Did You Know?
- On Oct. 10 and 11, 2002, 373 congressional representatives - 70% of the US Congress - voted to authorize the President to use military force against Iraq.
- At the beginning of the war on Mar. 19, 2003, 49 countries were members of the multinational coalition forces in Iraq. Read which five countries were left in the coalition as of Jan. 2009.
- On May 1, 2003, President George W. Bush co-piloted a Navy S-3B Viking jet aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln to announce that "combat operations in Iraq have ended."
- 18% of Iraqis surveyed in 2005 said their single biggest problem was security. That number jumped to 78% two years later in 2007. View other results of polls and surveys on the Iraq War and its aftermath.
- On Nov. 17, 2008, the US signed the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), agreeing to withdraw all US forces entirely from Iraq by Dec. 31, 2011.
- Between 1985 and 1990, the US Department of Commerce approved 771 licenses for exporting $1.5 billion worth of dual-use items (items with both civilian and military uses) to Iraq. According to the 1994 Riegle Report, biological materials such as anthrax and West Nile virus were among the US exports shipped to Iraq.
- The Iraq Survey Group, formed by the Bush Administration in June 2003, determined in the "Regime Strategic Intent: Key Findings" section of its Sep. 30, 2004 "Duelfer Report" that Iraq had either destroyed or failed to rebuild decaying WMD capabilities prior to the Mar. 19, 2003 US-led invasion.
- 13 countries are known to have, and 25 may have, nuclear, biological, or chemical WMDs as of Feb 20, 2008.
- An early known use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) was in 1346-1347 when Mongols catapulted corpses contaminated with plague over walls forcing besieged Genoans to flee during the Siege of Caffa.
- Iraq, about the same land area as California, gained its independence from British colonial rule when it was admitted as a member state into the League of Nations in Oct. 1932.
- Iraq is home to both ancient Mesopotamia, a fertile crescent which is considered the "cradle of civilization," and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Read more about Iraq's History.
- 97% of Iraq's citizens are Muslim, of which 60%-65% are Shi'a and 32%-37% are Sunni. The remaining 3% of the population is Christian and Jewish.
- April Glaspie, former US Ambassador to Iraq, met with Saddam Hussein on July 25, 1990. Saddam asked her what the US position would be if Iraq invaded Kuwait. Eight days later Saddam's armies attacked Kuwait. To see her response, see our Timeline, 1990-2008.
- Saddam Hussein received a key to the city of Detroit in 1979, the year he became President of Iraq.
- The original Iraqi flag contained three stars symbolizing the Baathist ideals of unity, freedom, and socialism, and included the Koranic incantation "Allahu akbar" or "God is great" in Saddam Hussein's handwriting. On Jan. 22, 2008, a new Iraqi flag, without the stars and handwriting, was adopted.