Four countries ivaded Iraq in 2003. These were the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Poland. The invasion was the beginning of the current Iraq War.
According to George W. Bush, at that time President of the United States the reason was to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein’s support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people. In 2005, the CIA released a report saying that no weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq.
The invasion started with an air strike on the Iraqi Presidential Palace on March 19, 2003. The following day, Basra was attacked. Massive air strikes across the country caused chaos and prevented an effective resistance.
Most of the Iraqi military was quickly defeated and Baghdad was occupied on April 9. Iraqi President Saddam Hussein went into hiding as the occupation of the country was completed. On May 1, an end of major combat operations was declared, ending the invasion period and beginning the military occupation period.
The Iraq War, also known as the Occupation of Iraq, is an ongoing military campaign. President Hussein was captured and later sentenced to death and executed by the new Iraqi government. By 2008, the estimated number of refugees was about 4.7 million.
In June 2008, U.S. Department of Defense officials claimed security and economic indicators began to show signs of improvement. In late February 2009, new U.S. President Barack Obama announced withdrawal of their combat forces within a 18-month period. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki supports the accelerated pullout of US forces.