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Shock And Awe: Images Of The 2003 Invasion Of Iraq

On March 19, 2003, U.S. forces carried out the first air strikes of the Iraq War, targeting top Iraqi officials at a compound on the outskirts of Baghdad. These photos document some of the most dramatic moments of the invasion that began 10 years ago. (21 PHOTOS)

Smoke rises from the Iraqi Planning Ministry on the second day of U.S. raids on the Iraqi capital on March 20, 2003.
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Smoke rises from the Iraqi Planning Ministry on the second day of U.S. raids on the Iraqi capital on March 20, 2003.

In the run-up to the invasion, the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush argued that Iraq was concealing weapons of mass destruction. Here, Secretary of State Colin Powell holds up a vial that he described as one that could contain anthrax during a presentation on Iraq to the UN Security Council on February 5, 2003.
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In the run-up to the invasion, the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush argued that Iraq was concealing weapons of mass destruction. Here, Secretary of State Colin Powell holds up a vial that he described as one that could contain anthrax during a presentation on Iraq to the UN Security Council on February 5, 2003.

U.S. Marines in combat gear take their positions during a last-minute exercise in northern Kuwait near the border with Iraq on March 18, 2003.
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U.S. Marines in combat gear take their positions during a last-minute exercise in northern Kuwait near the border with Iraq on March 18, 2003.

U.S. President George W. Bush announces the start of U.S. strikes in Iraq during a televised address from the Oval Office on March 19.
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U.S. President George W. Bush announces the start of U.S. strikes in Iraq during a televised address from the Oval Office on March 19.

A U.S. Marine F18 jet takes off from a base in Kuwait to conduct a mission in Iraq on March 20, 2003.
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A U.S. Marine F18 jet takes off from a base in Kuwait to conduct a mission in Iraq on March 20, 2003.

The first Tomahawk missile to be fired into Iraq is launched from the USS Bunker Hill in the Persian Gulf early on March 20, 2003.
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The first Tomahawk missile to be fired into Iraq is launched from the USS Bunker Hill in the Persian Gulf early on March 20, 2003.

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein appears on state television just hours after the United States launched its invasion to overthrow him. In his speech, Saddam said, "The criminal little Bush has committed a crime against humanity."
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Iraqi President Saddam Hussein appears on state television just hours after the United States launched its invasion to overthrow him. In his speech, Saddam said, "The criminal little Bush has committed a crime against humanity."

An explosion is seen in Baghdad on March 20 during the early massive show of military force known as "shock and awe."
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An explosion is seen in Baghdad on March 20 during the early massive show of military force known as "shock and awe."

Iraqi militiamen from the ruling Ba'ath party rest in Baghdad amid the U.S. strikes on March 20.
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Iraqi militiamen from the ruling Ba'ath party rest in Baghdad amid the U.S. strikes on March 20.

U.S. soldiers take up positions after Iraq fired missiles into Kuwait, setting off ground attack sirens in Kuwait City.
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U.S. soldiers take up positions after Iraq fired missiles into Kuwait, setting off ground attack sirens in Kuwait City.

Smoke covers the presidential palace compound in Baghdad on March 21 during massive U.S.-led air raids.
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Smoke covers the presidential palace compound in Baghdad on March 21 during massive U.S.-led air raids.

U.S. Marines cross from Kuwait into Iraq as they prepare to capture the key Iraqi city of Al-Basrah.
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U.S. Marines cross from Kuwait into Iraq as they prepare to capture the key Iraqi city of Al-Basrah.

A statue of President Saddam Hussein stands on Baghdad's Firdos Square as smoke billows from burning trenches filled with oil. The statue was toppled on April 9.
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A statue of President Saddam Hussein stands on Baghdad's Firdos Square as smoke billows from burning trenches filled with oil. The statue was toppled on April 9.

The body of an Iraqi soldier lies wrapped in a blanket following the British assault on the Al-Faw peninsula on March 22.
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The body of an Iraqi soldier lies wrapped in a blanket following the British assault on the Al-Faw peninsula on March 22.

Armed members of the Women's Association linked to the ruling Ba'ath party stand at the entrance to their party's building in Baghdad on March 23.
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Armed members of the Women's Association linked to the ruling Ba'ath party stand at the entrance to their party's building in Baghdad on March 23.

U.S. Marines enter the southern city of Al-Nasiriyah on March 23.
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U.S. Marines enter the southern city of Al-Nasiriyah on March 23.

A sand storm hits the center of Baghdad, which is also shrouded in smoke from burning oil trenches.
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A sand storm hits the center of Baghdad, which is also shrouded in smoke from burning oil trenches.

An Iraqi comforts a friend after missiles struck a Baghdad market, killing at least 14 people on March 26, 2003.
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An Iraqi comforts a friend after missiles struck a Baghdad market, killing at least 14 people on March 26, 2003.

Residents flee the southern city of Al-Basrah, still held by the Iraqi military on March 28.
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Residents flee the southern city of Al-Basrah, still held by the Iraqi military on March 28.

U.S. soldiers observe the reception room of a presidential palace near the international airport southwest of Baghdad.
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U.S. soldiers observe the reception room of a presidential palace near the international airport southwest of Baghdad.

A U.S. Marine watches as a statue of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein falls in Firdos Square in Baghdad on April 9, 2003.
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A U.S. Marine watches as a statue of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein falls in Firdos Square in Baghdad on April 9, 2003.

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