Saddam Hussain was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this role from 1979 until 2003. He was born in Tikrit, Iraq in 1937, and rose to power through the Ba’ath Party, a socialist political party. Saddam played a key role in the rise of the Ba’ath Party in Iraq, and he became the country’s de facto leader in 1979, following a series of political purges that eliminated his rivals within the party.
During his time in power, Saddam implemented a number of policies that led to the modernization of Iraq, including the expansion of the country’s infrastructure, the development of its oil industry, and the establishment of free education and healthcare for all citizens. He also initiated a number of large-scale public works projects, such as the construction of new roads, bridges, and hospitals.
Saddam’s rule was characterized by authoritarianism and repression, with widespread human rights abuses and political repression being carried out by the government. He was also known for his use of chemical weapons against both Iranian and Kurdish citizens in the 1980s, resulting in thousands of deaths.
In 1990, Saddam invaded Kuwait, leading to the Gulf War, in which a coalition of countries led by the United States, fought to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait. The war ended in 1991 with the defeat of Iraq and the imposition of strict economic sanctions on the country by the United Nations.
In the following years, Saddam continued to face international condemnation for his human rights abuses and noncompliance with UN inspections regarding his weapons of mass destruction. This ultimately led to the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the US and its allies, which resulted in the capture and execution of Saddam in December 2006, after being found guilty of crimes against humanity.
Saddam’s rule and the subsequent war have had a significant impact on Iraq and the wider Middle East. The country has been plagued by instability, sectarian violence, and insurgency since the fall of Saddam’s regime, and the war has also led to the displacement of millions of people and the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives.
Despite the atrocities committed during his regime, some Iraqis remember Saddam for the stability and prosperity that the country experienced under his rule, and his execution was met with mixed reactions among the Iraqi population.
Saddam’s legacy remains a controversial topic, and opinions about him continue to be divided. His rule was marked by authoritarianism, repression, and human rights abuses, but it was also marked by modernization and development in Iraq.