2011 is remembered as the year the uprisings which became known as the Arab Spring really began. But in Iraq it was the year the US formally ended its military intervention presence. As the Arab world felt a short-lived surge in optimism, Iraq descended into one of the most intense cycles of violence in its bloody history. Saddam Hussein brutally ruled Iraq for 30 years, marked by wars with Iran, massacres of his own people, and an invasion of Kuwait, which saw him repelled by an international coalition. So when he was finally forced out by a US invasion in 2003, many Iraqis felt things might get better. What followed was chaos. And in late 2019, things reached boiling point; protestors tired of corruption and economic stagnation took to the streets demanding change. Sound familiar? How did the earlier uprisings in the previous decade influence a new wave of demonstrations and were they successful?
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