U.S. Marines from the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment escort captured enemy prisoners of war to a holding area in the desert of Iraq on March 21, 2003, during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Operation Iraqi Freedom is the multinational coalition effort to liberate the Iraqi people, eliminate Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and end the regime of Saddam Hussein. DoD photo by Lance Cpl. Brian L. Wickliffe, U.S. Marine Corps.
The Iraq War began in 2003 with the invasion of Iraq by a United States-led coalition that toppled the government of Saddam Hussein. The conflict continued for much- of the next decade as an insurgency emerged to oppose the occupying forces and the post-invasion Iraqi government. An estimated 151,000 to 600,000 or more Iraqis were killed in the first years of conflict. The invasion occurred under the administration of US President George W. Bush following the September 11 terror attacks.