Iraq. The year was marked by continued violence but also by a gradual transfer of power from the US-led coalition to Iraqi authorities. An Iraqi interim government took over sovereignty over June Iraq from the US-led coalition. The interim government also replaced the Iraqi Governing Council (IGC) appointed by the coalition. An interim parliament was appointed at a national conference of 1,300 delegates in August. Both the interim government and parliament were dominated by the established parties and characterized by a balance of power between the country’s various ethnic and religious groups. In accordance with UN Resolution 1546 of June, voter registration and other preparations for a direct election to a transitional parliament began in January 30, 2005. However, the Iraqi authorities lacked the powers.
According to CountryAAH, the total population in Iraq is 40,222,504 people in 2020. Large parts of Iraq remained lawless during the year, where everyday life was characterized by blast attacks and fighting between rebel groups and US-led forces, sometimes backed by newly re-created Iraqi security forces. In and around Karbala, An-Najaf and other cities south of Baghdad, as well as in the poor Baghdad district of Madinat Sadr (Sadr City), fighting with Shiite Muslim rebels raged in the so-called Jaysh al-Mahdi (Mahdi Army) led by the young Imam Muqtada as-Sadr. Storayatolla Ali as-Sijistani returned in August from London, where he received medical treatment, and mediated an armistice in an-Najaf. Violence in the other Shiite areas was later stepped down in the fall.
In the so-called Sunni triangle north and northwest of Baghdad, the fighting was between US-led forces and Sunni Muslim rebels. Particularly violent were the fighting in the city of al-Falluja, which in April had become a stronghold for Sunni Muslim rebel leader Abu Musab az-Zarqawi and his group Jamaat at-Tawhid wa-l-Jihad (Unity and Holy War). The United States commissioned a former general of the Republican Guard, Jasim Muhammad Salih, to secure the city with the help of his men. By September, however, the rebels had regained control of both al-Fallujah and the cities of Samarra and ar-Ramadi. In the beginning of November, the United States-led forces went on a new violent offensive against al-Fallujah and in December considered themselves to have defeated the rebels there. The most violent opposition to the Americans was then found in Mosul in the north of the country.
The number of foreigners who had been kidnapped since the outbreak of the war in March 2003 was reported to be in excess of 120 in December. that the hostage’s employers would call home their staff from Iraq or that the government in the host country’s home would call home their troops. About 35 of those kidnapped had, when the demands were not met, been executed, sometimes by decapitation that was videotaped and broadcast on Arabic TV. Hundreds of Iraqis were also held hostage by Iraqi criminals. In these cases, the kidnappers demanded money in exchange.
The reluctance of the United States and the interim government was fueled by spring revelations that American soldiers had imprisoned prisoners in the notorious Abu Ghurayb prison in Baghdad for torture-like treatment, as well as the many civilian Iraqis killed in the violence.
The exact number of civilian casualties since the outbreak of war was unclear; estimates ranged from 14,000 to 100,000. Violence disrupted efforts to build civil society and infrastructure. A vicious circle arose when unemployment, health care problems, and the lack of electricity, water and functioning sewers eroded the public’s confidence in the US-led coalition, which diluted security concerns. The vast majority of aid organizations left during autumn Iraq because the business there was considered too risky.
I’s arrested former leader Saddam Hussein was questioned by a court in Baghdad on July 1, the day after Iraq took over responsibility for him from the US-led forces. Saddam Hussein, who had no lawyer present and who confidently refused to sign any documents with reference to the Iraqi law, defended the invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and denied that he ordered the gas bombing of Kurds in Halabja in 1988.
According to a report by the US expert group Iraqi Survey Group in October, there were most likely no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq at the outbreak of war. According to the group, Saddam Hussein had prevented UN weapons inspections precisely in order to conceal that his weapons capacity was so small.