15 years ago today, US troops captured Saddam Hussein. See the photos of the underground hiding place where they found him.

  • US forces captured Saddam Hussein on December 13, 2003.
  • The ousted Iraqi dictator and members of his family fled Baghdad after the US invaded the city in March 2003.
  • US troops captured and arrested Hussein, who had been hiding in an underground hole, without firing a single shot.
  • Hussein was put on trial and eventually executed in December 2006.

When the US invaded Baghdad in March 2003, ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and his family fled the city, leading to one of the most intense manhunts in history.

That manhunt ended on December 13, 2003, when US forces captured and arrested the disheveled former dictator on the outskirts of his hometown in Tikrit, Iraq – without firing a single shot.


Members of the Fourth Infantry Division’s First Brigade and US Special Forces captured Hussein on December 13, 2003.


Hussein was discovered and arrested in the town of Ad Dwara, on the outskirts of Tikrit.


The deposed dictator had been hiding underground, using this hole as the sole entrance and exit.


Hussein’s underground hiding place had a ventilator in one wall.

Getty ImagesThe underground hole where Hussein was hiding when captured by US forces

A cuffed and haggard-looking Hussein was pictured after his arrest.

Getty ImagesA photo dated December 13, 2003 shows Hussein in what appear to be Flexi-cuffs after his arrest.

Photos showing a disheveled Hussein began surfacing after his capture.

Getty ImagesThis unsourced image alleges to show displaced Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein after his capture in December 2003 in an undisclosed location.

Hussein was on the run for nine months, and the time he spent hiding underground had clearly weathered him.


Hussein remained defiant throughout his trial in 2006, even wagging his finger at the judge.


After Hussein and his family fled Baghdad, the US Department of Defence distributed their images on playing cards to assist in their identification. They added “captured” after they got him.

Hussein’s capture was seen as a major victory for US forces, but the celebration of his arrest was short-lived. A mere four months later, US contractors would be killed and hanged in Fallujah, leading to a near year-long battle amid increasing disillusionment with the war effort.


Read more:
15 years ago, the US invaded Iraq – here’s how it changed the Middle East country


In December 2006, Hussein was executed by hanging in Baghdad.

Source: Reuters

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