Iraq History – The Fall of Ṣaddām Ḥusain

By | December 19, 2021

The fall of Ṣaddām Ḥusain

Ḥusain had managed to stay in power, also thanks to his police apparatus ready to crush all forms of internal dissent, despite the worsening of tensions that crossed the country and the growing rift (in the course of 1995 repeated attempts of coup d’état revealed growing opposition from part of the armed forces, of powerful clans traditionally close to the president and members of his own family) between the regime and minorities, taking advantage of the differences present in the international community and alternating open and sudden closing attitudes to requests for inspection of military arsenals. While a plebiscite referendum (2002) confirmed the president for another seven years, the United States, with the support of Great Britain, argued with increasing determination the need for military intervention to overthrow Ḥusain. After the deadline to complete the disarmament, in March 2003 the offensive began which in a few days led to the occupation of all Iraqi cities and the end of the Ḥusain regime (captured in December and executed in 2006).

The forces of the US-led coalition (of which he was part, after the end of the conflict, even the ‘ Italy) remained in the country, plunged into a state of anarchy and shocked by the terrorist attacks and the clash between Shiites and Sunnis. After the transfer of powers to an Iraqi provisional government (2004), the first legislative elections (2005) were the success of the Shiites and in 2006 a government was formed, chaired by the Shiite Al-Mālikī.The Kurdish J. Talabani, former provisional president, has been confirmed as President of the Republic. This took place in one of the bloodiest periods in the country’s history, in a succession of terrorist acts directed indiscriminately against government forces, coalition forces and the civilian population. The affirmation of the state structure and the attenuation of terrorist activity allowed in 2007 the progressive disengagement of some countries from the coalition; in 2008 the US and Iraqi governments agreed for the complete withdrawal of American troops from Iraq by 2011. In June 2009, all cities in the country came under the exclusive control of Iraqi forces. In March 2010, the second general elections were held, in which it obtained the relative majority of seats the Iraqi National Movement (or al-Iraqiyya, founded by former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi), but the inability to obtain a parliamentary majority did not allow this political force to form a new government, resulting in an institutional stalemate that lasted eight months and resulted in the creation of an executive led by Al-Mālikī. In the legislative elections held in April 2014, the rule of law alliance of Prime Minister Al-Mālikī obtained 24.1% of the votes, while the Aharar coalition established itself as the country’s second force. The outgoing premier, no longer supported by his majority, was forced to renounce his third mandate and was replaced by the vice-president of the Parliament H. Al-Abadi, who received from the newly elected president of the Republic, the Kurdish F. Masum, the task of forming a new government. Not reapplying for a second term, in October 2018 Al-Abadi was replaced at the helm of the country by former Shiite Arab minister AA Mahdi, appointed by the newly elected Kurdish president B. Salih. In the political elections held in May 2018, the Shiite coalition al-Sairoon – made up of secular communists, liberal democratic groups and anti-corruption activists and led by the Shiite imam M. al-Sadr – unexpectedly established itself and obtained 54 of the 328 seats in the Parliament, followed by the ultra-conservative coalition Fatah, while the country’s third political force was the Nasr coalition of outgoing premier Al-Abadi; clear success of the coalition led by al-Sadr was also registered in the elections of October 2021, which won 73 seats. The anti-government protests that occurred in the following months and severely repressed by the police, in a country exhausted by the economic crisis, plagued by unemployment and corruption and lacking essential services, forced Prime Minister Mahdi to resign his mandate in November 2019. however, not putting an end to the unrest in the streets; the following month, President Salih also resigned, then withdrew, after refusing to approve a candidate belonging to an Iranian-backed political group for the post of prime minister. In March 2020, the premier designate M. Allawi resigned from his post, while the interim prime minister Mahdi declared himself unwilling to lead a new government; in the following month he was designated to take over from him in the MA position. For Iraq history, please check

The Islamic State

The latent inter-ethnic fractures exploded in June 2014, when the radical IS movement conquered the second center of the country, Mosul, and large areas of the center-north. The consequent disintegration of the Iraqi state prompted the United States and the international community to intervene with air strikes, allowing the regular army and Shiite militias to regain part of the lost territory: starting from 2015, IS began to lose ground, remaining under his control only the area of ​​Mosul. In October 2016, the offensive by Iraqi military and Kurdish peshmerga, supported by the anti-IS coalition, began to liberate the city, most of whose western sector in March 2017 returned to the control of government forces; in June of the same year, the IS, encircled and with only control of the old city, it destroyed the mosque of Mūr ad-dīn, the symbol of the Caliphate, which a few days later was reconquered by the Iraqi army along with about half of the medieval sector of the city. In July 2017, after nine months of fighting, Mosul was liberated, and in the following December, President Al-Abadi announced the country’s final victory over the terrorist organization.

Iraq History - The Fall of Ṣaddām Ḥusain