The Battle of Baghdad was fought between the US forces and Iraqi Republican Guard, from April 3 to April 14, 2003, during the invasion of Iraq. The result of this armed confrontation against Iraqi regular soldiers was an American victory, but, during the next months and years, there would follow a violent period of terrorist attacks against US military personnel and civilians carried out by different groups of Islamists and al-Qaeda cells that had infiltrated into Iraq.
On April 3, 2003, after clearing out enemy strongholds on the periphery, the US Army’s 3rd Infantry Division and the US 1st Marine Division, armed with M1 Abrams tanks and M2 Bradley armored vehicles, made their way into Baghdad. On April 4, elements of the 3rd Infantry Divisions surrounded the International Airport, which was taken by the Americans after fierce fighting. Task Force 1-64 Armor (3rd Infantry Division) was the spearhead of the American advance into Baghdad, moving through the main streets. During the fighting the US troops took the government districts and a major presidential palace on the Tigris River.
As they pushed into the center of Baghdad, the US marines and Army troops met pockets of stiff resistance. Iraqi units constantly fired rocket-propelled grenades and artillery shells against the Americans. However, after ten days of house-to-house fighting, the stubborn stand put up by the Republic Guard and other Iraqi units seemed to crumble as Iraqi civilians started looting government buildings. Saddam Hussein and top Iraqi commanders had already fled the city as chaos broke out loose among the population; the old regime had collapsed. By April 14, the last pockets of resistance had been cleared out. Approximately 2,000 Iraqi troops were killed during the battle; only 34 American soldiers were killed in action.