The Baathist Party gained power in Iraq in 1968, and Saddam Hussein took over the party and country. He ruled Iraq until he was ousted in 2003. In May 2003, the United Nations Security Council voted to lift nonmilitary sanctions on Iraq and recognized the Coalition Provisional Authority in Resolution 1483 (PDF).
The international community has repeatedly accused Saddam Hussein of war crimes, genocide and atrocities during his reign in Iraq. Some of the allegations include using poison gas against Iranians during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, dropping chemical weapons on Halabja, which killed up to 5,000 people and committing crimes against humanity and possibly genocide against the Marsh Arabs and Shi'a Arabs in southern Iraq, as well as against Iraqi Kurds in northern Iraq.
Saddam Hussein's regime was toppled in early 2003. Eight months later, on Dec. 13, 2003, the United States military captured Hussein. The prosecution of Saddam Hussein is being carried out in the Green Zone in Baghdad in a well-protected courtroom. The trial began in October 2005.