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Table of Contents
Saddam Hussein, in full Ṣaddām Ḥusayn al-Tikrītī, was the president of Iraq from 1979 to 2003.
See the fact file below for more information on Saddam Hussein or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Saddam Hussein worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Hussein was born on April 28, 1937, in Tikrit, Iraq. His father disappeared several months before he was born, and a few months later, his older brother died of cancer.
- Severely depressed by the loss of her husband and son, Saddam’s mother fell into depression. At age three, he was sent to Baghdad to live with his uncle, Khairallah Talfah, a devout Sunni Muslim and Arab nationalist whose politics would influence the young Saddam.
- Years later, Saddam would return to live with his mother, but the abuse he suffered from his stepfather led him to flee back to his uncle in Baghdad.
- In 1979, al-Bakr attempted to unite Iraq and Syria, a political move that would have left Saddam powerless. Threatened, Saddam forced al-Bakr to resign.
- On July 16, 1979, Saddam became president of Iraq.
- Less than a week later, he called an assembly to name 68 people who were tried and found guilty of treason; 22 were sentenced to death. Saddam effectively deposed all his political enemies later.
- Immediately after his ascendancy, Saddam Hussein waged war and ordered his Iraqi forces to invade the oil-rich region of Khuzestan in Iran in September 1980.
- This resulted in a war of attrition. Despite Saddam’s evident violation of international law, Western and Arab nations initially offered support in fear of a much larger spread of Islamic radicalism.
- Around 1,000,000 military and civilians died as a result before both countries accepted a ceasefire that ended the fighting on August 20, 1988.
- Economically crippled, Saddam did not give in and continued to strengthen his military forces and focused on his new target, the rich neighbor Kuwait.
- On August 2, 1990, Saddam ordered the invasion of Kuwait using the justification that it was a historical part of Iraq.
- He intended to use the nation’s vast oil revenues to bolster Iraq’s economy.
- This did not sit well with the rest of the world. A UN Security Council resolution was passed, imposing an economic embargo on Iraq and setting a deadline for the forces to leave Kuwait.
- The deadline was ignored which resulted in the Persian Gulf War.
- A UN coalition force headed by the United States confronted Iraqi forces beginning January 16, 1991, and lasted for six weeks.
- Saddam Hussein declared a jihad against the US-led coalition and even attempted to draw Israel into the conflict by firing several scud missiles.
- But with over 30 countries supporting the coalition, 100 hours of intense ground war, 100,000 sorties (air missions), and dropping over 88,500 tons of bombs, the Iraqi forces withdrew.
Fall from Power
- A ceasefire agreement with the UN prohibited Iraq from producing or possessing chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. Aggrieved, Saddam failed to adhere to the laws.
- Iraq’s defeat also resulted in economic hardships and attempts of rebellion by both Shiʿis and Kurds. Saddam suppressed their uprisings and caused thousands more political executions and disappearances throughout his regime.
- Now under intense scrutiny, Iraq had been subject to missile attacks due to safety violations.
Capture, Trial, and Death
- Following the 9/11 attacks in the United States in 2001, Saddam was once again in the hot seat when the Bush administration accused him of associating with Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda organization.
- His regime was declared by US President George W. Bush as part of his so-called “Axis of Evil”, along with Iran and North Korea. He also claimed that Iraq was developing weapons of mass destruction and supporting terrorism.
- Suspected weapons sites were inspected but none were found. Regardless, on March 20, 2003, under the WMD pretense, a US-led coalition invaded Iraq. Baghdad fell on April 9, 2003, but they failed to capture Saddam.
- In December, he was captured and handed over to the interim Iraqi government to stand trial for crimes against humanity.
- During the subsequent trial, Saddam challenged the court’s authority and claimed that US interests were behind all the atrocities against him.
- On November 5, 2006, Saddam was found guilty and sentenced to death. His appeal was rejected and he was hanged on December 30, 2006.
Saddam Hussein Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle that includes everything you need to know about Saddam Hussein across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Saddam Hussein who was the president of Iraq from 1979 to 2003.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Saddam Hussein Facts
- Knowing Iraq
- Iraq Before Saddam
- War of Attrition
- Saddam in the Gulf War
- Human Rights
- Iraq After Saddam
- Right Leader
- Future Iraq
- Iraq and the World
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Use With Any Curriculum
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