Friday marks the tenth anniversary of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s execution after an Iraqi tribunal tried and found him guilty of crimes against humanity. Hussein, who assumed power in 1979, was unseated in March 2003 after a U.S.-led invasion, triggering years of heightened sectarian strife and power struggles at the highest levels of Iraqi government.
The dictator, 66 at the time, and leader of the now-defunct Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party was captured in December 2003, and a tribunal established by a coalition government guided by the U.S. charged him with premeditated murder, forced deportations and torture among other things. The massacres included the 1982 slaughter of Shias in Dujail town and the 1988 Halabja massacre, in which Hussein was accused of using chemical weapons against a Kurdish town that attempted to revolt against him.
The former Iraqi leader, aged 69, was executed shortly after 6 a.m. local time (10 p.m. EST) on Dec. 30, 2006, in northern Baghdad, over a year after his trial began in October 2005.
Mowaffak al-Rubaie, Iraq’s national security adviser at the time, was present at the execution and said Hussein was “strangely submissive” to the process.