Road Sign, City of Basra, Iraq, 2003
With 1.3 million people, Basra is the third largest city in Iraq and the largest city in southern Iraq, situated on the west bank of Shatt Al-Arab, 55 km from the Arabian Gulf and 545 km from Baghdad.
As Iraq's primary port, Basra is the main gate to the outside world and its liberation by coalition forces was a significant stage of the conflict. On 6 April 2003 a three pronged attack on the City was ordered. The Fusiliers attacked in the north west, the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and the Black Watch in the centre, while, to the south, 2nd Royal Tank Regiment and infantry from the Irish Guards and 1st Battalion, The Light Infantry moved in to dislodge the offenders.
The operation, which cost three British lives, saw the fall of Basra on 7th April and was marked by the world's media observing the fall of a giant bronze statue of Saddam Hussein on 9 April.
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National Army Museum, Global Role gallery