World At War part 2: The Iraq conflict

Welcome to part 2 of The World At War series. We will review the first angel released at the River Euphrates- Iraq and how the events that took place paved the way for World War 3.

We will reveal how the nation once known as Babylon came to be plagued by such unrest and civil war. The rise of ISIS will also be explained.

If you haven’t read the first part here’s the link. Click here:

The World at war part 1: Wars and rumours of wars

 

shutterstock_59861155
Shutterstock images/ Iraq map

Iraq

1980-1988 Ba’athist Iraq was at war with Post-revolutionary Iran.

The USA’s support for Iraq involved:

  • Billions of dollars of economic aid
  • The sale of dual-use technology
  • Non-US originated weaponry
  • Military intelligence
  • Special operations training, but no direct supply of arms.

1988 The northern town of Halabja, Iraq had a population of 40,000 people- Saddam Hussein’s forces were responsible for poisoning 5000 Iraqi Kurdish civilians to death! Many were women and children.

The motive behind this attack was revenge against the ethnic Kurdish fighters who took Iran’s side in the final eight months of the Iran- Iraq war.

1990 Iraq accused Kuwait of slant drilling and petrol theft. Subsequently, Iraq occupied Kuwait for seven months and was given a deadline by the United Nations to retreat.

The UN authorised a US-led coalition to remove Iraq from Kuwait because Iraq failed to meet their deadline.

1991 Eventually The UN expelled Iraq was from Kuwait with the help of US-led coalition forces during the Gulf war. They had to;

  • Scrap all weapons of mass destruction including long-range missiles
  • To permit verified inspections from the UN Security Council.

In January 1991, Iraqi forces caused a conflagration when they ignited more than 600 oil wells in Kuwait! The first well fires had extinguished in April, and the last of them capped on November 6th.

Optimists predicted the wildfires would take two years to extinguish; pessimists predicted it could take up to five years. Miraculously, it was mission accomplished within six months!

2003 During the previous 12 years Iraq wasn’t complying with the demands of the UNSC. A scheduled inspection was due to take place, but Iraq did not cooperate. Subsequently, a coalition of forces led by the US went to war with Iraq for the second time.

Meanwhile, Iraq militant groups were forming; Jama’at al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (Sunni) and The Mahdi army created by Muqtada al-Sadr (Shia).

2004 Sunni and Shia militia forces were fighting against the new Iraqi Interim Government, coalition forces and each other.

In October 2004, The Sunni militia Jama’at al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad became Al-Qaeda in Iraq. They targeted coalition forces, militant Shia groups and innocent civilians who were mostly Shia Muslims.

 

ISIS
Shutterstock images/ ISIS

2006 Saddam Hussein was captured by coalition forces and hung on 30th December at Camp Justice in Kadhimiya, North East Iraq. Earlier the same year Al Qaeda Iraq ceased to exist, and the Islamic State of Iraq came to the surface.

2007 US forces started to withdraw from Iraq despite the formation of Islamic State

2011 US troops had withdrawn by 31st December, which was the deadline according to the US- Iraq Status of Forces Agreement George W Bush signed.

2014 Civil war erupted, and US forces were re-instated and deployed once again. As the unrest continued and civil war broke out in Syria, Islamic State of Iraq became Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

In the next part of the series, we will reveal the second angel released- Syria.

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