April 28, 2003 – The Iraq War in Anbar Province Insurgency begins Shortly after the Fall of Baghdad, the US Army turned Anbar Province over to a single regiment, the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR). With only several thousand soldiers, that force had little hope of effectively controlling Anbar. The immediate catalyst for violent activity in the Fallujah area came after what many Iraqis and foreign journalists dubbed a “massacre” in Fallujah. On the evening of 28 April 2003, Saddam Hussein’s birthday, a crowd of about one hundred men, women, and children staged anti-American protests outside US military outposts in Fallujah. The Iraqis claimed they were unarmed, while the Army said that some individuals were carrying and firing AK-47s. The soldiers manning one of the outposts fired on the crowd, killing at least twelve and wounding dozens more. The Army never apologized for the killings or paid compensation. In the weeks afterwards, the town’s pro-US mayor urged the Americans to leave.