Iraq, 20 years on: Fallujah bears brunt of legacy of a brutal war

Fallujah is one of the cities that has paid the highest price for the US-led invasion of Iraq two decades ago. A stronghold of support for former dictator Saddam Hussein, it quickly became the scene of brutal guerrilla warfare. The instability created by the conflict produced long-lasting effects. In particular, it laid the foundations for jihadism, giving birth to al Qaeda in Iraq, which later evolved into the Islamic State group. FRANCE 24's Lucile Wassermann reports.

On March 20, 2003, then-US president George W. Bush launched Operation Iraqi Freedom, aimed at bringing down the regime of Saddam Hussein. The invasion was deemed illegal by the United Nations, and as we know today, was based on a lie: Iraq's alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction. No such weapons were never found. Intended to last just a few months, the war ultimately dragged on until 2011, leaving hundreds of thousands of Iraqis dead.

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