The Iraq War was an armed conflict in Iraq that
consisted of two phases. The first was an invasion of Ba'athist Iraq by the United
States and the United Kingdom, starting on 20 March 2003. It was followed
by a longer phase of fighting, in which an insurgency emerged to oppose Coalition forces
and the newly formed Iraqi government. The war officially ended on 18 December 2011,
when the U.S. completed its withdrawal of military personnel, though sectarian
violence continues and has caused thousands of fatalities.
Prior to the war, the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom claimed that
Iraq's alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) posed a threat to their
security and that of their coalition/regional allies. In 2002, the United
Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1441 which called for Iraq to completely
cooperate with UN weapon inspectors to verify that Iraq was not in possession of WMD and
cruise missiles. Prior to the attack, the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and
Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) found no evidence of WMD, but could not yet verify the
accuracy of Iraq's declarations regarding what weapons it possessed, as their work was
still unfinished. The leader of the inspectors Hans Blix estimated the time remaining for
disarmament being verified through inspections to be
After investigation following the invasion, the U.S.-led Iraq Survey Group concluded that
Iraq had ended its nuclear, chemical and biological programs in 1991 and had no active
programs at the time of the invasion, but that they intended to resume production if the
Iraq sanctions were lifted. Although some degraded remnants of misplaced or abandoned
chemical weapons from before 1991 were found, they were not the weapons which had been one
of the main arguments for the invasion.
Some U.S. officials also accused Iraqi President Saddam Hussein of harboring and
supporting al-Qaeda, but no evidence of a meaningful connection was ever
found. Other proclaimed reasons for the invasion included Iraq's financial support
for the families of Palestinian suicide bombers, Iraqi government human rights
abuses, and an effort to spread democracy to the country.
On 16 March 2003, the U.S. government advised the U.N. inspectors to leave their
unfinished work and exit from Iraq. On 20 March the U.S.-led coalition conducted a
surprise military invasion of Iraq without declaring war. The invasion led to an
occupation and the eventual capture of President Hussein, who was later tried in an Iraqi
court of law and executed by the new Iraqi government. Violence against coalition forces
and among various sectarian groups soon led to the Iraqi insurgency, strife between many
Sunni and Shia Iraqi groups, and the emergence of a new faction of Al-Qaeda in
In June 2008, U.S. Department of Defense officials claimed security and economic
indicators began to show signs of improvement in what they hailed as significant and
fragile gains. Iraq was fifth on the 2008 Failed States Index, and sixth on the
2009 list. As public opinion favoring troop withdrawals increased and as Iraqi forces
began to take responsibility for security, member nations of the Coalition withdrew their
forces. In late 2008, the U.S. and Iraqi governments approved a Status of Forces
Agreement effective through 1 January 2012. The Iraqi Parliament also ratified a
Strategic Framework Agreement with the U.S., aimed at ensuring cooperation in
constitutional rights, threat deterrence, education, energy development, and other
In late February 2009, newly elected U.S. President Barack Obama announced an 18-month
withdrawal window for combat forces, with approximately 50,000 troops remaining in the
country "to advise and train Iraqi security forces and to provide intelligence and
surveillance". UK forces ended combat operations on 30 April 2009. Iraqi
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said he supported the accelerated pullout of U.S.
forces. In a speech at the Oval Office on 31 August 2010 Obama declared "the
American combat mission in Iraq has ended. Operation Iraqi Freedom is over, and the Iraqi
people now have lead responsibility for the security of their country."
Beginning 1 September 2010, the American operational name for its involvement in Iraq
changed from "Operation Iraqi Freedom" to "Operation New Dawn". The
remaining 50,000 U.S. troops were designated as "advise and assist brigades"
assigned to non-combat operations while retaining the ability to revert to combat
operations as necessary. Two combat aviation brigades also remain in Iraq. In
September 2010, the Associated Press issued an internal memo reminding its reporters that
"combat in Iraq is not over", and "U.S. troops remain involved in combat
operations alongside Iraqi forces, although U.S. officials say the American combat mission
has formally ended".
On 21 October 2011, President Obama announced that all U.S. troops and trainers would
leave Iraq by the end of the year, bringing the U.S. mission in Iraq to an end. On 15
December 2011, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta officially declared the Iraq War over,
at a flag lowering ceremony in Baghdad. The last U.S. troops left Iraqi territory on
18 December 2011 at 4:27 UTC.
The Iraq War is also known as the War in Iraq, the Occupation of Iraq, and the Second Gulf
War (Gulf War II). It was referred to as Operation Iraqi Freedom by the United States
military, from 2003 to 2010.
Main articles: 2003 invasion of Iraq, 2003 in Iraq, 2003 Iraq war timeline, and List of
people associated with the 2003 invasion of Iraq
See also: Coalition military operations of the Iraq War and Iraq War order of battle
Map of the invasion routes and major operations/battles of the Iraq War as of 2007.
M1 Abrams tank fires its 120mm cannon at Iraqi forces during fighting in Al-Faw peninsula
near Umm Qasr, 23 March 2003.
Destroyed remains of Iraqi Tanks near Al Qadisiyah, Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The first Central Intelligence Agency invasion team entered Iraq on 10 July 2002.
This team was composed of members of the CIA's Special Activities Division and was later
joined by members of the U.S. military's elite Joint Special Operations Command
(JSOC). Together, they prepared for the invasion of conventional forces. These
efforts consisted of persuading the commanders of several Iraqi military divisions to
surrender rather than oppose the invasion, and to identify all of the initial leadership
targets during very high risk reconnaissance missions.
Most importantly, their efforts organized the Kurdish Peshmerga to become the northern
front of the invasion. Together this force defeated Ansar al-Islam in Iraqi Kurdistan
before the invasion and then defeated the Iraqi army in the north. The battle
against Ansar al-Islam led to the death of a substantial number of militants and the
uncovering of a chemical weapons facility at Sargat.]
At 5:34 a.m. Baghdad time on 20 March 2003 (9:34 p.m., 19 March EST) the surprise
military invasion of Iraq began. There was no declaration of war. The 2003
invasion of Iraq, led by U.S. army General Tommy Franks, began under the codename
"Operation Iraqi Liberation", later renamed "Operation Iraqi
Freedom", the UK codename Operation Telic, and the Australian codename Operation
Falconer. Coalition forces also cooperated with Kurdish Peshmerga forces in the north.
Approximately forty other governments, the "U.S.-led coalition against Iraq,"
participated by providing troops, equipment, services, security, and special forces, with
248,000 soldiers from the United States, 45,000 British soldiers, 2,000 Australian
soldiers and 194 Polish soldiers from Special Forces unit GROM sent to Kuwait for the
invasion. The invasion force was also supported by Iraqi Kurdish militia troops,
estimated to number upwards of 70,000.
According to General Tommy Franks, the objectives of the invasion were, "First, end
the regime of Saddam Hussein. Second, to identify, isolate and eliminate Iraqs
weapons of mass destruction. Third, to search for, to capture and to drive out terrorists
from that country. Fourth, to collect such intelligence as we can related to terrorist
networks. Fifth, to collect such intelligence as we can related to the global network of
illicit weapons of mass destruction. Sixth, to end sanctions and to immediately deliver
humanitarian support to the displaced and to many needy Iraqi citizens. Seventh, to secure
Iraqs oil fields and resources, which belong to the Iraqi people. And last, to help
the Iraqi people create conditions for a transition to a representative
The invasion was a quick and decisive operation encountering major resistance, though not
what the U.S., British and other forces expected. The Iraqi regime had prepared to fight
both a conventional and irregular war at the same time, conceding territory when faced
with superior conventional forces, largely armored, but launching smaller scale attacks in
the rear using fighters dressed in civilian and paramilitary clothes. This achieved some
temporary successes and created unexpected challenges for the invading forces, especially
the U.S. military.
Coalition troops launched air and amphibious assault on the Al-Faw peninsula to secure the
oil fields there and the important ports, supported by warships of the Royal Navy, Polish
Navy, and Royal Australian Navy. The United States Marine Corps' 15th Marine Expeditionary
Unit, attached to 3 Commando Brigade and the Polish Special Forces unit GROM attacked the
port of Umm Qasr, while the British Army's 16 Air Assault Brigade secured the oil fields
in southern Iraq. Polish commandos captured offshore oil platforms near the port,
preventing their destruction.
photograph of three Marines entering a partially destroyed stone palace with a mural of
U.S. Marines from 1st Battalion 7th Marines enter a palace during the Fall of Baghdad.
A Marine Corps M1 Abrams tank patrols a Baghdad street after its fall in 2003 during
Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The heavy armor of the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division moved westward and then northward
through the western desert toward Baghdad, while the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force moved
more easterly along Highway 1 through the center of the country, and 1 (UK) Armoured
Division moved northward through the eastern marshland. The U.S. 1st Marine Division
fought through Nasiriyah in a battle to seize the major road junction and nearby Talil
Airfield. The United States Army 3rd Infantry Division defeated Iraqi forces entrenched in
and around the airfield and bypassed the city to the west in its drive up north through
With the Nasiriyah and Talil Airfields secured in its rear, the 3rd Infantry Division
supported by 101st Airborne Division continued its attack north toward Najaf and Karbala,
but a severe sand storm slowed the coalition advance and there was a halt to consolidate
and make sure the supply lines were secure. When they started again they secured the
Karbala Gap, a key approach to Baghdad, then secured the bridges over the Euphrates River,
and the American forces poured through the gap on to Baghdad. In the middle of Iraq, the
1st Marine Division fought its way to the eastern side of Baghdad, and prepared for the
attack into Badhdad to seize it.
In the north, OIF-1 used the largest special operations force since the successful attack
on the Taliban government of Afghanistan just over a year earlier. The Iraqi army was
quickly overwhelmed in each engagement it faced with U.S. forces, with the elite Fedayeen
Saddam putting up strong, sometimes suicidal, resistance before melting away into the
On 9 April Baghdad fell, ending President Hussein's 24-year rule. U.S. forces seized the
deserted Ba'ath Party ministries and stage-managed the tearing down of a huge iron
statue of Hussein, photos and video of which became symbolic of the event, although later
controversial. Not seen in the photos or heard on the videos, shot with a zoom lens, was
the chant of the inflamed crowd for Muqtada al-Sadr, the radical Shiite cleric. In
November 2008, Iraqi protesters staged a similar stomping on and burning of an effigy of
George W. Bush. The abrupt fall of Baghdad was accompanied by a widespread outpouring
of gratitude toward the invaders, but also massive civil disorder, including the looting
of public and government buildings and drastically increased crime.
According to the Pentagon, 250,000 short tons (230,000 t) (of 650,000 short tons (590,000
t) total) of ordnance was looted, providing a significant source of ammunition for the
Iraqi insurgency. The invasion phase concluded when Tikrit, Hussein's home town, fell with
little resistance to the U.S. Marines of Task Force Tripoli and on 15 April the coalition
declared the invasion effectively over.
In the invasion phase of the war (19 March-April 30), 9,200 Iraqi combatants were killed
along with 7,299 civilians, primarily by U.S. air and ground forces. Coalition forces
reported the death in combat of 139 U.S. military personnel and 33 UK military
2004: Insurgency expands
Main article: 2004 in Iraq
See also: Military operations of the Iraq War for a list of all Coalition operations for
this period, 2004 in Iraq, Iraqi coalition counter-insurgency operations, History of Iraqi
insurgency, United States occupation of Fallujah, Iraq Spring Fighting of 2004
Footage from the gun camera of a U.S. Apache helicopter killing Iraqi Insurgents.
Coalition Provisional Authority director L. Paul Bremer signs over sovereignty to the
appointed Iraqi Interim Government, 28 June 2004.
The start of 2004 was marked by a relative lull in violence. Insurgent forces reorganised
during this time, studying the multinational forces' tactics and planning a renewed
offensive. However, violence did increase during the Iraq Spring Fighting of 2004 with
foreign fighters from around the Middle East as well as al-Qaeda in Iraq (an affiliated
al-Qaeda group), led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi helping to drive the insurgency.
As the insurgency grew there was a distinct change in targeting from the coalition forces
towards the new Iraqi Security Forces, as hundreds of Iraqi civilians and police were
killed over the next few months in a series of massive bombings. An organized Sunni
insurgency, with deep roots and both nationalist and Islamist motivations, was becoming
more powerful throughout Iraq. The Shia Mahdi Army also began launching attacks on
coalition targets in an attempt to seize control from Iraqi security forces. The southern
and central portions of Iraq were beginning to erupt in urban guerrilla combat as
multinational forces attempted to keep control and prepared for a counteroffensive.
The most serious fighting of the war so far began on 31 March 2004, when Iraqi insurgents
in Fallujah ambushed a Blackwater USA convoy led by four U.S. private military contractors
who were providing security for food caterers Eurest Support Services. The four armed
contractors, Scott Helvenston, Jerko Zovko, Wesley Batalona, and Michael Teague, were
killed with grenades and small arms fire. Subsequently, their bodies were dragged from
their vehicles by local people, beaten, set ablaze, and their burned corpses hung over a
bridge crossing the Euphrates. Photos of the event were released to news agencies
worldwide, causing a great deal of indignation and moral outrage in the United States, and
prompting an unsuccessful "pacification" of the city: the First Battle of
Fallujah in April 2004.
US Marines fight in the city of Fallujah during Operation Phantom Fury/Operation Al Fajr
(New Dawn) in November 2004.
The offensive was resumed in November 2004 in the bloodiest battle of the war so far: the
Second Battle of Fallujah, described by the U.S. military as "the heaviest urban
combat (that they had been involved in) since the battle of Hue City in
Vietnam." During the assault, U.S. forces used white phosphorus as an incendiary
weapon against insurgent personnel, attracting controversy. The 46-day battle resulted in
a victory for the coalition, with 95 U.S. soldiers killed along with approximately 1,350
insurgents. Fallujah was totally devastated during the fighting, though civilian
casualties were low, as they had mostly fled before the battle.
Another major event of that year was the revelation of widespread prisoner abuse at Abu
Ghraib which received international media attention in April 2004. First reports of the
Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse, as well as graphic pictures showing U.S. military personnel
taunting and abusing Iraqi prisoners, came to public attention from a 60 Minutes II news
report (28 April) and a Seymour M. Hersh article in The New Yorker (posted online on 30
April.) Military correspondent Thomas Ricks claimed that these revelations dealt a
blow to the moral justifications for the occupation in the eyes of many people, especially
Iraqis, and was a turning point in the war.
2004 also marked the beginning of Military Transition Teams in Iraq, which were teams of
U.S. military advisors assigned directly to New Iraqi Army units.
2007: U.S. troops surge
Further information: 2007 in Iraq, Iraq War troop surge of 2007, Timeline of the Iraq War
troop surge of 2007, and Strategic reset
In a 10 January 2007, televised address to the U.S. public, Bush proposed 21,500 more
troops for Iraq, a job program for Iraqis, more reconstruction proposals, and $1.2 billion
for these programs. On 23 January 2007, in the 2007 State of the Union Address, Bush
announced "deploying reinforcements of more than 20,000 additional soldiers and
Marines to Iraq".
President George W. Bush visiting US troops in Iraq, September 2007.
On 10 February 2007, David Petraeus was made commander of Multi-National Force Iraq
(MNF-I), the four-star post that oversees all coalition forces in country, replacing
General George Casey. In his new position, Petraeus oversaw all coalition forces in Iraq
and employed them in the new "Surge" strategy outlined by the Bush
administration. 2007 also saw a sharp increase in insurgent chlorine bombings.
On 10 May 2007, 144 Iraqi Parliamentary lawmakers signed onto a legislative petition
calling on the United States to set a timetable for withdrawal. On 3 June 2007, the
Iraqi Parliament voted 85 to 59 to require the Iraqi government to consult with Parliament
before requesting additional extensions of the UN Security Council Mandate for Coalition
operations in Iraq. Despite this, the mandate was renewed on 18 December 2007,
without the approval of the Iraqi parliament.
Pressures on U.S. troops were compounded by the continuing withdrawal of coalition forces.
In early 2007, British Prime Minister Blair announced that following Operation Sinbad
British troops would begin to withdraw from Basra Governorate, handing security over to
the Iraqis. In July Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen also announced the
withdrawal of 441 Danish troops from Iraq, leaving only a unit of nine soldiers manning
four observational helicopters.
2010: U.S. drawdown and Operation New Dawn
Further information: 2010 in Iraq and Withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq
On 17 February 2010, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced that as of 1
September, the name "Operation Iraqi Freedom" would be replaced by
"Operation New Dawn".
On 18 April, US and Iraqi forces killed Abu Ayyub al-Masri the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq
in a joint American and Iraqi operation near Tikrit, Iraq. The coalition forces
believed al-Masri to be wearing a suicide vest and proceeded cautiously. After the lengthy
exchange of fire and bombing of the house, the Iraqi troops stormed inside and found two
women still alive, one of whom was al-Masri's wife, and four dead men, identified as
al-Masri, Abu Abdullah al-Rashid al-Baghdadi, an assistant to al-Masri, and al-Baghdadi's
son. A suicide vest was indeed found found on al-Masri's corpse, as the Iraqi Army
subsequently stated. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced the killings of
Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayyub al-Masri at a news conference in Baghdad and showed
reporters photographs of their bloody corpses. "The attack was carried out by ground
forces which surrounded the house, and also through the use of missiles," Mr Maliki
said. "During the operation computers were seized with e-mails and messages to the
two biggest terrorists, Osama bin Laden and [his deputy] Ayman al-Zawahiri", Maliki
added. U.S. forces commander Gen. Raymond Odierno praised the operation. "The death
of these terrorists is potentially the most significant blow to al-Qaeda in Iraq since the
beginning of the insurgency", he said. "There is still work to do but this is a
significant step forward in ridding Iraq of terrorists."
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden stated that the deaths of the top two al-Qaeda figures in
Iraq are "potentially devastating" blows to the terror network there and proof
that Iraqi security forces are gaining ground.
On 20 June, Iraq's Central Bank was bombed in an attack that left 15 people dead and
brought much of downtown Baghdad to a standstill. The attack was claimed to have been
carried out by the Islamic State of Iraq. This attack was followed by another attack on
Iraq's Bank of Trade building that killed 26 and wounded 52 people.
Iraqi commandos training under the supervision of soldiers from the US 82nd Airborne in
In late August 2010, insurgents conducted a major attack with at least 12 car bombs
simultaneously detonating from Mosul to Basra and killing at least 51. These attacks
coincided with the U.S. plans for a withdrawal of combat troops.
From the end of August 2010, the United States attempted to dramatically cut its combat
role in Iraq, with the withdrawal of all U.S. ground forces designated for active combat
operations. The last U.S. combat brigades departed Iraq in the early morning of 19 August.
Convoys of U.S. troops had been moving out of Iraq to Kuwait for several days, and NBC
News broadcast live from Iraq as the last convoy crossed the border. While all combat
brigades left the country, an additional 50,000 personnel (including Advise and Assist
Brigades) remained in the country to provide support for the Iraqi military.
These troops are required to leave Iraq by 31 December 2011 under an agreement between the
U.S. and Iraqi governments.
The desire to step back from an active counter-insurgency role did not however mean that
the Advise and Assist Brigades and other remaining U.S. forces would not be caught up in
combat. A standards memo from the Associated Press reiterated "combat in Iraq is not
over, and we should not uncritically repeat suggestions that it is, even if they come from
State Department spokesman P. J. Crowley stated "...we are not ending our work in
Iraq, We have a long-term commitment to Iraq." On 31 August, Obama announced the
end of Operation Iraqi Freedom from the Oval Office. In his address, he covered the role
of the United States' soft power, the effect the war had on the United States economy, and
the legacy of American wars.}}
On the same day in Iraq, at a ceremony at one of Saddam Hussein's former residences at Al
Faw Palace in Baghdad, a number of U.S. dignitaries spoke in a ceremony for television
cameras, avoiding overtones of the triumphalism present in US announcements made earlier
in the war. Vice President Joe Biden expressed concerns regarding the ongoing lack of
progress in forming a new Iraqi government, saying of the Iraqi people that "they
expect a government that reflects the results of the votes they cast". Gen. Ray
Odierno stated that the new era "in no way signals the end of our commitment to the
people of Iraq". Speaking in Ramadi earlier in the day, Gates said that U.S. forces
"have accomplished something really quite extraordinary here, [but] how it all weighs
in the balance over time I think remains to be seen". When asked by reporters if the
seven year war was worth doing, Gates commented that "It really requires a
historian's perspective in terms of what happens here in the long run". He noted the
Iraq War "will always be clouded by how it began" in regards Saddam Hussein's
supposed weapons of mass destruction, which were never confirmed to have existed. Gates
continued, "This is one of the reasons that this war remains so controversial at
home". On the same day Gen. Ray Odierno was replaced by Lloyd Austin as
Commander of US forces in Iraq.
On 7 September, two U.S. troops were killed and nine wounded in an incident at an Iraqi
military base. The incident is under investigation by Iraqi and U.S. forces, but it is
believed that an Iraqi soldier opened fire on U.S. forces.
On 8 September, the U.S. Army announced the arrival in Iraq of the first
specifically-designated Advise and Assist Brigade, the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment. It was
announced that the unit would assume responsibilities in five southern provinces.
From 1013 September, Second Advise and Assist Brigade, 25th Infantry Division fought
Iraqi insurgents near Diyala[disambiguation needed].
According to reports from Iraq, hundreds of members of the Sunni Awakening Councils may
have switched allegiance back to the Iraqi insurgency or al Qaeda.
Wikileaks disclosed 391,832 classified U.S. military documents on the Iraq
War. Approximately, 58 people were killed with another 40 wounded in an
attack on the Sayidat al-Nejat church, a Chaldean Catholic church in Baghdad.
Responsibility for the attack was claimed by the Islamic State in Iraq organization.
Coordinated attacks in primarily Shia areas struck throughout Baghdad on 2 November,
killing approximately 113 and wounding 250 with around 17 bombs.
Iraqi security forces transition towards self reliance
Preparing to buy $13 billion worth of American arms, the Iraq Defense Ministry intends to
transform the country's degraded conventional forces into a state-of-the-art military and
become among the worlds biggest customers for American military arms and equipment.
Part of the planned purchase includes 140 M1 Abrams main battle tanks. Iraqi crews have
already begun training on them. In addition to the $13 billion purchase, the Iraqis have
requested 18 F-16 Fighting Falcons as part of a $4.2 billion program that also includes
aircraft training and maintenance, AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, laser-guided
bombs and reconnaissance equipment. If approved by Congress, the first aircraft could
arrive in spring 2013. Under the plan, the first 10 pilots would be trained in the United
The Iraqi navy also inaugurated U.S.-built Swift Class patrol boat at Umm Qasr, Iraq's
main port at the northern end of the gulf. Iraq is to take delivery of 14 more of these
$20 million, 50-foot craft before U.S. forces depart. The high-speed vessels' main mission
will be to protect the oil terminals at al-Basra and Khor al-Amiya through which some 1.7
million barrels a day are loaded into tankers for export. Two U.S.-built offshore support
vessels, each costing $70 million, were expected to be delivered in 2011.
The United States Department of Defense had issued notification of an additional $100
million proposed sales of arms from the US to Iraq. General Dynamics is to be the prime
contractor on a $36 million deal for the supply of ammunition for Iraqs Abrams M1 A1
tanks. The sale consists of: 14,010 TP-T M831A1 120mm Cartridges; 16,110 TPCSDS-T M865
120mm Cartridges; and 3,510 HEAT-MP-T M830A1 120mm Cartridges. Raytheon is proposed as the
prime contractor for a $68 million package of Command, Control, Communications,
Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) Systems.
Further information: 2011 in Iraq
Last U.S. convoy crosses the border from Iraq into Kuwait on 18 December 2011.
U.S. and Kuwaiti troops closing the gate between Kuwait and Iraq on 18 December 2011.
Main article: Withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq
Muqtada al-Sadr returned to Iraq in the holy city of Najaf to lead the Sadrist movement
after being in exile since 2007.
On 15 January 2011, three U.S. troops were killed in Iraq. One of the troops was killed on
a military operation in central Iraq, while the other two troops were deliberately shot by
one or two Iraqi soldiers during a training exercise.
On 6 June, five U.S. troops were killed in an apparent rocket attack on Camp Victory,
located near Baghdad International Airport. A sixth soldier, who was wounded in the
attack, died 10 days later of his wounds.
On 29 June, three U.S. troops were killed in a rocket attack on a U.S. base located near
the border with Iran. It was speculated that the militant group responsible for the attack
was the same one which attacked Camp Victory just over three weeks before. With the
three deaths, June 2011, became the bloodiest month in Iraq for the U.S. military since
June 2009, with 15 U.S. soldiers killed, only one of them outside combat.
In September, Iraq signed a contract to buy 18 Lockheed Martin F-16 warplanes, becoming
the 26th nation to operate the F-16. Because of windfall profits from oil, the Iraqi
government is planning to double this originally planned 18, to 36 F-16s. Iraq is relying
on the U.S. military for air support as it rebuilds its forces and battles a stubborn
With the collapse of the discussions about extending the stay of any U.S. troops beyond
2011, where they would not be granted any immunity from the Iraqi government, on 21
October 2011, President Obama announced at a White House press conference that all
remaining U.S. troops and trainers would leave Iraq by the end of the year as previously
scheduled, bringing the U.S. mission in Iraq to an end. The last American soldier to
die in Iraq before the withdrawal was killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad on 14
In November 2011, the U.S. Senate voted down a resolution to formally end the war by
bringing its authorization by Congress to an end.
The last U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq on 18 December. The next day, Iraqi officials
issued an arrest warrant for the Sunni Vice-President Tareq Al-Hashemi. He has been
accused of involvement in assassinations and fled to the Kurdish part of Iraq.[