Iraq War 2003-2011

[ 2003 - 2011 ]

The Iraq War is a protracted armed conflict that began with the 2003 invasion of Iraq led by the United States. The invasion toppled the government of Saddam Hussein. The conflict, however, continued for much of the next decade as an insurgency emerged to oppose the occupying forces and the post-invasion Iraqi government. The United States officially withdrew from the country in 2011, but the insurgency and various dimensions of the civil armed conflict continue.

The invasion began on 20 March 2003. The U.S., joined by the United Kingdom and several coalition allies, launched a "shock and awe" surprise attack without declaring war. Iraqi forces were quickly overwhelmed as U.S. forces swept through the country. The invasion led to the collapse of the Ba'athist government; Saddam was captured in December 2003 and executed by a military court three years later. However, the power vacuum following Saddam's demise and the mismanagement of the occupation led to widespread sectarian violence between Shias and Sunnis as well as a lengthy insurgency against U.S. and coalition forces. The United States responded with a troop surge in 2007; the heavy American security presence and deals made between the occupying forces and Sunni militias reduced the level of violence. The U.S. began withdrawing its troops in the winter of 2007-2008. The winding down of U.S. involvement in Iraq accelerated under President Barack Obama. The U.S. formally withdrew all combat troops from Iraq by December 2011.

The Bush Administration based its rationale for war principally on the assertion that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and that Saddam's government posed an immediate threat to the United States and its coalition allies. Select U.S. officials accused Saddam of harboring and supporting al-Qaeda, while others cited the desire to end a repressive dictatorship and bring democracy to the people of Iraq. After the invasion, no substantial evidence was found to verify the initial claims about WMDs. The rationale and misrepresentation of pre-war intelligence faced heavy criticism within the U.S. and internationally.

As a result of the war, Iraq held multi-party elections in 2005. Nouri al-Maliki became Prime Minister in 2006 and remained in office until 2014. The Maliki government enacted policies that was widely seen as having the effect of alienating the country's Sunni minority, which worsened sectarian tensions. In the summer of 2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) launched a military offensive in Northern Iraq and declared a worldwide Islamic caliphate, eliciting another military response from the United States and its allies. The Iraq War caused hundreds of thousands of civilian and military casualties (see estimates below). The majority of casualties occurred as a result of the insurgency and civil conflicts between 2004 and 2007.

Total Casualties 177391 Killed and Wounded
Casualties Killed 59430 / Wounded
Military Casualties Killed 59430 /Wounded 117961
Civilian Casualties Killed / Wounded
Belligerents Initiation Date Termination Date
United States of America and Ba'athist Iraq 2003 / 3 / 20 2011 / 12 / 18 View
Iraqi Armed Forces and Islamic State of Iraq 2003 2011 View
Iraqi Kurdistan and Islamic Army in Iraq (IAI) 2003 2011 View
Peshmerga and Ba'athist Iraq 2003 2011 View
Multi-National Force – Iraq and Special Groups (Iraq) 2003 2011 View
United States of America and Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq 2003 2011 View
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) and Ba'athist Iraq 2003 2011 View
Australia and Ba'athist Iraq 2003 2011 View
Poland and Ba'athist Iraq 2003 2011 View
Peshmerga and Mahdi Army 2003 2011 View
United States of America and Army of the Men of the Naqshbandi Order 2003 2011 View
Multi-National Force – Iraq and Supreme Command for Jihad and Liberation 2003 2011 View
Weapon Name Weapon Class Weapon Class Type
Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle Vehicle Armoured Fighting Vehicle
T-72 Vehicle Armoured Fighting Vehicle
BMP-2 Vehicle Infantry Combat Vehicle
Lion of Babylon Vehicle Armoured Fighting Vehicle
M113 Vehicle Armoured Fighting Vehicle
B1 Centauro Vehicle Armoured Fighting Vehicle
Dardo IFV Vehicle Armoured Fighting Vehicle
BTR-60 Vehicle Armoured Fighting Vehicle
Challenger 2 Vehicle Armoured Fighting Vehicle
M1 Abrams Vehicle Armoured Fighting Vehicle
M2 Bradley Vehicle Infantry Combat Vehicle
Assault Amphibious Vehicle Vehicle Armoured Fighting Vehicle
M1117 Armored Security Vehicle Vehicle Armoured Fighting Vehicle
M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System Vehicle Self-Propelled artillery
ZSU-23-4 Vehicle Self-Propelled artillery
Cougar (vehicle) Vehicle Infantry Combat Vehicle
L118 light gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
M102 howitzer Vehicle Towed Artillery
AZP S-60 Vehicle Towed Artillery
4.5 inch Mark 8 naval gun Vehicle Towed Artillery
U-5TS Vehicle Towed Artillery
AGM-84H/K SLAM-ER Missile Air to Surface
9M14 Malyutka Missile Air to Surface
Daewoo Precision Industries K2 Manportable Rifles
Heckler & Koch G36 Manportable Rifles
Dragunov sniper rifle Manportable Rifles
M61 Vulcan Manportable Machine Guns
Zastava M70 Manportable Rifles
Daewoo Precision Industries K1 Manportable Machine Guns
FB Wanad Manportable Handguns
FB PM-63 Manportable Machine Guns
RPD Manportable Machine Guns
Accuracy International-AWM Manportable Rifles
NSV machine gun Manportable Machine Guns
FN MAG Manportable Machine Guns
M60 machine gun Manportable Machine Guns
M240 machine gun Manportable Machine Guns
PK machine gun Manportable Machine Guns
RPK Manportable Machine Guns
M249 light machine gun Manportable Machine Guns
Sumitomo Type 62 Manportable Machine Guns
Zastava M84 Manportable Machine Guns
Benelli M4 Super 90 Manportable Rifles
M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System Manportable Rifles
M39 Enhanced Marksman Rifle Manportable Rifles
PSL (rifle) Manportable Rifles
Tabuk Sniper Rifle Manportable Rifles
United States Marine Corps Designated Marksman Rifle Manportable Rifles
United States Marine Corps Squad Advanced Marksman Rifle Manportable Rifles
Mauser Karabiner 98k Manportable Rifles
OKC-3S bayonet Manportable Knives
Ka-Bar Manportable Knives
Daewoo Precision Industries K4 Manportable Rocket Launcher
Type 69 RPG Manportable Rocket Launcher
PG-7VR Manportable Rocket Launcher
RPG-76 Komar Manportable Rocket Launcher
RPG-29 Manportable Rocket Launcher
M18 Claymore mine Manportable Mines

Related Conflicts

No Releted Conflicts