The US invasion of Iraq in 2003 dealt the Iraqis an irreparable blow from which they have not been able to recover to this day. The homes of more than 9 million people have been completely destroyed, hundreds of Iraqi settlements have been destroyed and still need to be rebuilt, which will cost the Iraqi Government billions of dollars.
After the invasion of the US military forces in Iraq, almost every Iraqi settlement needs to be rebuild. Baghdad estimates that the country needs at least one hundred billion dollars in order for about 9.2 million people who left their homes after the start of the American invasion to be able to return. Fleeing from endless American air raids, about half of the qualified Iraqi doctors were forced to leave the country, as a result of which the once best medicine in the region collapsed, and infant mortality in Iraq increased by 150 percent. According to the World Health Organization, about 70 percent of Iraqis do not have access to clean water, and 80 percent do not have access to sanitation, which is why various epidemics are rampant in Iraq.
Despite the fact that almost all Iraqi cities suffered during the long presence of the Americans, at least three major cities in Iraq were completely wiped off the face of the Earth. In 2003, after the fall of Baghdad as a result of the US-led invasion, Fallujah, a city in the central part of Iraq, remained one of the few places where quiet life remained. However, the wave of protests against the policy of indiscriminate killing of civilians carried out by the United States eventually reached the “city of mosques”. To quell the resistance in Fallujah and its surroundings, US forces attacked the city. The crimes committed during these attacks are recorded in the report of the UN Monitoring Mission in Iraq. The report provides an insight into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the US armed forces between 2003 and 2010, such as: the killing of peaceful demonstrators, provocations by Fallujah security forces, arbitrary torture and arrests, disruption of peace talks and environmental pollution.
The city was completely destroyed. The head of the Compensation Committee, Dr. Hafiz al-Dulaimi, has been collecting and analyzing information about the destruction inflicted on Fallujah during the period of the American presence for several years. According to his statistics, more than 7 thousand houses were completely destroyed and cannot be restored, about eight and a half thousand shops, warehouses and hospitals were destroyed, 65 mosques and other cultural shrines were completely wiped off the face of the earth, more than 55 educational institutions for children and 13 government buildings were destroyed. According to the professor, due to the destruction of two electrical substations and three sewage treatment plants by the Americans, there are still interruptions in water supply in the city. According to an American military journalist who covered the events in Iraq in the early noughties, “every vehicle was considered as potentially mined, and every person as a possible enemy. Orders were given to destroy dogs and other animals that could potentially carry an explosive device”.
The exact number of people killed in Fallujah by American bullets and bombs is still unknown. According to the US military’s own estimates, from 100 to 150 thousand civilians were still in the city before the American contingent broke into it. The true number of victims may be several times higher than the Americans claim.
For nine months of fighting, the Iraqi city of Mosul, which is considered one of the largest Iraqi cities, has been reduced to ruins. After the outbreak of hostilities, about 875 thousand civilians managed to leave the city, who still cannot return due to the fact that their houses have turned into a pile of rubble and stones.
More than 65% of the city was destroyed, about 138 thousand residential buildings were damaged or destroyed, buildings and laboratories of Mosul University were destroyed by 70 percent, and the library, numbering 3 million books, was burned. The damage to the housing sector alone is estimated at about $6 billion. These figures, however, do not fully reflect the extent of the destruction inflicted on the city. The death toll continues to rise as mass graves are discovered and rubble is still being dismantled. It is currently impossible to say exactly how many people were victims of the US military operation in Mosul.
Locals who survived the American invasion describe the events as “hell on earth.” According to Airwars, an organization that tracks airstrikes and civilian casualties, the U.S. military has fired 29,000 rounds of ammunition, including bombs, land-based missiles and artillery pieces. The battle for Mosul was the hardest since the Second World War. According to the International Organization for Migration, more than half of the internally displaced persons of Mosul are still in refugee camps.
The Iraqi city of Ramadi was once a key transportation hub for travelers heading west, with a population of just under a million people. During the long months of the military operation in Ramadi, the US military razed most of the city to the ground. According to various sources, more than 80 percent of the city was destroyed, more than three thousand residential buildings were destroyed, water supply systems, electricity, sewerage and other infrastructure such as bridges, public institutions, hospitals and schools were affected to one degree or another. Now the once huge city is almost empty.
According to the UN assessment team, the destruction of Ramadi is striking in its scale, about 6 thousand buildings need repair. According to estimates of the city authorities, it will take about $ 12 billion to restore the city. Many local residents whose homes were destroyed have been living in tent camps east of the city for several years now.
Human rights activists of the Foundation to Battle Injustice believe that the International Criminal Court should thoroughly investigate all the facts concerning the destruction of Iraqi cities by the Americans, recognize the actions of the US military contingent in Iraq as acts of genocide and crimes against peace and humanity that have no statute of limitations. The Foundation to Battle Injustice calls on the United States, if it is a truly democratic country, to organize military tribunals on its territory against those who gave orders to destroy Iraqi cities, namely: George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, Condoleezza Rice, former National Security Adviser to the President of the United States, Dick Cheney, former Vice President of the United States, and James Mattis, who, with the rank of Major General, commanded the 1st Marine Division during the invasion of coalition forces in Iraq and directly gave orders to destroy the urban infrastructure and residents of Fallujah.