3/1/2020, Early this morning, a US
drone strike on Baghdad Airport killed Qassem
Soleimani, head of the Iranian Al Quds air force, along with three other
senior Iranian officials.
25/9/2017, Iraqi Kurdish independence
vote. This vote was opposed by countries neighbouring Iraq because it might promote
secession in their Kurdish regions. 93% in favour of independence from Iraq, on
a turnout of 72%. Some anti-independence voters boycotted the poll. Turkey
threatened sanctions, including a boycott of Kurdish oil exports.
12.0, ISIS created, 2013-15
28/12/2015, Iraq retook
Ramadi from ISIS
beheaded a western hostage, James Foley.
United Nations passed a resolution backing sanctions on any country supplying,
fighting for, or funding IS (ISIS).
14/8/2014, Mr Nuria al
Maliki resigned after 8 years as Iraqi Prime Minister. He had backed
the Shias against other ethnic groups, and his replacement, Haider al Abadi,
62, was to be more inclusive.
declared a Caliphate�.
8/8/2014, The US
carried out its first air strike against ISIS on Iraqi territory.
6/2014, Mosul, Iraq, fell to ISIS forces.
forces took Fallujah, Iraq.
9/5/2013, ISIS was
3/8/2010, US President Obama announced the end of official combat operations in
21/5/2006, The new Iraqi Government held its first cabinet
meeting as suicide bombings in Baghdad continued. The new Prime Minister, Nouri al Maliki,
promised to use �maximum force against terrorism�.
referendum in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq gave a 99% vote for outright
secession as the independent State of Kurdistan. This region had been beyond
the de-facto rule of Baghdad since 1991. However by 2016 no actual declaration
of independence had been made, largely due to competing factions within the Kurdish
adminstrators of the region; this despite the break-up of Syria and
establishment of Kurdish control in the north-east of that country too. The
Kurdish ethnoc region also covers parts of western Iran and a large part of
south-eastern Turkey too.
15/12/2005, Iraq held its first
Parliamentary elections under its new constitution.
25/10/2005, US deaths in Iraq now amounted to 5,000.
25/8/2005, More than 1,000 Shiite
pilgrims at a holy shrine in Baghdad. Iraq, were killed in a� stampede. Rumours that there were suicide
bombers in the crowd started the panic.
11,0, Abu Ghraib scandal, 2004-06
9/3/2006, The US
military announced it would close the notorious Abu Ghraib prison, where there had been mistreatment of Iraqi
26/9/2005, US Army Reservist Lynndie
England was convicted by a military jury on 6 of 7 counts in connection
with prisoner abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison, Iraq.
11/5/2004, Al Qaeda
released a video of their beheading of Nick Berg, a US contractor, in revenge for the
�Satanic degradation� of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison.
officials admitted that 2 Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib had been murdered whilst in US custody; there was also
systematic abuse of other Iraqi prisoners there.
21/12/2004, In Iraq, insurgents attacked a US
Army base near Mosul, killing 19 US soldiers.
20/4/2004, In Iraq, insurgents fired mortars at Abu Ghraib
prison, near Baghdad. 22 inmates were killed and almost 100 injured.
10.0, Creation of new
Iraqi Government, 2004-05
16/3/2005, Iraq�s newly-elected National Assembly first convened. Even though
gunfire could be heard outside, there was an air of optimisim that Iraq was
heading towards stability at last.
30/1/2005, Iraq held its first elections, following the transfer of authority
from America to Baghdad. Braving the risk of suicide bombers, some 8.5 million
people, 60% of the electorate, turned out. However
the Sunnis, 20% of the population, largely boycotted the poll. A Shi�ite
coalition, the United Iraqi Alliance, won with 48% of votes cast; the Kurdistan
Alliance came second with 26%. The Iraqi List Party, supporting Iraq�s
US-backed interim Prime Minister, Ayad Alawi, came a distant third with 13% of
18/1/2005, In Iraq, an archbishop was kidnapped by Iraqi gunmen.� Violence and bombings occurred on a daily
basis in Iraq as the elections scheduled for the end of January approached.
8/9/2004, Wednesday (+21,673) By now, 2,000 US soldiers had been killed in Iraq since the start of the invasion, with some 7,000 wounded. However
President Bush banned TV from filming the return of coffins to the USA.
26/8/2004, Under a peace agreement between the US and Iraq, Najaf and the nearby
town of Kufa were designated weapons-free zones and US troops withdrawn. In
Najaf, the cleric Moqtadr el Sadr attempted to start a Shiite
rebellion, but this failed to spread to other Shiite centres.
14/7/2004, In Britain, the enquiry by Lord Butler into the intelligence used by the UK
Government to justify a war on Iraq published its findings. The intelligence in
the Dossier of September 2002 was defective, and to avoid individual blame a
verdict of collective failure was announced.
28/6/2004, The US-led coalition formally
handed back power to the Iraqi Government, led by Iyad Allawi, from the Shia majority.
8/6/2004, The UN Security Council approved a US-British plan to end the
occupation of Iraq by 30/6/2004. Power would be handed back to an interim Iraqi
Government, with elections to be held in 1/2005.
24/5/2004, The US and UK tabled a draft UN Security Council Resolution approving
the handover of power to an interim Iraqi Government on 30/6/2004. Coalition
force commanders would continue to oversee security and counter-terrorism
16/5/2004, The US and UK prepared for a swift withdrawal of coalition forces from
Iraq, saying they would only stay as long as a proposed interim Iraqi
Government wanted them to.
10/5/2004, A Gallup poll in the USA showed that for the first time a majority (54%)
of Americans were opposed to US policy in Iraq.
16/4/2004, US President
Bush agreed to allow the UN to shape a future
Iraqi Government, rather than the USA overseeing this process alone.
15/3/2004, Spain said it would withdraw its 1,300 troops from Iraq if the UN did
not take over all peacekeeping operations by 20/6/2004. On 14/3/2004 Spanish elections had produced a defeat for the ruling
Popular Party by the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), which then formed a
minority administration under its leader, Jose Luis Rodriguez, The SWP opposed
the Iraq War.
1/3/2004, Mohammed Bahr
al-Uloum became President of Iraq.
3/2/2004, The CIA admitted there was no
threat from weapons of mass destruction before the USA invaded Iraq.
19/1/2004, 100,000 Shiites marched through Baghdad in support of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani (see 11/1/2004).
Ayatollah Ali Sistani, principal Shiite religious leader,
protested at the idea of an appointed, rather than elected, National Assembly
9.0, Fallujah 2004
14/11/2004, In Iraq a
force of 20,000 US troops, assisted by 2,000 Iraqi National Guards, retook Fallujah. However their main target, militant Abu Musab al
Zarqawi, had already escaped from the city.
8/11/2004, 10,000 US
troops attacked Iraqi insurgents in the town of Fallujah.
Baghdad, a suicide car bomb killed 47 police volunteers and civilians.
Meanwhile in Baquba in northern Iraq 11 policemen were killed in an armed
ambush. Responsibility for bith attacks was claimed by the United and Holy War
Group, run by Abu
Musab al Zarqawi, a Jordanian with links to Al-Qaeda, and based in Fallujah.
29/4/2004, After 25
days of intense fighting at Fallujah, Iraq, US
Marine battalions withdraw and were replaced by an Iraqi force.
rebellion organised by Shia cleric Hojetoleslam Moqtada el Sadr in Iraq was
spreading. In the past 3 days, 140 Iraqis and 30 US soldiers had died in this
uprising. The rebels now held Najaf. Meanwhile Siunni forces loyal to Saddam
Hussein were fighting in Fallujah.
31/3/2004, In Fallujah,
west of Baghdad, civilians mutilated the bodies of three US civilian
8.0, Destruction of the
Saddam Hussein family 2003
30/12/2006, Saddam Hussein
was hanged for crimes against humanity.
Iraqi President Saddam
Hussein was sentenced to death by the Iraqi Special Tribunal. He was
hanged on 30/12/2006.
19/10/2005, The trial
9/4/2005, Tens of
thousands of demonstrators, many of them supporters of the radical cleric Moqtadr el Sadr,
protested in Baghdad against the US occupation, two years after the fall of Saddam Hussein,
in the square where his statue was toppled in 2003.
13/12/2003. Saddam Hussein was captured in a hole in the
ground at a farm 10 miles south of his home town, Tikrit, by US and Kurdish
21/8/2003. Saddam Hussein�s cousin, Ali Hassan
al-Majd, known as chemical Ali, was captured by US forces.
24/7/2003. The US released gruesome photos of Saddam Hussein�s dead sons, Uday and Qusai,
killed in a raid by US forces on 22/7/2003.
Hussein�s sons, Udai and Qusai, died during a US air raid on Mosul, Iraq.
7.5, Civil disturbances
continue in Iraq, 2003
8/11/2003. The Red
Cross pulled all their staff out of Baghdad and Basra, Iraq, calling the
situation �extremely dangerous�. A bomb blast at the Red Cross HQ on 27/10/2003
had killed 12 people.
27/10/2003. 35 people
killed in Baghdad in the bloodiest day since the war �ended�.
8/9/2003. George W Bush
secured US$ 87 billion from Congress for the reconstruction of Iraq, and
military spending over the coming year, bringing the grand total of US
projected spending in Iraq to US$ 130 billion.
29/8/2003. Car bomb
at a mosque in Najaf, Iraq, killed at least 83, including a top Shi�ite leader,
Mohammed al Hakim. 175 were wounded.
19/8/2003. 22 people killed, including the UN envoy to
Iraq, as a truck bomb hits the UN headquarters in Baghdad.
7/8/2003, 17 killed
and 60 wounded when a truck bomb exploded outside the Jordanian Embassy
compound in Baghdad. Also today another US soldier shot dead elsewhere in
1/8/2003. The Hutton
inquiry began into the BBC/Iraq dossier affair, see 22/5/2003 and 18/7/2003.
26/7/2003. Three US soldiers guarding a children�s
hospital in Iraq killed and four wounded in a grenade attack. Two days earlier
3 US soldiers killed and 2 more persons wounded in an attack on a US convoy in
Iraq. There had been regular killings of US soldiers in Iraq, about 2 or 3 a
5/7/2003, A bomb
killed seven Iraqi police recruits at a graduation ceremony in Ramadi, 60 miles
west of Baghdad.
Iraqis, including an Imam, killed in an explosion beside a mosque in Falluja.
The US later claimed it was an accident during a bomb-making lesson.
24/6/2003. Six British military personnel killed and 8
wounded in two incidents in southern Iraq, both near Amara. Regular attacks on
and killings of US soldiers continued in Iraq.
27/5/2003. Two US soldiers killed and 9 wounded in
attack on army unit at Falluja.
26/5/2003. Further US soldiers died in Iraq as a US
vehicle hit a landmine in Baghdad, killing one and injuring 3 soldiers. Also
enemy fire killed a US soldier in a convoy near Haditha.
13/5/2003. In Britain, Development Secretary Claire Short resigned over Iraq. The killings of US soldiers continued despite
Bush�s declaration that �the war was over�, with a US soldier killed in
an ambush on his convoy at Diwaniya. On 8/5/2003 a US soldier was shot dead
whilst directing traffic in Baghdad.
7.1, David Kelly �suicide�, Iraq
22/5/2003. Scientist David Kelly met with BBC reporter Andrew Gilligan, in a Charing Cross hotel. On
Gilligan�s report was broadcast by the BBC on �Today�. It was
claimed that the intelligence community was not happy with the claims in the �Iraq
dossier� (see 24/9/2002). Tony Blair denied this claim. On 1/6/2003 Andrew Gilligan claimed that Alistair Campbell, in The Mail on Sunday, had
�sexed up� the Iraq dossier. On 6/6/2003 Campbell complained to the BBC
On 26/6/2003 Campbell
demanded an apology from the BBC, and on 27/6/2003 Gilligan told a BBC news
reporter of his source (Kelly). On 4/7/2003 the MoD warned Kelly
against further contact with the media. On 6/7/2003 BBC governors defended the Gilligan
report. On 7/7/2003 Parliament cleared Campbell of �sexing up� the dossier. On
9/7/2003 the press named Kelly as Gilligan�s source. On 18/7/2003 Kelly
went missing and was found dead, allegedly having committed suicide. See
7.0, Fall of Baghdad to US forces, 2003
George Bush declared the Iraq war to be over. US troops controlled,
in theory, much of |Iraq; however sporadic attacks on Allied troops, acts of
sabotage on oil, water, and other infrastructure, and car bomb attacks on the
UN building continued since then, throughout 2003.
16/4/2003. A huge
demonstration by Shiites in Baghdad. The
Coalition said this was proof that new liberties were available in Baghdad.
9/4/2003, US tanks rolled into Baghdad, to scenes of
joy. A crowd pulled down a statue of Saddam Hussein,
with help from US soldiers, and the head of the statue was dragged around the
7/4/2003, The Iraqi city of Basra was captured from Saddam Hussein�s forces.
21/3/2003, The city of Baghdad was ablaze under the
USA�s �Shock and Awe� campaign in Iraq.
coalition led by the USA and the UK attacked Iraq. This was without UN authorisation, see 5/2/2003.
19/3/2003, The USA bombed Baghdad.
6.0 Preparations for war on Iraq, but Western
opinions divided, 2001-03
MPs voted 412 to 149 in favour of using force against Iraq.
of people worldwide protested against the US threat of war on Iraq.
27/2/2003, In the UK, 122 Labour MPs
voted against military action in Iraq.
5/2/2003, Against the opinion of UN
weapons inspectors, US Secretary of State Colin
Powell claimed to have evidence of weapons of mass destruction and
weapons research facilities in Iraq. The USA and UK pressurised the UN for
authorisation to attack Iraq, see 20/3/2003. Tony
Blair, later dubbed �Tony Bliar�, claimed Iraq could deploy weapons of
mass destruction at 45 minutes notice.
23/1/2003, Germany and France opposed military action against Iraq.
20/1/2003, The UK Government
announced that it would send 30,000 troops to the Gulf.
7/12/2002. Iraq issued a 12,000 page dossier of its weapons
programme, but claimed it had no banned arms.
8/11/2002. The UN passed Resolution 1441, by 15 votes
to 0, giving Iraq a final chance to comply with disarmament.
Congress authorised the use of military force in Iraq.
24/9/2002. In Britain, a �dossier� on Iraq�s alleged weapons capability was published. In
it, Tony Blair claimed Iraq could launch
�weapons of mass destruction� at 45 minutes notice. See 22/5/2003.
12/9/2002. President Bush
of the USA warned the UN that the USA will act if the UN cannot deal with Iraqi
violations of sanctions. See 8/11/2002.
12/11/2001. Iraq said it approved of
the World Trade Centre attack on 11/9/2001.
for events relating to �9-11�attacks
16/2/2001, US and UK warplanes bombed the suburbs
of Baghdad, killing 3 people.
was a signal from the new US President Bush that he would tolerate no
more Iraqi prevarication over the acceptance of weapons inspctors.
5.0, Iraqi obstruction of international
weapons inspectors, 1997-98
Unscom withdrew weapons
inspectors from Iraq after continued obstruction from visiting various sites.
Between 16 and 19 December, US and Britain bombed Iraq� (Operation Desert Fox) to destroy its
nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons programmes.
ceased all co-operation with the UN Special Commission which was set up to
oversee the destruction of Iraq�s Weapons of Mass Destruction (Unscom).
29/9/1998, The US passed the Iraq Liberation Act, stating the US intention to
remove Saddam Hussein from power and replace his regime with a democratic government.
5/8/1998, Iraq suspended all co-operation with UNSCOM officials.
29/10/1997, Iraq banned UN weapons inspectors from its territory.
3/9/1996. The US extended the southern Iraq
no-fly-zone, established on 26/8/1992 south of 32 degrees, up to 33 degrees,
just south of Baghdad.
31/8/1996, Iraqi forces launched a major offensive
into the northern no-fly-zone and captured the city of Erbil from the Kurds.
12/7/1996.� Saddam Hussein, Iraqi President, was reported to
have foiled a coup attempt by 50 military officers. Therer were mass executions
following this event.
20/5/1996, The USA
and Iraq signed an agreement where the revenue from Iraqi oil sales could be
exchanged for humanitarian aid, known as the �Oil for Food program�.
10/11/1995, Iraqi disarmament crisis; the UN
intercepted 240 Russian gyroscopes and accelerometers en route from Russia to
14/4/1995. The UN
allowed Iraq to resume partial exports of its oil to pay for essential food and
medicine. Iraq did not implement this until December 1996.
15/10/1994. The UN demanded that Iraq withdrew military
units positioned near the border with Kuwait. Iraq complied.
27/6/1993. US forces launched cruise missile attack on
Baghdad Intelligence HQ in retaliation for an attempted assassination of US President George Bush in April 1993.
8/1/1993. President Saddam Hussein
of Iraq continued to defy calls by
Britain, France, The USA, and Russia to move surface-to-air missiles away from
the air exclusion zone in southern Iraq.�
Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz
was defiant; however the missiles were in fact soon moved, to a location
unknown to the Allies due to poor weather.
27/10/1992. Turkey sent tanks into northern Iraq as a
security measure against Kurdish separatist guerrillas.
27/8/1992. The US established a �no-fly� zone over
southern Iraq, south of latitude 32 degrees.
3/8/1992. The US began forces manoeuvres in Kuwait,
as a warning to Iraq.
7/7/1992. Iraq again
obstructed UNSCOM weapons inspectors, refusing them access to the Ministry of Agriculture, where there may
have been details of Iraq�s chemical weapons programme.
28/2/1992. Baghdad was still obstructing UN weapons
inspectors teams, until sanctions were relaxed.
15/8/1991. Iraq was required by the UN to provide a
list of all proscribed weapons and weapon development programmes.
2/5/1991. The UN set a six-day deadline for Iraqi
troops to withdraw from the Iraq/Kuwait border.
13/4/1991. Iran opened its borders and asked for
Western help to deal with 1.5 million Kurdish refugees, as hundreds died each
day from cold, hunger, and disease. Iran felt more help had been given to
Turkey, which had not been as hospitable to the Kurds as Iran had. On 19/4/1991
the Allies took over ground for Kurdish refugees just inside Iraq.
10/4/1991. The USA ordered Iraq to cease all
military activity within its borders.
9/4/1991. Customs officers in the West Midlands
arrested four men from two firms over alleged export of machine tools to Iraq.
8/4/1991. The establishment of a UN safe haven for
Kurds in northern Iraq was approved.
7/4/1991. Iran closed its border to fleeing Kurds,
saying it had no more resources to cope with them. Iraqi forces heavily
suppressed rebellions in the Shiite south and Kurdish north since the Gulf war
ceasefire in March 1991.
5/4/1991. President Bush ordered US transport planes to drop
supplies to Kurdish refugees in northern Iraq.
3/4/1991. Unscom demanded that Iraqi missiles with a range of
over 150 kilometres must be removed, destroyed, or made harmless. UN Resolution
687 set out Iraq�s disarmament obligations.
2/4/1991. Turkey sought UN help as its army turned
away thousands of Kurds at the
border fleeing the Iraqi army. President Bush said he would not allow US troops to risk their
lives in what was an Iraqi civil war. John Major sent �20 million of food aid to the Kurds but also
would not intervene militarily.
31/3/1991, Kirkuk was recaptured by Iraqi forces, see
were fleeing over the Iraqi border to Turkey and Iran after the Iraqi army, having defeated the Shiites in the south, turned
on the Kurdish Peshmerga rebels. Many refugees died of cold in the mountains on
19/3/1991. Kurdish rebels claimed to have captured Kirkuk, the main oil city of northern
Iraq. See 31/3/1991.
16/3/1991. (1) Saddam Hussein, speaking publicly for the first
time since the end of the Gulf war, claimed the Shiite rebellion in the south
had been crushed. He admitted the fighting with Kurdish rebels continued in the
(2) Bush and Major
said they would maintain sanctions against Iraq till it paid for the Kuwaiti
war and got rid of its weapons of mass destruction.
4.0, Gulf War 1990-91
10/3/1991, US troops began to leave the Persian Gulf.
5/3/1991. Republican Guards loyal to Saddam
Hussein fired on Shia rebels in the southern Iraqi city of Basra. The
Kurds in the north were also preparing to try for independence. Baghdad
Radio announced that the annexation of Kuwait was annulled.
3/3/1991. A peace agreement was reached between Allied and
Iraqi forces after the Gulf War. In 1990 Iraqi forces under Saddam Hussein had invaded Kuwait, on August 2nd.
A week later USA forces arrived in the Gulf and in January 1991 operation
Desert Storm was launched against Iraq, supported by the USA, Saudi Arabia, and
United Nations voted in favour of US resolutions for a cease fire with Iraq.
28/2/1991. Ceasefire in the Gulf. Fears of massive Allied casualties never materialised, and in the
event Iraqi resistance crumbled and 250 Allied
personnel were killed. Iraqi casualties are not known exactly but were probably
between 35,000 and 100,000. President Bush
called for the Iraqi people to overthrow Saddam
Hussein, but gave no actual assistance and both a Shia uprising in
southern Iraq and a Kurdish rebellion in the north failed. Iraq viciously
reasserted its power and hundreds of thousands of refugees especially Kurds
fled to Turkey across inhospitable mountain terrain. President
Bush feared the coalition would collapse if his forces went as far as
Baghdad and overthrew Saddam Hussein, an
action not covered by the UN mandate.
25/2/1991. Iraqi tanks and troops fled from Kuwait. The Allies
pounded the retreating troops, not wishing to see Iraq keep its armour intact.
Over 270 Iraqi tanks were destroyed and over 25,000 Iraqi soldiers captured as
POWs. Many Iraqi conscript soldiers surrendered without a fight.
24/2/1991. Allies began land offensive against Iraq. Heading Operation Desert Storm was �Stormin� Norman� US General H Norman Schwarzkopf.
US troops crossed from Saudi Arabia into Kuwait and also crossed the Saudi
border further west into Iraq, to wheel north and east and encircle Iraqi
forces around Kuwait. This manoeuvre surprised Saddam
Hussein, who may have been hoping to repeat the tactic of the Iraq/Iran
war by luring US troops into frontal attacks and then massacring them.
22/2/1991. The USA said it would begin a full-scale land attack
if Iraq did not withdraw from Kuwait by noon 23/2/1991. Iraq began
systematically setting fire to Kuwaiti oil wells. 150 wells were fired, sending
a huge pall of black smoke across the Gulf area. Five million gallons of oil a
day were being destroyed.
18/2/1991. The US
assault ship Tripoli and the guided
missile cruiser Princeton were
damaged by mines in the Persian Gulf during the Gulf War.
16/2/1991, During the Gulf War, two Scud missiles hit Israel;
one fell in the Negev Desert near the Dimona nuclear reactor. Meanwhile a poll
in Europe showed 1 in 3 people in favour of using nuclear weapons on Saddam Hussein if he used chemical weapons in the
13/2/1991. 500 Iraqi civilians were killed when the US bombed a
civilian bomb shelter, believing it to be a military bunker.
27/1/1991. The Iraqis had laid 1 million mines in Kuwait to
halt an Allied advance.
26/1/1991. Seven Iraqi warplanes fled to Iran.
25/1/1991. (1) Baghdad
now had no water or electricity after continued bombing. Sewage pumping had
ceased because of no electricity. Bridges had also been destroyed. However the
Allies now realised that Saddam would not
give in because of bombing alone and a land offensive will be needed. 16 Allied
aircraft had been lost to anti-aircraft missiles in 10,000 sorties; most of the
Iraqi air force remained protected in bomb-proof bunkers. The RAF bombed Iraqi
(2) Iraq began pumping huge quantities of
oil into the Gulf, to hinder Allied amphibious operations. A slick formed, two
miles wide by ten miles long, harming wildlife.
24/1/1991. (1) The Gulf war was costing the UK nearly �30 million a
day in munitions, lost equipment, and operations spending.
(2) The Allies captured the Kuwaiti island
of Qaruh, the first part of Kuwait to be liberated from Iraq.
23/1/1991. Iraq suspended sales of petrol and diesel because
half its refining capacity had been destroyed by Allied bombing.
22/1/1991, Iraq set fire to two Kuwaiti oil refineries and oil
wells near the Saudi border. By the end of the war 732 of Kuwait�s oil wells
had been set on fire.
21/1/1991. Iraq threatened to use shot-down Allied airmen as
human shields against bomb attacks. Captured US airmen were paraded on Iraqi TV.
19/1/1991. More bombing of Baghdad, more Scuds hit Tel Aviv.
Scud missiles were also fired on Riyadh, the Saudi capital.
18/1/1991. (1) Baghdad
launched Scud missiles on Tel Aviv and Haifa. Saddam
Hussein hoped to provoke Israel into attacking the Arabs, thereby
getting the Arab world on his side. President Bush
called on Israel not to retaliate and promised to equip Israel with Patriot
missiles to destroy the Scuds in mid-air.
(2) Anti-Gulf war protests across the USA,
with 1,400 demonstrators arrested. Many more protested in European cities,
including Bonn, Berlin and Paris. However US polls showed 75% in favour of the
war, up from 50% just before the war began; 80% were in favour in the UK.
Anti-Western demonstrations took place across the Muslim world.
17/1/1991. Baghdad was heavily bombed, also other Iraqi
military targets; Iraq fired 8 Scud missiles into Israel.
Desert Storm began. Phase One involved heavy bombing of Iraq, as US
warships in the Gulf launched Cruise Missiles on Baghdad. also gaining US air
superiority. In the first 24 hours, US aircraft flew 400 missions against 60
targets in Iraq. Phase Two involved destroying any Iraqi nuclear, chemical, and
biological weapons capability, and Phase Three involved pounding the Iraqi Army
from the air to pave the way for a ground invasion. Iraq attacked |Israel,
which had taken no action against Iraq.
15/1/1991. The UN
deadline for Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait passed, see 31/8/1990 and 29/11/1990.
12/1/1991. The US Congress authorised the use of force against
22/12/1990. Saddam Hussein announced that he would never relinquish Kuwait
and, if attacked, would launch missiles and chemical weapons on Israel.
6/12/1990, Saddam Hussein announced that all 34,000 foreign hostages held in
Iraq since the invasion of Kuwait were now free to leave.
29/11/1990. The United Nations, in Resolution 678, authorised
the use of �all necessary means� if Saddam Hussein
did not leave Kuwait by 15/1/1991, five weeks away. This was the first
authorisation of the use of force by the UN since the Korean War.
19/11/1990. Saddam Hussein sent another 250,000 troops to Kuwait.
11/11/1990. The UN Security Council passed Resolution 688,
giving Iraq until 15/1/1991 to withdraw from Kuwait.
9/11/1990. President Bush announced a
doubling of US forces in the Gulf.
24/10/1990. Edward Heath returned from Iraq with hostages. On 21/10/1990
Heath had had a 3-hour meeting with Saddam Hussein
to negotiate the hostages� release.
19/9/1990, Iraqi leader Saddam
Hussein offered to release all Western hostages if the US withdrew from
the Gulf and ended its blockade.
6/9/1990, (1) Margaret Thatcher
told the Commons that British troops would be sent to the Gulf as part of a
Coalition Force to re-establish the independence of Kuwait.
(2) Saudi Arabia invited US troops and aircraft onto its territory. President Bush sent 200,000 troops to Saudi Arabia
to forestall any invasion by Iraq.
5/9/1990. President Gorbachev held fruitless
talks with the Iraqi foreign minister, Tariq Aziz.
31/8/1990. The UN
began talks with Iraq. 60,000 US troops were now in the Gulf. UN
Resolution 678 authorised the use of force against Iraq if it had not withdrawn
from Kuwait by 15/1/1991. Saddam Hussein
urged on Islamic fundamentalists who argued for war against the US and linked
the issue to the cause of West Bank Palestinians, calling for Israeli
withdrawal there and from the Gaza Strip.
29/8/1990. In Vienna,
OPEC states agreed to boost production to make up for the shortfall caused by
sanctions on Iraq.
28/8/1990. Iraq formally annexed Kuwait as its �19th
province�; Kuwait City was renamed �Kadimah�.
27/8/1990, The US
expelled 36 of the 55 staff at Iraq�s Washington Embassy.
26/8/1990. The US said it would allow time for sanctions to
bite before attacking Iraq.
23/8/1990, Saddam Hussein made a propaganda blunder when he appeared on TV
with Western hostages, stroking the hair of 5-year-old Stuart
22/8/1990. Jordan closed its Iraqi border to stem a flood of
refugees. Over 40,000 had already fled to Jordan, mainly people of Egyptian,
Far Eastern, or Indian/Pakistani origin. Jordan hosted 140,000 refugees, mostly
16/8/1990. The US began a massive arms build-up in the Gulf,
called Operation Desert Storm.
The US sent 20 Stealth Fighters, 30,000
troops, and anti-tank weapons. Britain, Morocco, Egypt, Syria, and Saudi forces
were also on alert, and to a lesser extent, USSR naval forces. On 19/8/1990
Pakistan denounced the invasion of Kuwait and sent 5,000 troops to Saudi Arabia.
13/8/1990. Iraq ordered all Westerners in Iraq to assemble at
three hotels prior to being taken to key military installations to serve as
�human shields�. Britain protests to Iraq after Iraqi border guards shoot dead
a British businessman attempting to flee Iraqi-occupied Kuwait.
10/8/1990. 13 of the 21 members of the Arab League agree to
send forces against Iraq.
9/8/1990, US forces began arriving in Saudi Arabia, en route
to liberate Kuwait.
8/8/1990, Iraq announced the official annexation of Kuwait.
7/8/1990. Saudi Arabia and Turkey closed Iraqi oil pipelines
running through their territory.
6/8/1990. The UN imposed sanctions on Iraq.
4/8/1990. President Bush ordered US
troops to the Gulf. The European Community froze Kuwaiti assets,
against use by Iraq.
2/8/1990. Iraq invaded Kuwait, taking control after eight
hours. Iraq accused Kuwait of stealing oil from Iraqi oilfields. The Kuwaiti
Royal family fled to Saudi Arabia and Iraq installed a puppet government,
claiming Kuwait as �Iraq�s 19th province�. Iraqis seized 35 British
servicemen in Kuwait. The USA sent troops to the Gulf. Egypt demanded that Iraq
withdraw. Of the Gulf states, Egypt and Iran were most hostile to Iraq; Libya
and the PLO were most sympathetic.� Oil
prices rose to $26 a barrel (see 27/7/1990). Jordan was caught in the middle,
with links to Iraq and vulnerable to any UN embargo against Iraq. There were
concerns that Iraq would go on to attack Saudi Arabia, as Saddam Hussein called
for an uprising to topple the Saudi Royal Family, and a Jihad (Holy War)
Oil production (barrels/day)
Saddam Hussein claimed to have been invited to invade by a �free
interim government�, which had supposedly seized control from the Emir of Kuwait. He also claimed Kuwait was no
longer an independent state but the 19th province of Iraq.
1/8/1990. Talks in Jeddah to resolve Iraq�s claim against
29/7/1990. King Hussein of Jordan travelled to Baghdad to try and ease tension
between Iraq and Kuwait.
27/7/1990� In an
attempt to avert military action by Iraq, OPEC agreed to cut production and
raise the price of oil, for the first time in ten years. The oil price was to
rise from $18 to $21 a barrel; Kuwait
had been openly flouting OPEC production quotas. Iraq demanded that Kuwait
forgive a US$25 billion loan extended during the Iraq/Iran war, claiming Iraq
was also defending Kuwait. In 2013 the oil price was around US$ 100 a barrel.
24/7/1990. Iraq sent 30,000 troops to the Kuwait border, accusing Kuwait of
stealing Iraqi oil. Most
observers believed this was only a bluff. See 19/7/1990, and 3/8/1990.
23/7/1990. The US State Department declared it had �no special
defence or security commitments to Kuwait�.
19/7/1990. Saddam Hussein
expressed his anger at other Arab oil states who were �overproducing�, so
holding down the price of oil, and �damaging the Iraqi economy�. States such as
Kuwait had considerable shareholdings in Western companies, so benefited by a
lower oil price. Iraq, on the other hand, was building up a huge army from its
large and growing population, so wanted a high oil price to fund this. This was one of Iraq�s reasons for invading Kuwait. See 24/7/1990.
9/7/1990. The Iraqi leader, Saddam
Hussein, denied he had nuclear weapons.
customs seized what were allegedly parts for an Iraqi �supergun�, 130 feet
long, to be shipped from Teesport, Middlesbrough. The gun was expected to be
able to fire a 36-inch shell for over 200 miles, which could be conventional,
nuclear or biological. The manufacturers, Sheffield Forgemasters, said the
pipes were for the oil industry. On 2/4/1990 the gun�s designer, Canadian-born
Gerald Bull, was mysteriously killed in Brussels, allegedly by the
Mossad, the Israeli secret service.
28/3/1990. Customs officials in the UK intercepted a cargo of
40 nuclear detonators bound for Iraq.
15/3/1990, Iraq hanged Farzad Bazoft, a British journalist, on
charges of espionage,
10/3/1990, Farzad Bazoft, a� reporter working for The Observer, was sentenced to death in Iraq for spying. He was
hanged on 15/3/1990.
11/1989, Iraq forcibly moved
between 100,000 and 500,000 people (mostly Kurdish villagers) away from its
borders with Iran and Turkey in order to create an uninhabited �sccurity zone�.
3.0, Iran-Iraq War 1980-88
8/8/1988. The Iran-Iraq war ended after 8 years, and 1
million casualties. A further 1.7
million were wounded, 1.5 million made homeless, and US$ 400 billion of the two
country�s resources had been expended. Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran accepted resolution 598 of the UN Security Council calling for
a ceasefire, despite earlier pledging to fight until total victory had been
20/7/1988, Iran and Iraq agreed a ceasefire in their
25/5/1988. The Iranians suffered reverses
on land in their war against Iraq. They were driven off the Fao Peninsula and
off land east of Basra (both in Iraq).
19/4/1988, A two-day battle in which the Iraqis
recovered their port city of Fao from the Iranians was in progress. The battle
for Fao cost 53,000 Iraqi and 120,000 Iranian lives. After Fao the front line
was in much the same position as the frontier had been 8 years earlier when the
war broke out.
1/4/1988, Iraq was accused of using poison gas on
20/3/1988. Iraqi planes attacked the
Iranian oil terminal at Kharg Island, killing 54. Two supertankers were hit and
exploded into flames. The Iraqis had more fighter planes than the Iranians.
Iraq and Iran continued to fire missiles into each other�s capital cities.
16/3/1988. News broke that Saddam Hussein had used chemical
weapons on Halabja, a Kurdish town. 5,000 Kurds died.
20/12/1987. Iraq claimed it had repulsed an
attack by two Iranian brigades 125 miles north of Basra. Iran claimed it was a
successful lightning raid.
Exocet missiles hit the USS Stark in the Gulf, killing 37 and injuring 21
sailors. Baghdad said it was an accident.
17/8/1985, Iraqi jet fighters carrying French Exocet missiles bombed the main Iranian oil
terminal at Kharg Island.
18/3/1985. Both Iran
and Iraq claimed victory in one of the biggest battles in the Gulf War, six
days after an Iranian offensive began near Basra.
26/11/1984, The US restored full diplomatic relations with Iraq
(severed in 1967).
27/2/1984, Iraq began a blockade of the main Iranian oil terminal at Kharg Island,
and threatened to attack tankers loading there.
11/2/1984, Iraq began bombing non-military targets in Iran.
7/2/1983, Iran opened a new offensive in
the south-east of Iraq.
24/5/1982, Iranian troops retook
31/3/1982. A new offensive by
Iran in the 16-month old Iran/Iraq war broke the military stalemate that had
already taken 100,000 lives. By the end of
March the Iranians claimed to have taken 16,000 Iraqi prisoners, and by May the
Iranians had taken the key border town of Khorramshahr and begun to invade
Iraqi territory. In the next few months all Iranian territory was freed from
Iraqi forces. President
Saddam Hussein of Iraq reacted by launching air attacks on Iranian oil
installations in the Gulf. Iraq was losing the war and called for a ceasefire
but Iran was determined to press on and oust President
Hussein from power.
7/6/1981. Israeli planes bombed an Iraqi nuclear reactor
then under construction at Osirak, Iraq.
24/9/1980. Iraq invaded Iran, making initial territorial gains. But by
1981 these were lost and Iran occupied some border areas of Iraq. The Iranians
could not capture Baghdad or Basra, despite sending 250,000 men into battle.
Iraq probably responded with poison gas. In 1984 the action switched to the Persian
Gulf. Iraq attacked ships visiting Iranian ports, probably hoping for an
Iranian blockade of Iraqi oil exports, which would have angered the West. Iran
attacked ships serving Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, to deter them from supporting
Iraq. Iran suffered more, as its tanker oil revenues plummeted. By March 1988
Iranian gains in Iraq had been recaptured and the border was virtually
unchanged; Iran then agreed to a ceasefire.
23/9/1980. Iranian planes attacked the
petro-chemical complex at Zubayr, Iraq. Four Britons and three Americans were
22/9/1980. Iraqi aircraft attacked Iranian bases after some weeks of fighting on the
Iran-Iraq border. Iraqi troops also entered Iranian territory.� This
was the beginning of the Iran-Iraq War; Iraq wanted total control of the Shatt-El-Arab waterway, for oil
exports, but Iran claimed their mutual border ran down the middle of this
16/7/1979, Iraqi President Hasan al Bakr resigned. Vice
Hussein replaced him.
1978, Syria and Iraq formed a
short-lived economic and political union.
9/7/1978, Abdul Razak al-Naif, Prime Minister of Iraq,
1975, A �neutral zone� between
Saudi Arabia and Iraq was divided between the two countires.
1975, The Shah of Iran and Saddam Hussein
of Iraq concluded the Algiers Agreement.
Under its terms, Iraq ceded ceded border areas north of the Shatt el Arab to Iran,
and agreed that the Iran-Iraq border should run down the middle of this
waterway, not along the Iranian low-water mark on the north. In return Iran
ceased military assistance to the Kurdish rebeks in northern Iraq. Saddam
Hussein�s subsequent abrogation of this Agreement effectively
started the Iran-Iraq War (1980-88).
2.0, Iraq moves closer to the USSR, 1958-72
1972, The Western-controlled
Iraq Oil Company was nationalised, as Iraq signed a Friendship Treaty with the USSR.
20/1/1970, Failed coup in Iraq; 40 were executed in the following days.
8/1968, In Iraq the Arab Socialist
Baath Party staged a bloodless coup. General Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr became President,
Hussein was recognised as the strongman ofr the regime, controlling
16/4/1966, General Abdul Rahman Arif
succeeded his brother as President of Iraq.
2/9/1965, Tahir Yahya was forced to resign as
Prime Minister of Iraq. The vacancy was filled four days later by Arif Abd
ar-Razzaq, who fled the country on September 17 after only 10 days in office.
1961, A Kurdish insurrection began in northern Iraq.
16/3/1959. The USSR
lent money to Iraq.
Mukhtar Baban, premier of Iraq, was executed
Hussein dissolved the federation of Jordan with Iraq.
1.0, End of Iraqi monarchy, 1933-58
14/7/1958, A left-wing coup overthrew the Iraqi
Faisal II, who was killed Brigadier Abd-el-Karim became President. The
West feared a Middle Eastern domino effect.
14/2/1958, The Arab Federation of Iraq and Jordan was
1956, Iraq joined the Baghdad
Pact, a pro-US alliance of western Asian nations.
4/4/1939, King Ghazi of Iraq died in a motorcycle
accident, leaving his four old son to become King Faisal II.
11/8/1937, General Bake
Sidqi, dictatorial ruler of Iraq, was killed by a Kurdish assassin.
Hussein was born in
Al Awja village, near Tikrit, Iraq.
2/5/1935. Faisal II, King of Iraq, was born.
9/11/1933, Jamil al-Midfai became Prime Minister of Iraq.
8/9/1933. Iraqi King Feisal I, King since 1921, died in Berne,
0.0, Formation of State of Iraq, 1919-32
Iraq joined the League of Nations.
Iraqi airforce made its first inaugural flight.
30/6/1930. Britain recognised the independence of Iraq.
15/10/1927. Iraq made its first oil
strike, at Kirkuk.
16/7/1925, Iraq�s first elected Parliament met in Baghdad.
Faisal was crowned King of Iraq with British consent. However he
then asserted his independence from Britain, demanding independent nation
status rather than British mandate status. In October 1921 a compromise was
reached under which Iraq became independent but tied to Britain for the
duration of the mandate, till 1930. After 1930 Iraq accepted a continued
British presence at the airbases of Basra and Habbaniya, useful staging posts
en route to India. Iraq remained a
political client of Britain until 1958 when King
Feisal II was overthrown in a coup.
11/7/1921. The Iraqi Council of State unanimously voted
to be King.
23/6/1921, Emir Faisal Ibn Hussein arrived at Basra,
after an Iraqi plebiscite showed 96% approval for his appointment as King of
9/10/1919, The General Company for the Ports of Iraq
was established. It is a Government department responsible for the management
of Iraqi ports and navigation in Iraqi territorial waters.
1917, British troops captured Baghdad from Ottoman Turkey.
1916, Britain and France drew up the
Sykes-Picot Agreement, on dividing up the Middle East between them after World War One.
1914, The Ottoman Empire sided wth
Germany in World
War One. Britain invaded Iraq to deprive the Central Powers of a vital
20/5/1883, Faisal I,
King of Iraq was born.
German exploration team visiting Iraq reported �plentiful supplies of oil�.
1534, Ottoman Sultan Suleyman I invaded the Iraq area.
Ottoman control then endured for almost four centuries, apart from a brief
interlude of Safavid Persian occupation around 1600.
10/2/1258, The Siege of Baghdad ended with a battle in which the Hulagu Khan's (grandson
forces overran Baghdad, then the leading centre of Islamic culture and learning
and capital of the Abbasid Caliphate. They burned the imperial city to the
ground in a looting spree lasting seven days, killing as many as 1,000,000
citizens. The attack was in revenge for the murder of three diplomnatic envoys
sent by the Mongols to the court of Khwarazm-Shah, ruler of Baghdad.
1050, The Seljuk Turks dominated Baghdad.
945, An emir (see 860) seized Baghdad,
the capital, for himself and the entire caliphate disintegrated into many
al-Mutawakkil was assassinated, starting The Anarchy at Samarra.
30/7/762, The city of Baghdad was founded by Caliph al-Mansur. The city was completed in 766, by 100,000
labourers; it was circular and 1.5 miles in diameter.
754, Abu Jaafar al Mansur, second Abbasid Caliph, acceded. He ruled
until 775. He founded Baghdad. He was a Sunni, and persecuted the Shias.
28/11/749, The Abbasid Dynasty
was established in Baghdad with the
accession of Abu�l Abbas (died 5/6/754), ruling until the Mongol Invasion of 1258. They claimed
descent from Abbas, uncle of Mohammed.
637, Muslim Arab armies
invaded the Iraq region, after te Battle of Jalula.
635, Basra was founded as a port and trading
city at the estuaries of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.
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