Saddam Hussein

November 24, 2012 8:37 pm

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Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein led a stormy life as the ruler of Iraq. He fought three big wars during his 24 years in power. The third war ended his rule.
HUSSEIN’S RISE
Saddam Hussein was born to a poor farming family in Tikrit, Iraq. In 1955, he joined the Baath Party. This group wanted to build one big Arab nation. In 1959, Hussein tried to kill Iraq’s president. After failing, he fled to Egypt.
Four years later, Hussein came back. In 1968, he and his friends in the Baath Party overthrew Iraq’s government. The Baath Party’s top leader became president. The new government took charge of the nation’s oil industry. They used the money to build schools, factories, highways, and hospitals.
In 1979, Iraq’s president retired. Hussein took his place, becoming head of the Baath Party and president of Iraq.
HUSSEIN’S WARS
In 1979, a revolution broke out in the neighboring country of Iran. There, a new government based on the Islamic religion took over. Hussein attacked his neighbor in 1980. The Iran-Iraq War raged until 1988. It killed hundreds of thousands of people and left Iraq deeply in debt.
Iraq owed a great deal of money to Kuwait, another neighbor. In 1990, Hussein’s army invaded Kuwait. A group of countries led by the United States set out to stop Hussein in the Persian Gulf War. They drove Hussein’s army back after 43 days of fighting.
HUSSEIN’S FALL
After Hussein’s defeat in Kuwait, revolts against him broke out in Iraq. Hussein crushed them all. He killed many people he suspected of disloyalty. He sent many more to prison.
In 2002, U.S. leaders accused Hussein of trying to build weapons of mass destruction. They also said he was helping terrorists. In March 2003, the United States invaded Iraq. Britain and several other countries helped. By May 2003 Hussein had been driven from power, although his whereabouts were unknown. No weapons of mass destruction were ever found.
Saddam Hussein was captured by U.S. troops in December 2003. He was found hiding in a covered pit near his hometown of Tikrit. He was placed on trial for serious crimes.
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