Saddam Hussein was a well-known Iraqi leader. He was President of Iraq from the period 16th July 1979 to 9th April 2003 and leading member of the revolutionary Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party, the Iraqi Ba’ath Party and the Baghdad-based Ba’ath Party. A mix of Arab socialism and nationalism called Ba’athism was espoused by the Party. In the 17th July 1968 Revolution also referred to the 1968 coup, Saddam played a major role in bringing the party back to power in Iraq.

2.Timeline

Saddam Hussein was born on 28th April 1937 in Al-Awja in Iraq. He was executed at Kadhimiya Iraq on 30th December 2006.

3.Country

Iraq

4.Rise to Power

Saddam belonged to a poor family. Before he was born, his father died after which he went to Baghdad to live with his uncle. In 1957 he joined the Ba’th Party which tried to assassinate the Prime Minister of Iraq Abd al-Karim Qasimin 1959.  In the attempt the wounded Saddam, escaped to Syria, then Egypt and attended school from 1962-1963. In 1963 after the Ba’thists took power in Iraq, Saddam still continued studying in Baghdad. However that same year the Ba’thists were overthrown, Saddam was put into prison where he remained for many years. However, he escaped, became a Ba’th Party leader and played major role in bringing back the party to power in the year 1968. He nationalized the oil industry in Iraq in 1972. In 1979 he asserted control over the government openly and on Bakr’s resignation became President. Later on he also became the Revolutionary Command Council’s Chairman and Prime Minister.

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5.Dictatorship

During his brutal rule he instigated a number of conflicts. Ethnic groups, the Kurds, Mandeans, Assyrians and Shabaks who rebelled against his leadership were faced with mass genocide. Death toll amounted to around 2 million in many unsuccessful and costly wars he fought against Kuwait and Iran.

6.End of Regime

On 17th March 2003, George Bush, President of the US ordered Saddam to leave Iraq. Saddam refused to leave and accordingly the US and allied forced attacked Iraq on 20th March 2003. Baghdad fell to the US on 9th April 2003 and Saddam went into hiding. Finally on 13th December 2003 he was captured in dirty and disheveled state from a small hiding place underground at Tikrit. Without firing a shot, Saddam surrendered. After a 9 month tria, he was sentenced to death and executed in December 2006.

7.Short term impact

Any internal opposition was suppressed by extensive secret-police establishment. Achieving hegemony over the Persian Gulf and supplanting Egypt as leader of the Arab world were his main goals. In September 1980 he invaded oil fields in Iran in a costly war which scaled down Iraq’s economic development. By end of the war, Iraq was saddled with a huge debt burden. Saddam never stopped building up his armed forces. Neighboring Kuwait was overrun by the Iraqi army in August 1990 but due to this Iraq’s trade across the world was affected. On 16th January 1991, the Persian Gulf War began and lasted for 6 weeks in which Iraqi armies were driven out of Kuwait. Internal rebellions triggered by both Kurds and Shiites led to killings of people in thousands. The UN entered into a cease-fire agreement with Iraq, but Saddam refused to cooperate.

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8.Long term impact

Unexploded cluster bombs still remain in areas where the bloodiest battles in Iraq were fought. Iraqi children had suffered with schools closed and were better off before of the arrival of Americans in Iraq. The emotional Iraqi people are afraid of any future attack for any connection between al-Qaeda and Iraq. Iraq has faced accusations of aggression against Kuwait and Iran.

9.Trivia

Saddam Hussein’s family name was Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti.

Many family members of Saddams family including his brother-in-law, sons-in-law, his brother, his half-brother, eldest son and younger son, were part of his regime.

Saddam’s eldest son is Uday while Qusay is the youngest son.