Iraq The Early Years • Socialist Baath Party takes control / Sunni minority has all the power over the Kurds and Shi’ite majority. • Guess who takes over in 1979? Saddam Hussein • 1980 – Iraq declares war on Iran (Sunni vs. Shiite) (secular govt vs. religious govt) • Iraq supported by US and its allies. • 1988 – war finally ends in a stalemate (Iraq’s economy is a mess!!) Halabja Massacre • Some Kurds in Iraq supported Iran in the war. • March 1988 – Saddam orders a chemical attack on Kurd town killing thousands. Persian Gulf War • 1990 – Saddam decides to take over Kuwait (use their oil to restore Iraq’s economy) • 1991 – UN votes for military action • Within weeks, the UN forces led by the US military had removed Iraqi forces from Kuwait. • Loss in war led to no-fly zones, UN weapons inspections and oil embargo. Saddam is still in power! • US hoped that the Iraqi people would overthrow Saddam. • Shiite Muslims tried but failed and faced the consequences!! Thousands were rounded up and killed. • 1993 – US uncovers a plot to assassinate President Bush. • 1998 – Saddam kicks out UN weapons inspectors. Pres. Clinton responds with air strikes. Invasion of Iraq • March 2003 – US led forces invade Iraq stating that Iraq was continuing to develop WMD’s • April 2003 – US forces enter Baghdad / Saddam is on the run. • US begins establishing a new democratic government. What happened to Saddam? • Dec. 2003 – Saddam captured by US forces. • Nov. 2006 – Saddam sentenced to death for crimes against the people of Iraq • Dec. 2006 – Saddam executed. What now? • Despite the creation of democracy and successful elections, there is still a growing insurgency (rebels) that looks to slow down the progress towards change. • ALSO, threat of civil war looms as Sunnis, Shi’ites and Kurds sometimes don’t cooperate.
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