Death and destruction quickly became a common sight in the country.
Chaos and instability gripped the whole region as a result of the invasion.
Here are some of the most iconic images from the war and the occupation that followed.
A British soldier jumps from a burning tank which was set ablaze after a shooting incident in the southern Iraqi city of Basra, September 19, 2005. Angry crowds attacked a British tank with petrol bombs and rocks after Iraqi authorities said they had detained two British undercover soldiers in the southern city for firing on police.