of violence was triggered by the fall of Saddam Hussein and preceded the establishment of the new Iraqi government by the Multi-National Force – Iraq (MNF–I), which was led by the United States. From around 2004 to May 2007, Iraqi insurgents largely focused their attacks on MNF-I troops, but later shifted to targeting the post-invasion Iraqi security forces as well.
The following lists events in the year 2003 in Iraq.
The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait began on 2 August 1990 and marked the beginning of the Gulf War. After defeating the State of Kuwait on 4 August 1990, Iraq went on to militarily occupy the country for the next seven months. The invasion was condemned internationally, and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) adopted numerous resolutions urging Iraq to withdraw from Kuwaiti territory. The Iraqi military, however, continued to occupy Kuwait and defied all orders by the UNSC. After initially establishing the "Republic of Kuwait" as a puppet state, Iraq annexed the entire country on 28 August 1990; northern Kuwait became the Saddamiyat al-Mitla' District and was merged into the existing Basra Governorate, while southern Kuwait was carved out as the all-new Kuwait Governorate. By November 1990, the adoption of UNSC Resolution 678 officially issued Iraq an ultimatum to withdraw unconditionally by 15 January 1991 or else be removed by "all necessary means" from Kuwaiti territory. In anticipation of a war with Iraq, the UNSC authorized the assembly of an American-led military coalition.
The Iraqi Armed Forces are the military forces of the Republic of Iraq. They consist of the Iraqi Army, the Iraqi Air Force, and the Iraqi Navy. Along with these three primary service branches, there exists the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service and the Popular Mobilization Forces. The President of Iraq acts as the supreme commander as outlined by the constitution.
The Iraq War was a protracted armed conflict in Iraq from 2003 to 2011. It began with the invasion of Iraq by the United States-led coalition that overthrew the Ba'athist government of Saddam Hussein. The conflict continued for much of the next decade as an insurgency emerged to oppose the coalition forces and the post-invasion Iraqi government. US troops were officially withdrawn in 2011. The United States became re-involved in 2014 at the head of a new coalition, and the insurgency and many dimensions of the armed conflict are ongoing. The invasion occurred as part of the George W. Bush administration's war on terror following the September 11 attacks.
The 1991 Iraqi uprisings were ethnic and religious uprisings against Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq which were led by Shi'ites and Kurds. The uprisings lasted from March to April 1991 after a ceasefire following the end of the Gulf War. The mostly uncoordinated insurgency was fueled by the perception that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had become vulnerable to regime change. This perception of weakness was largely the result of the outcome of the Iran–Iraq War and the Gulf War, both of which occurred within a single decade and devastated the population and economy of Iraq.
The Battle of Basra lasted from 21 March to 6 April 2003 and was one of the first battles of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The British 7 Armoured Brigade fought their way into Iraq's second-largest city, Basra, on 6 April coming under constant attack by the Iraqi Army 51st Division and Fedayeen, while elements of the Parachute Regiment cleared the 'old quarter' of the city that was inaccessible to vehicles. Entering Basra had only been achieved after two weeks of conflict, which included the biggest tank battle of the war by British forces when the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards destroyed 14 Iraqi tanks on the 27 March.
The timeline of the Gulf War details the dates of the major events of the 1990–1991 war. It began with the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait on 2 August 1990 and ended with the Liberation of Kuwait by Coalition forces. Iraq subsequently agreed to the United Nations' demands on 28 February 1991. The ground war officially concluded with the signing of the armistice on 11 April 1991. However, the official end to Operation Desert Storm did not occur until sometime between 1996 - 1998. Major events in the aftermath include anti-Saddam Hussein uprisings in Iraq, massacres against the Kurds by the regime, Iraq formally recognizing the sovereignty of Kuwait in 1994, and eventually ending its cooperation with the United Nations Special Commission in 1998.
The Iraqi conflict refers to a near-continuous series of events that began with the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which led to the fall of erstwhile Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. During the Iraq War, the Multi-National Force (MNF–I) of the United States helped to establish a Shia-dominated federal government under Iraqi politician Nouri al-Maliki. Around this time, the Iraqi insurgency had emerged with a predominant focus on fighting the occupying MNF–I troops and the new Iraqi government. However, the insurgency also involved inter-Iraqi sectarian violence, primarily between Shias and Sunnis. In 2011, the MNF–I withdrew from Iraq, leading to renewed sectarian violence from 2011 to 2013. During this period, the Islamic State (IS) emerged, triggering a a renewed war and an American-led intervention in 2014. In 2017, full-scale fighting in the country came to a close after the Islamic State was defeated by the Iraqi government and its allies, but a low-level IS insurgency remains ongoing in the rural northern parts of the country.
Uday and Qusay Hussein, sons of deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, were killed during an American military operation conducted on July 22, 2003, in the city of Mosul, Iraq. The operation originally intended to apprehend them, but turned into a four-hour gun battle outside a fortified safehouse which ended with the death of the brothers, Qusay's son Mustafa, and a bodyguard, Abdul Samad al-Hadushi.