BAGHDAD – 20 years ago and on such days, Iraq entered a new bloody era with the start of the US invasion in 2003, where the capital Baghdad alone - in the first days of the invasion - was subjected to a thousand air strikes with cruise missiles, and then the war machine put the fate of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis at stake between killing, enforced disappearance, displacement and others.

Losses and lack of statistics

Although there are no government and official statistics on the number of victims of the invasion and the period that followed, Human Rights Watch reveals that about half a million people lost their lives, while the Iraqi Body Count, a website that counts the victims of the US invasion, estimates that it is close to 210,<> dead.

The American newspaper "The Intercept" had published an article a few days ago in which it indicated that the number of victims is estimated between 150,2 to one million dead Iraqis, as a result of sectarian liquidations, military operations and violence in the country over the past years, while the cost of the war launched by the United States of America against Iraq under the pretext of the existence of weapons of mass destruction is estimated at about 9.<> trillion US dollars, according to the classification of Brown University in the United States.

Shortly after the overthrow of the regime of the late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein on the ninth of April 2003, the Coalition Provisional Authority – at the time – ordered the dissolution of all military, security and intelligence infrastructure in the country, including the Ministries of Defense and Information, in addition to military courts and state security courts, with the suspension of recruitment for military service, and that was on May 23, 2003, where observers of Iraqi affairs described this decision as the main reason for the subsequent deterioration in Iraq of security that led to the death of thousands of civilians.

For his part, the head of the Human Rights Committee in the Iraqi parliament, Arshad Al-Salhi, complains that his committee does not have any accurate official figures and statistics on the victims of US and other foreign forces, indicating that there are two classifications of Iraqis who were killed after 2003, the first by the invading foreign military forces, and the second for the Iraqi victims who fell as a result of the terrorist operations that targeted them.

The Iraqi parliament has voted on the law of compensation for those affected by military operations, military errors and terrorist operations, but Salhi criticizes – in his speech to Al Jazeera Net – successive Iraqi governments and the international community alike, as they did not provide justice to the victims of war and military operations, as he put it.

Al-Salhi pointed out that Iraq has paid the bill for the occupation led by Washington, in addition to the tax of political and military mistakes and crimes of armed organizations that targeted Iraqis, whether they were civilians, victims of war, displaced or forcibly displaced.

Washington's Responsibility

From a legal point of view, the general concept of the term "victims" includes killing, harm, enforced disappearance, loss of breadwinner and family, torture and illegal detention, all of which fall within the term victims of the occupation, according to legal expert Mohammed Al-Samarrai, who estimates the number of Iraqis who became victims and prey to the occupation period and the subsequent bloody events at about 5 million Iraqis.

Commenting on the party that bears responsibility for killing Iraqis after the invasion, Al-Samarrai said, "Every crime has a criminal and perpetrator, directly or indirectly, and must be subject to the provisions of legal responsibility, both criminal and civil, based on compensation and reparation, and here the legal responsibility is divided or falls on those who committed the crime of occupying Iraq in 2003, and therefore the United States of America and its occupation countries and those who participated in the occupation of the country bear that legal responsibility in accordance with the provisions of international law."

Al-Samarrai describes – in his speech to Al Jazeera Net – the occupation of Iraq as a "crime" that applies to the description of occupation and assault on the sovereignty of a state that is a founding member of the United Nations, where it was occupied and destroyed without justification or support or legitimate cover based on the provisions of international law, and in a clear violation of the text of Article II of the Charter of the United Nations.

For his part, academic and researcher in the history of the United States of America, Maher Abbasi, said that the policy of the American occupation and its tools contributed - after 2003 - to the death of large numbers of Iraqis, as well as the foreign agendas of regional countries that did not want stability for Iraq by making it an arena for conflicts and settling scores.

He adds – in his speech to Al Jazeera Net – that the political vacuum and the weakness of state institutions – especially the military and security institution – is one of the most prominent other factors that contributed to the killing of Iraqis, which led to the emergence of outlaw armed groups that practiced assassinations that affected all components of the Iraqi people regardless of their ethnic, sectarian, national and religious affiliations.

These armed groups also contributed to creating a fertile environment for conflicts and conflicts that were fueled and continued by regional countries, and their aim was, according to Abbasi, to empty Iraq of scientific and academic competencies, liquidate them, and emigrate many of them out of the country.

In turn, says political analyst Mohammed Ali al-Hakim – in an interview with Al Jazeera Net – that the Iraqi people were hoping after 2003 to move from individual dictatorship to the democratic system, but he was shocked by the transformation of reality into what he described as "collective dictatorship" and the birth of a political process that can be described as "lame and distorted", as it caused the death of Iraqis throughout those years.