Iraq entered a phase of pronounced instability following the attack unleashed against him by an international coalition led by the United States on March 20, 2003. Officially justified on the basis of the controversial doctrine of preventive war with reference to the need to deprive the regime of Ṣaddām Ḥusayn of the arsenal of chemical weapons it allegedly possessed, it is believed that Operation Iraqi Freedom also served to induce Saudi Arabia to cooperate more effectively in the fight against jihadist terrorism. In any case, the occupation of the Iraq following its military defeat, it gave rise to the first experiment of democratic transformation imposed from outside on a large country in the Middle East. The attempt was only partially successful.
The activity of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA)), placed under the direction of the US Ambassador Paul Bremer III, was strongly affected by the effects of the looting of the ministries, assaulted by the crowd after the fall of Baghdād. The intransigent policy of expulsion of al-Ba῾t party members pursued by the CPA also contributed to the disorder, widening the area of internal dissent and placing at the disposal of the sectarian militias in the process of organizing significant human resources, particularly in following the order to disband the armed forces. The establishment of the Mahdī army dates back to 2003, led by the Shiite cleric Muqtadā al-Ṣadr, particularly strong in Iraq south-central and in some districts of the capital. The SCIRI (Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq), the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in ῾Iraq, led by ῾Abd al-῾Aziz al-Ḥakim and with pro-Iranian orientations.
In 2005, a new political system finally took shape, thanks to the elections for the Constituent Assembly in January, the launch of the Constitution in the following October and the vote for the first Parliament in December. The United Iraqi Alliance – a Shiite grouping made up of the SCIRI (later renamed ISCI, Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq) and the Da῾wa, or Party of Call – quickly established itself as the country’s largest political force. Nūrī al-Mālīkī, prime minister from 2006 to 2014, also came from the latter’s ranks. Replicating a tripartite model applied in Lebanon, the presidency of the Republic was attributed to a Kurdish exponent – Ğalāl Ṭālabānī until 24 July 2014, then Fū᾿ād Ma῾ṣūm – while the less incisive leadership of Parliament was reserved for the Sunnis.
To the insurrection against the allied contingent in ῾I. – triggered by a hodgepodge of very composite forces and without any connection between them, of both Sunni and jihadist and Shiite affiliation – a real civil war began in 2006, which was triggered by some attacks, such as the one at the Sāmarrā᾿ mosque, carried out by groups linked to al-Qā῾ida and led by Abū Muṣ῾ab al-Zarqāwī. For Iraq 2005, please check ehealthfacts.org.
A bloody campaign of sectarian cleansing ensued, with very high peaks of violence in the areas where Shiites and Sunnis coexisted. The troops of the international coalition reacted to the intensification of the clashes, supporting the attempt of the central Iraqi government to establish its control over the country with an approach initially of a ‘kinetic’ type, that is, based on the use of armed force and firepower, of The best known example is the battles fought for al-Fallūja. Due to its obvious failure, this strategy was nevertheless subjected to a major revision, with the contribution of internal and external resources to the US administration, then led by George W. Bush. Meanwhile, Ṣaddām Ḥusayn was being tried and executed on December 30, 2006.
On January 10, 2007, the US president opted for the surge, a temporary increase in the forces operating in ῾I., Entrusting the direction of stabilization operations a month later to General David H. Petraeus, advocate of a counter-insurgency doctrine that was centered on the primacy accorded to the protection of local civilians rather than the physical destruction of the enemy. The new strategy, after an initial deterioration of the situation, progressively reduced the violence also thanks to the informal agreements made with the al-Anbār tribes, from whose ranks many jihadist elements came, allowing the United States to prepare its military withdrawal from ‘ Iraq. An agreement between the US and Iraqi governments, signed in November 2008, therefore set for the following 30 June the withdrawal of the US military from the major cities and their definitive exit from the country by 31 December 2011. This timing was respected, without however the Iraq could be considered stabilized (fig. 2).
Only marginally touched by the Arab springs, the Iraq it was further destabilized by the civil war that broke out in neighboring Syria, a conflict that led to the affirmation of the IS (see) over large portions of its territory, united in a caliphate officially proclaimed on June 24, 2014. The need to defend regional balances and the Iraqi institutions determined a new international military intervention and the alternation of Prime Minister al Mālīkī, who resigned on 14 August 2014 to make way for Ḥaydar al-῾Abādī, in office from 9 September following. Not even the new government that took office in Baghdād, however, was able to re-establish its full sovereignty over the entire Iraqi territory, which had partly remained under IS control. During 2015,