Lydie Grimmett

Written by Lydie Grimmett

Modified & Updated: 27 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Saddam Hussein, the former dictator of Iraq, remains an enigmatic figure in modern history. Known for his brutal regime and controversial actions, Saddam Hussein’s life and reign left an indelible mark on the world. In this article, we will delve into 17 astonishing facts about Saddam Hussein that shed light on the complexities of his character and the impact of his rule. From his rise to power and manipulation of the Iraqi government to his involvement in international conflicts and the atrocities committed under his regime, these facts will provide a deeper understanding of one of the most infamous leaders of the 20th century. Get ready to be amazed and intrigued as we uncover the surprising truths behind Saddam Hussein’s life.

Key Takeaways:

  • Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq with an iron grip for over two decades, initiating wars, committing human rights abuses, and leaving a lasting impact on the country’s history and people.
  • Despite his ruthless reputation, Saddam Hussein had a creative side, writing novels and constructing extravagant palaces, while also surviving multiple assassination attempts and funding terrorism.
Table of Contents

Saddam Hussein was the President of Iraq for over two decades.

Saddam Hussein served as the President of Iraq from 1979 until his downfall in He held an iron grip on power, ruling the country with an authoritarian regime.

Saddam Hussein was responsible for the Iran-Iraq War.

The Iraq-Iran War, which lasted from 1980 to 1988, was initiated by Saddam Hussein. The conflict resulted in significant casualties and strained diplomatic relations between the two nations.

Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990.

In a move that shocked the international community, Saddam Hussein ordered the invasion of Kuwait in August This act of aggression led to the Gulf War, with a coalition of countries driving Iraqi forces out of Kuwait.

Saddam Hussein was accused of committing human rights abuses.

During his regime, Saddam Hussein was notorious for his brutal treatment of political opponents, ethnic minorities, and dissidents. Reports of torture, mass killings, and chemical attacks on civilian populations emerged, highlighting the extent of his human rights violations.

Saddam Hussein was captured by U.S. forces in 2003.

Following the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, Saddam Hussein went into hiding. However, in December of the same year, he was found hiding in a small underground hole near his hometown of Tikrit and apprehended by American forces.

Saddam Hussein was put on trial for crimes against humanity.

After his capture, Saddam Hussein faced trial for numerous crimes, including genocide and crimes against humanity. The trial concluded with his execution by hanging in December 2006.

Saddam Hussein wrote several novels.

Despite his ruthless reputation, Saddam Hussein had a creative side and wrote several novels during his time in power. These books often depicted himself as a heroic figure and portrayed his political ideology.

Saddam Hussein’s regime built extravagant palaces.

During his rule, Saddam Hussein allocated vast sums of money to construct lavish palaces and monuments across Iraq. These extravagant structures showcased his desire for grandeur and power.

Saddam Hussein declared victory over the United States during the Gulf War.

Despite being driven out of Kuwait by a coalition of international forces, Saddam Hussein declared victory over the United States and celebrated it as a triumph for Iraq. This delusional proclamation further solidified his reputation as a dictator.

Saddam Hussein was a Sunni Muslim ruling over a predominantly Shia population.

Despite being a Sunni Muslim, Saddam Hussein ruled over a predominantly Shia population in Iraq. This religious divide played a significant role in shaping the political landscape of the region.

Saddam Hussein had an extensive network of secret police.

Under his regime, Saddam Hussein established a feared intelligence agency known as the Mukhabarat. This secret police force was responsible for monitoring and suppressing any opposition or dissent within the country.

Saddam Hussein survived multiple assassination attempts.

Throughout his rule, Saddam Hussein faced numerous assassination attempts orchestrated by both internal and external enemies. His survival further fueled his perception of invincibility.

Saddam Hussein was known for his elaborate military uniforms.

Saddam Hussein was often seen in public donning elaborate military uniforms, adorned with medals and symbols of power. This theatrical display aimed to project strength and authority.

Saddam Hussein’s image was prevalent throughout Iraq.

Under his regime, images and statues of Saddam Hussein were prominently displayed across Iraq. His presence was enforced to foster a cult of personality and instill fear among the population.

Saddam Hussein funded terrorism.

Reports suggest that Saddam Hussein provided financial support to various terrorist organizations, including Palestinian groups and insurgents in neighboring countries.

Saddam Hussein had a complex underground bunker system.

In order to protect himself from potential attacks, Saddam Hussein constructed an extensive network of underground bunkers beneath his palaces and government buildings. These fortified structures included living quarters, command centers, and escape routes.

Saddam Hussein’s reign left a lasting impact on Iraq.

The legacy of Saddam Hussein’s rule continues to shape Iraq’s political, social, and economic landscape. The scars of his regime can still be felt today as the country strives to rebuild and heal.


In conclusion, Saddam Hussein was a complex and influential figure in modern history. His leadership in Iraq spanned over two decades and impacted the region in numerous ways. From his rise to power to his downfall, Saddam Hussein’s life and actions continue to captivate and intrigue people around the world.This article has provided 17 astonishing facts about Saddam Hussein, shedding light on various aspects of his life and regime. From his brutal tactics to his lavish lifestyle, these facts paint a multidimensional picture of a dictator who ruled with an iron fist.It is crucial to understand and learn from the history of individuals like Saddam Hussein to prevent similar atrocities from happening in the future. By examining his life and the consequences of his actions, we can gain valuable insights into the complexities of power, leadership, and the consequences of unchecked authoritarianism.Saddam Hussein’s legacy is still felt today, with Iraq continuing to face the aftermath of his regime. As we move forward, it is essential to remember the lessons of the past and strive for a more peaceful and just world.


Q: How did Saddam Hussein rise to power?

A: Saddam Hussein rose to power in Iraq through a combination of political maneuvering and military force. He joined the Ba’ath Party and gradually climbed the ranks, eventually becoming the Vice President of Iraq in 1968. In 1979, he assumed the presidency after orchestrating a coup that ousted his predecessor.

Q: What were some of Saddam Hussein’s most notorious acts of brutality?

A: Saddam Hussein’s regime was marked by numerous acts of brutality. Some of the most notorious include the gassing of thousands of Kurds in the town of Halabja in 1988, the invasion of Kuwait in 1990, and the suppression of uprisings within Iraq, resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of people.

Q: How did Saddam Hussein maintain his grip on power?

A: Saddam Hussein maintained his grip on power through a combination of fear, repression, and control. He established a totalitarian regime where dissent was swiftly crushed, and loyalty was enforced through pervasive surveillance and brutal punishments. Additionally, he cultivated a personality cult and heavily controlled the country’s media.

Q: What led to Saddam Hussein’s downfall?

A: Saddam Hussein’s downfall can be attributed to a combination of factors. The invasion of Iraq by the United States-led coalition in 2003 aimed to remove him from power, citing his alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction. Following the invasion, he was captured, tried, and eventually executed in 2006.

Q: What is Saddam Hussein’s legacy in Iraq?

A: Saddam Hussein’s legacy in Iraq is one of devastation and division. His regime was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, the displacement of millions, and the exacerbation of sectarian tensions. His overthrow led to a power vacuum and subsequent instability in the country that continues to this day.

Saddam Hussein's controversial legacy continues to shape Iraq's political landscape, leaving many questions about the country's future. For those interested in learning more about Iraqi leadership, our article on Nouri Al-Maliki provides captivating facts about his tenure as Prime Minister. If you're seeking a change of pace, why not explore the meaning behind the Chinese zodiac sign, the Year of the Ox? This ancient tradition offers intriguing insights into personality traits and fortunes associated with those born under this sign.

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