In March 2003, the US invaded oil-rich Iraq to topple the government of Saddam Hussein on the pretext of links to al-Qaeda and possession of weapons of mass destruction.
After the invasion the country descended into chaos and conflict as rival groups, foreign powers and political parties fight for power.
Amid all this, here is what has become of Saddam’s family and former ruling party members:
- Sons killed: Saddam’s two sons, Uday and Qusay were killed by US troops in 2003.
- Saddam Hussein himself was captured and executed in 2006.
- Refugee wife: As with some of Saddam’s aides and relatives, his wife Sajida Talfah fled the country to seek refuge abroad.
- Most wanted: Saddam Hussein’s daughter, Raghad was listed in the Iraqi government’s placed most wanted list together with 59 other individuals.
- Executed: Most top government officials were either arrested or killed by US troops including vice president Taha Yassin Ramadan and presidential adviser Ali Hassan al-Majid both executed by hanging.
- Prison: Other former Iraqi officials are still in prison, including former defence minister Sultan Hashim al-Tai.
- Others died in prison as Vice President Taha Muhie-eldin Marouf, Prime Minister Mohammed Hamza al-Zubeidi, Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz and Deputy Premier Hikmat Mizbah al-Azzawi.
- Other former officials were released by US military, including party members and biologist Huda Saleh Mahdi.
- After the US invasion, some members of the now-defunct Baath party sought to regroup, particularly in Sunni-majority provinces, where anger against the Shia majority was growing.
- Among those members were former party members Seif al-Din al-Mashhadani and Fadil Mahmoud Gharib.
- “[Some party members] fled Iraq following the invasion, but returned again when Mosul fell to ISIL,” Ibrahim al-Sumaidaie, a security and political researcher, told Anadolu news agency.
- “Many former regime officials have managed to flee Iraq to Syria, Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and other countries,” Sobhi Nazem, a military expert, said. “Some others chose to seek refuge in the West.”
- In 2014, ISIL overran vast swaths of territory in northern and western Iraq, but much of the territory was recaptured by the US-backed Iraqi forces in late 2017.
SOURCE: ANADOLU NEWS AGENCY