This day in history, in 1979, a critical resignation and at the same time an ascension to power changed Iraq’s history. Iraqi President Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr resigns and Saddam Hussein takes his place. Iraq is a country that has been in a constant state of conflict or under international sanctions since Saddam Hussein became the leader the country.
Iraq before 1979
Most of us remember Iraq as a state of conflict and it is difficult to imagine how Iraq looked before the major conflicts. Like most of the countries, Iraq was a normal country with beautiful landscapes and diversity in the urban and rural places. The capital Bagdad was a modern city with large boulevards and intense traffic.
People were relaxing at the public pools.
Girls were encouraged to go to school.
South of Iraq, the city of Basra was also called the Middle East Venice.
Full documentary Iraq 1950-1959 made by British Pathe:
The big change
All of this changed when Saddam Hussein came to power. He engaged Iraq in a conflict with Iran for almost nine years (1980-1988). The war left more than 1,000,000 military casualties on both sides.
The occupation of Kuwait by Iraq in 1990 and the repeated attack by international troops isolated Iraq globally until in the spring of 2003, when US troops and UK troops invaded Iraq and removed the Saddam Hussein from power.
Iraq is now facing a new crisis after the outbreak of a conflict between Iraqi forces and an unusual coalition led by Islamist insurgents, including former Saddam Hussein army officers. In other words, we can say that since 1979 this country is in a permanent state of conflict.