On March 19, 2003, the United States and coalition forces, initiated a war with Iraq, which was under the control of President Saddam Hussein.
"At this hour, American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger," said President George Bush.
According to biography.com, "Saddam Hussein was a secularist who rose through the Baath political party to assume a dictatorial presidency. Under his rule, segments of the populace enjoyed the benefits of oil wealth, while those in opposition faced torture and execution."
Hussein had been given a deadline to leave Iraq. Instead, he went into hiding.
On April 9, 2003, television audiences around the world watched as a statue of him in Firdos Square in Baghdad was brought to the ground by U.S. Marines.
Iraqi people then decapitated the statue and dragged it through the streets.
In December of 2003, Hussein was captured. He was found living underground in a hole about eight feet deep.
He was charged in July 2005 with the 1982 massacre of 148 people in Dujail, north of Baghdad, after a failed assassination attempt on his life. In August 2006 he was charged with the genocide of Iraqi Kurds in the late 1980s. On Nov. 5, 2006, Hussein was found guilty of the Dujail massacre and sentenced to death by hanging. He was executed on Dec. 30, 2006.