20 March 2003: the invasion begins
The Iraq war began on 20 March 2003 (19 March in America). A US-led coalition of forces, comprising the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland, launched a series of air strikes on various targets across Iraq. It was the first day of Operation Iraqi Freedom, intended to overthrow the ruling Ba'athist government of Saddam Hussein. In this picture, a US Marine F18 roars into the night from its base in Kuwait towards its mission over Iraq during the first night of operations.