Photo by Yuri Kozyrev—NOOR for TIME
A decade has passed since the United States invaded Iraq. To mark the anniversary, we asked 55 photographers to share their images made in Iraq that moved them the most.
“I was in Baghdad with a hundred journalists during “Shock and Awe.” When the operation began on March 21st, the prospect of dropping thousands bombs and missiles was frightening for everyone on the ground. On the first night, in spite of the thunderous explosions not far from the hotel the journalists were staying in, we observed that the weapons were destroying the targets with accuracy. After a week of bombings, it was amazing to witness the Iraqis’ remarkable resilience. Most people continued with their daily lives as bombs continued to fall around them. And of course there were airstrikes where many Iraqi civilians were killed. We were being watched by minders all the time, who gave us access to the events they thought were news: civilians affected by the bombing or a press conference at the Ministry of Information. We were not allowed to go anywhere near the military or the Republican Guard. They wanted us to report their side of the story — we couldn’t just get into the taxi and travel around. It was late afternoon when my colleague, Sergey Loiko of the Los Angeles Times, our minder and I entered one of the oldest cemeteries in Baghdad. We didn’t expect to see people there but there were some families who had brought the bodies of their relatives killed by airstrikes. A worker told us he had been busy all day long.” — Yuri Kozyrev