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The Iraq War was an armed conflict in Iraq that consisted of two phases. The first was an invasion of Ba'athist Iraq starting on 20 March 2003 by an invasion force led by the United States. It was followed by a longer phase of fighting, in which an insurgency emerged to oppose coallition forces and the newly formed Iraqi government. The U.S. completed its withdrawal of military personnel in December 2011. However, the Iraqi insurgency continues and caused thousands of fatalities in 2012. Prior to the war, the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom claimed that Iraq's alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction posed a threat to their security and that of their coalition/regional allies. In 2002, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1441 which called for Iraq to completely cooperate with UN weapon inspectors to verify that Iraq was not in possession of WMD and cruise missiles. Prior to the attack, the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission found no evidence of WMD, but could not yet verify the accuracy of Iraq's declarations regarding what weapons it possessed. After investigation following the invasion, the U.S.‑led Iraq Survey Group concluded that Iraq had ended its nuclear, chemical and biological programs in 1991 and had no active programs at the time of the invasion, but that they intended to resume production if the Iraq sanctions were lifted. Although some degraded remnants of misplaced or abandoned chemical weapons from before 1991 were found, they were not the weapons which had been one of the main arguments for the invasion. (via Freebase)