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Sunday, December 14

Saddam’s political, military history

By Gannett News Service

Saddam Hussein’s iron-fisted rule as president of Iraq spanned 24 years. He fought two wars against the West, and the second brought him down. A look at Saddam’s political and military history:


1956: Joins the Baath Arab Socialist Party.


1959: Participates in attempted assassination of Iraqi leader Abdul Karim Kassem.


1968: Organizes militia that helps bring Baath Party to power in bloodless coup.


1979: Becomes chairman and president of Iraq.


August 1990: Invades Kuwait, threatening Mideast peace and world oil supplies.


Jan. 15, 1991: Ignores United Nations deadline to withdraw from Kuwait.


Jan. 17, 1991: Says “mother of all battles” has begun in Iraq.


January 2002: President Bush declares Iraq, Iran and North Korea part of “an axis of evil” in his State of the Union address.


Oct. 10-11, 2002: Congress gives Bush authority to use force against Iraq and stop Saddam from developing weapons of mass destruction.


March 17, 2003: Bush gives Saddam and his sons 48 hours to leave Baghdad, marking the end of U.N. efforts to win international backing for an invasion of Iraq.


March 18, 2003: Iraqi leadership rejects Bush’s ultimatum.


March 19, 2003: U.S. cruise missiles hit site near Baghdad where Saddam is believed to be meeting with top aides.


April 9, 2003: U.S. military officials say Saddam’s regime is no longer in control of Baghdad. Iraqis topple statue of Saddam in downtown Baghdad with help of U.S. troops.


April 14, 2003: U.S. forces capture Saddam’s hometown of Tikrit.


July 22, 2003: Saddam’s sons, Odai and Qusai, are killed by U.S. forces during a raid near Mosul in northern Iraq.


Dec. 13, 2003: Saddam is captured by U.S.-led forces during a raid in Adwar, near Tikrit. The deposed Iraqi leader was found in a “spider hole” and gave up peacefully.