The fall of Saddam Hussein

The build-up to war

Draft resolution (the "war resolution")
Presented by the US, Britain and Spain to the UN Security Council, 7 March 2003

Report by Hans Blix (1) 
"An update on inspection"- delivered by the executive chairman of Unmovic to the UN Security Council, 27 January 2003

Report by Hans Blix (2)
Delivered by the executive chairman of Unmovic to the UN Security Council, 14 February 2003

Report by Hans Blix (3)
Delivered by the executive chairman of Unmovic to the UN Security Council, 7 March 2003

Statement by Colin Powell 
UN Security Council, 5 February 2003

British dossier on Iraq (1)
Assessment by the British government on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. 
Issued 24 September 2002

British dossier on Iraq (2)
"Saddam Hussein: Crimes & Human Rights Abuses". PDF file, issued 2 December 2002. Also available in Arabic as PDF file andWord file.

British dossier on Iraq (3) – "The Dodgy Dossier"
"Concealment, deception and intimidation" in relation to weapons inspections. Issued 3 February 2003. Although allegedly based on "intelligence material", large parts of this document were later found to have been plagiarised from academic sources.

Security Council resolution 1441 
8 November 2002. On the return of weapons inspectors to Iraq. See also earlier US draft.

Iraq accepts Security Council resolution 1441 
Letter from foreign minister to UN Secretary-General, 13 November 2002 (full text)

The transition to democracy in Iraq 
Final version of the working document of the Conference of the Iraqi Opposition as amended by the members of the Democratic Principles Work Group, November 2002

President Bush: speech in Cincinatti, Ohio
Described by the White House as "a comprehensive assessment of the threat Saddam Hussein's regime poses to the security of the United States and the World and our commitment to confront it". 7 October, 2002

Naji Sabri: letter to United Nations
Iraq accepts weapons inspections "without conditions". 16 September, 2002

President Bush: speech to UN General Assembly
12 September, 2002 (full text)

Tony Blair on Iraq 
Full transcript of press conference by the British prime minister, 4 September, 2002

Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 
Enacted under the presidency of Bill Clinton, this made removal of Saddam Hussein's regime official US policy. See Wikipedia for more information.

UN sanctions and the Oil-for-Food Programme 

Iraqi opposition to Saddam 

A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm 
A 1996 report for Binyamin Netanyahu's government in Israel which advocated the removal of Saddam Hussein as a first step towards reshaping Israel's "strategic environment". It was produced by Richard Perle, James Colbert, Charles Fairbanks Jr, Douglas Feith, Robert Loewenberg, David Wurmser, and Meyrav Wurmser – several of whom later influenced US policy on war with Iraq. See also: Playing skittles with Saddam (Brian Whitaker, Guardian website, 3 September 2002).

The war

Timeline: day by day
A daily guide to the main events, with a history of the run-up to the war in the Gulf (The Guardian)

The war hour by hour
Events  as they unfolded: March 20 | March 21 | March 22 | March 23 | March 24 | March 25 | March 26 | March 27 | March 28 |March 29 | March 30 | March 31 | April 1 | April 2 | April 3 | April 4 | April 5 | April 6 | April 7 | April 8 | April 9 | April 10 | April 11 |April 12 | April 13 | April 14

Iraq war diary, 2003 
A day-by-day commentary by Brian Whitaker, originally published on the Guardian website.

Dear Raed  
Diary of Salam Pax (the "Baghdad blogger"). A revealing and witty account of a young Iraqi's life during the last months of Saddam Hussein's regime. See also interview with Salam (The Guardian, 30 May, 2003) and How I became the Baghdad blogger(The Guardian, 9 September, 2003).

Forces in the Gulf 
US and other deployments, February 1998 (Washington Post). Also details of weaponry

Cruise missiles
Facts and figures (Washington Post)

Casualties during the invasion

The following table is based on figures issued by Reuters news agency on 29 April, 2003:

United States

  Killed Injured
Combat 114 497
Non-combat 24 66
Total 138 563

United Kingdom

  Killed Injured
Combat 8 74
Non-combat 24 0
Total  32 74


  Killed Injured
Military 2,320 ?
Civilian 1,279 5,227
Total  3,599 5,227+


  • "Non-combat" refers to accidents, so-called friendly fire, or other casualties unrelated to actual fighting.
  • Iraqi civilian casualties were minimum Iraqi estimates up to April 3, plus confirmed sourced incidents, including an anti-American protest in Falluja on April 28.
  • A website run by academics and peace activists ( put Iraq's civilian deaths at between 2,050 and 2,514, based on incidents reported by at least two media sources.
  • Iraqi military deaths weare US estimates relating only to fighting in or near Baghdad. No other figures available.
  • The British non-combat total included one death by natural causes, plus an officer who died from injuries three weeks after his armoured vehicle overturned.


The "Saddam tapes" 
Text of messages from the former Iraqi leader

Security Council resolution 1483 
On the lifting of sanctions, 22 May 2003

"Most-wanted" list
Names of the 55 "most-wanted" officials in Saddam Hussein's regime, and those who have been arrested.

Deck of cards 
Playing cards issued by the US Defense Department showing faces of the "most-wanted" officials.

The Iraq war and archaeology 
Impact on archaeological and historical sites, monuments and artefacts. 

Baghdad Museum Project  
Campaign for the recovery, restitution, and protection of Iraq's cultural heritage.

The Law of Belligerent Occupation  
Michael Schmitt (Crimes of War Project, 17 April 2003). "It is important to understand that occupation does not imply an assumption of sovereignty over the territory."

The media and the war

The unseen war: how the media failed  
An excellent but alarming overview by Michael Massing ( New York Review of Books, 19 May 2003)

Permission to fire
Investigative report about the attack on the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad by US forces, which killed two journalists and wounded three others. (Committee to Protect Journalists, 27 May 2003)

Journalists in Danger in Iraq 
A series of reports by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Media coverage of the Iraq war 
A selection of items from US National Public Radio

CNN’s Iraq coverage before the war 
Discussion by Terence Smith ( - 15 April 2003)

How the Arab media covered the war 
Terence Smith ( - 6 April 2003)

"Embedded" journalists 
An assessment by Terence Smith ( - 1 April 2003)