The war in Iraq can be divided into two distinct stages. In the first stage US and coalition forces quickly advanced on Baghdad. The regime of Saddam Hussein quickly fell and the US began to administer Iraq directly. The second stage has lasted from the middle of April 2003 until today. In that time the US helped the Iraqis elect there own government. In the meantime US forces were attacked both by supporters of the old regime as well as groups affiliated with Al Queda. To make matters worse violence soon developed between the Shites and Sunnis in Iraq. Today over three years later virtual civil war exist between the Shites and Sunnis.