The invasion of Iraq in 2003, known as Operation Iraqi Freedom, was started by a coalition of countries, acting without a UN security resolution, and with the aim of removing Saddam Hussein from power.
The four countries that committed troops to the invasion from the start were the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland.
The reasons why the coalition invaded Iraq were as follows:
- To disarm Iraq of all weapons of mass destruction, to prevent these weapons ending up in the hands of terrorists.
- To end Saddam Hussein's support of Al Qaeda and other anti-western terrorist networks.
- To free the oppressed Iraqi people, and to end the human rights violations of the governing Ba'ath party.
- To consolidate American military power in the region.
- To capture the Iraqi oil fields.
In 2005, in a leaked report by the CIA, it was confirmed that the coalition had not found any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Furthermore, it is now widely accepted that Saddam Hussein's regime had little or nothing to do with Al Qaeda and the 9/11 terrorist attacks.