CaptionA local sheikh arrives to receive instructions on how to carry out guerilla war in the provinces. A long, ongoing stand-off with Iraq came to a head when a coalition of British and American forces attacked the country; the initial offensive comprised a pre-dawn bombing raid on Baghdad on March 20. This was followed by an advance of ground troops across the south of the country, and an extensive 'shock and awe' bombing campaign on the capital and other strategic cities. The Americans said they targeted sites identified as having military significance, or as possibly sheltering the Iraqi leader Sadam Hussein. By April 9, US forces had reached central Baghdad. Saddam Hussein's grip on the city was broken, but he and leading members of the ruling Baath Party had disappeared - the Iraqi leader would not be captured until December 14. The Americans abolished the Baath party and established an interim Governing Council (IGC), which received cautious backing from the UN Security Council.