U.S. forces in Iraq
Mar. 20: U.S.-led forces invade Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein. About 125,000 U.S. and British soldiers The and Marines are in Iraq. April 9: U.S. troops take Baghdad, Saddam goes remaining into hiding. American May 1: President George W. Bush declares hostili- 4,000 troops ties over. e end March 20-May 1: 138 U.S. troops are killed. will leave by th Dec. 13: U.S. troops capture Saddam near Tikrit. of the year. Feb. 22: Bombing of Shi’ite shrine in Samarra sparks widespread sectarian slaughter, raising fears of civil war. Feb. 14: Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki launches U.S.-backed crackdown in Baghdad. Five U.S. combat brigades plus supporting troops are sent to Iraq between February and mid-June to reduce violence and create “breathing space” for Iraqi leaders. June 15: From April-June, 331 U.S. soldiers are killed. Aug. 29: Anti-U.S. Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr orders his Mehdi Army militia to cease fire. July 22: There are now just under 147,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. Nov. 17: Iraq and the United States sign an accord requiring Washington to withdraw its forces by the end of ’11. Feb. 27: President Barack Obama announces plan to end U.S. combat operations in Iraq by Aug. 31, ’10, but says he will leave up to 50,000 troops to train Iraqi forces. June 4: U.S. military says there are 88,000 troops in Iraq. June 30: All U.S. combat units withdraw from Iraq’s urban centres and redeploy to bases outside. Aug. 31: Troop levels in Iraq are reduced to 49,700. Apr. 26: U.S Congressional Budget O ce says the cost of Iraq operations totals around $752 billion since ’03. June 6: Six U.S. soldiers are killed in a rocket attack on a Baghdad base. Oct. 21: Obama says he will pull all U.S. troops out of Iraq at the end of ’11. Nov. 23: About 700 U.S. trainers, mainly civilians, will help Iraqi security forces when American troops leave. Dec. 2: The U.S. military vacates Victory Base Complex, its vast main base near Baghdad airport that was once the hub of the American war operation. Dec. 12: NATO says it will end its seven-year troop training mission in Iraq at the end of December, to coincide with the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

News and events — visually

U.S. forces formally ended their nine-year war in Iraq on Thursday. Almost 4,500 U.S. soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqis lost their lives in the war that began with a “Shock and Awe” campaign of missiles pounding Baghdad and descended into sectarian strife and a surge in U.S. troop numbers. TROOP NUMBERS AND COST OF WAR
Troops ’000s (black Mar. ’03: U.S. invades Iraq. Troops: 192,000 line) 200 May: President Bush declares end of major combat. 146,000 150 Oct. ’07: Troop “surge” peaks: 170,000 Cost $billions (yellow bars) 200 Jan. ’09: President Obama takes o ce pledging troop cuts 150


1,000 deaths Following are the latest figures for soldiers and civilians killed in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in Mar. ’03:


U.S. Britain Other nations

4,487 179 139
10,000 10,125

Aug. ’10: Last U.S. combat troops leave 50,000 Iraqi troops killed during invasion (est.) 100 100 Requested Nov. ’11: 39,000 50 50

Post-Saddam Iraqi security forces (est.)


53.0 75.9 85.5 101.6 131.2 142.1 95.5 71.3 51.0
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011



Sources: Congressional Research Service;; Graphic News; Reuters


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