Quiz: Iraq Facts (Advanced)
What was the major cause of the Iran-Iraq war (19801989)?
- The main cause of the bloody, protracted war between Iran and Iraq was control of the Shatt al Arab waterway, an essential resource for water and transportation that runs along the border of both Iraq and Iran. The war ended in a stalemate and left an estimated 1.5 million dead.
In the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, how many countries sent combat troops?
- Besides the U.S., three other countries sent combat troops: Britain contributed about 45,000 soldiers, Australia sent 2,000, and Poland 200.
When President Bush announced it was necessary for the United States to make a "preemptive strike" against Iraq, what did he mean?
- After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, President Bush announced that the U.S. foreign strategy of containment and deterrence was an outdated cold war policy. In an age of terrorism, he maintained, the United States could no longer wait by defensively until a potential threat to its security grew into an actual one, but must strike first in such instances: "Our security will require all Americans . . . be ready for preemptive action when necessary to defend our liberty and to defend our lives." Critics of the plan called the new foreign policy overly aggressive and at odds with international law: "Preemption could too easily become an instrument of unbridled U.S. power," wrote one columnist.
What was the major cause of the 1991 Persian Gulf War?
- In August 1990, Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait. Saddam Hussein justified the attack by blaming Kuwait for falling oil prices that harmed the Iraqi economy; the international community saw his attack as naked aggression against a neighbor. A U.S.-led coalition launched the Persian Gulf War on Jan. 1617, 1991; by Feb. 28, Kuwait was liberated and the Iraqi army was vanquished.
What branch of Islam do the majority of Iraqis follow?
- Between 60%65% of Iraqis are Shi'ites, and 32%37% are Sunnis, according to the latest CIA World Factbook. Saddam Hussein is a Sunni Muslim. About 3% of Iraqis belong to religions other than Islam.
On March 20, 2003, the U.S. began which military operation?
- Operation Desert Fox (Dec. 1619, 1998) was a four-day bombing campaign launched against Iraq by the United States and Britain, a consequence of Iraq's continued refusal to cooperate with U.N. arms inspections. Instilling "shock and awe" is how the U.S. military characterized their attack on Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Who is President Bush referring to when he speaks of a "coalition of the willing?"
- According to the U.S. State Department, about 63 of the world's 193 countries have joined the "coalition of the willing," those who have offered statements of support for the U.S. war in Iraq.
What is the size of Iraq's oil reserves?
- Iraq has the fourth largest oil reserves in the world; Saudi Arabia ranks first. See top ten countries with the largest oil reserves.
How many United Nations Security Council Resolutions has Saddam Hussein violated since 1990?
- According to the U.S. State Department, Saddam Hussein has repeatedly violated sixteen UN resolutions.
During the Iran-Iraq war whom did the U.S. support?
- The U.S., an enemy of Iran after it overthrew its pro-Western shah in 1979 and became an Islamic theocracy under the Ayatollah Khomenei, sided with Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war.
Most individuals can identify Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Fox, but what was the far less publicized Operation Northern Watch?
- Beginning in January 1999, weekly, sometimes daily, bombings of Iraqi targets within the northern no-fly zone began, carried out by U.S. and British bombers. More than 100 air strikes took place during 1999, and continued on a regular basis over the next four years, ending only with the start of war in Iraq on March 19, 2003. The U.S. and Britain hoped the constant barrage of air strikes would weaken Saddam Hussein's grip on Iraq.