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The Iraq Crisis - Timeline
Chronology of Modern Iraqi History

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Below  is a detailed chronology of Iraqi history including the conflict with the US and the UN.

Additional resources: A historical overview of the Iraq crisis  Map of Iraq   Detailed Map of Iraq Map of Baghdad   Street Map of Baghdad   Map of Kuwait   Iraq- Source Documents  Master Document and Link Reference for the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Zionism  and the Middle East

April 1920 San Remo Peace Conference of Allied Powers endorses the French and British mandate over the Levant, with Britain holding the mandate in Palestine, Transjordan and Mesopotamia (renamed Iraq, created out of the Ottoman provinces of Basra, Baghdad & Mosul); Syria & Lebanon to France, plus a 25% share in the proceeds of Iraqi oil.
June, 1920 After Arnold Wilson, the High Commissioner to Iraq, refuses to allow any degree of self-government, an extensive tribal revolt begins; Wilson replaced by Percy Cox who takes a more conciliatory stance.
Aug 23,  1921` British give Iraq to Feisal in lieu of Syria and Saudi Arabia. He is made king of a constitutional monarchy. Reduction in the British garrison in Iraq, replaced by air force squadrons. Nuri al-Sa‘id is chief of staff of Iraq, rising to PM in 1929.
Dec. 16, 1925 League of Nations Council fixes border between Turkey and  Iraq, placing the Mosul region in Iraq against the wishes of the Kurdish population, as determined by a League of Nations Committee.
1927 British strike oil at Kirkuk, N.Iraq, the largest find in the world so far. Its exploitation is transferred to the Iraq Petroleum Company in 1929, which built pipelines to Tripoli and Haifa by 1934
Nov 16 1930 16Nov: Anglo-Iraqi Treaty is ratified, with Nuri al-Sa‘id (PM since 1929; signed by him in Jun30) ensuring its passage through Parliament: Iraq is independent but must allow RAF presence, grant Britain land & resources, & coordinate foreign policy with Britain for 25 years.
October 1932 Formal independence for Iraq (implemented in 1932), under Faysal I & membership of League of Nations  but Pan-Arabist groups   to oppose the concessions to Britain. Kurdish opposition under Berzendji crushed by RAF  by May31.
1932 International oil exploitation in the Arab Gulf: the Standard Oil Company of California (Socal; from 1944, Arabian American Oil Company, Aramco) makes discoveries in Bahrain; obtains (through the mediation of St John Philby) an exclusive 60 year concession in the Hasa region of the Saudi Arabian Gulf shores (May 33; half of it subsequently sold to the Texas Oil Company) and makes discoveries, firstly at Dhahran (1935) and then much more substantially in eastern Arabia (1938); commercial production began at Dammam.
Sept 8, 1933 King Faysal of Iraq dies; succeeded by his son Ghazi. Background is rising popular support for General Bakr Sidqi, who conducted a pogrom in Sumayl that killed 600 Assyrians.
October 1936  Gen Bakr Sidqi launches a military coup in Iraq, backed by Hikmat Sulayman (who becomes PM), overthrowing government of Yasin al-Hashimi,  promising social reform & bringing the Ahali group into government.
August 11, 1937 Iraq's military leader Bakr Sidqi is assassinated in Mosul  after Ahali and nationalist military officers withdraw support on 19Jun37; Sulayman resigns as PM. Jamil al-Midfa’i takes over as PM, but quickly alienates the military.
February 1938 Oil  discovered in Kuwait, at the Burgan field; extraction by the US & UK owned Gulf Oil Corporation begins in 1946. Shaykh al-Sabah receives half revenues from 1951.
December 1938 "The Seven" (or the "Golden Square (4)") announce a coup in Iraq, and install Nuri al-Sa‘id  as PM. Nuri remained close to the monarchy and Britain under Ghazi I (d.Apr39 in a car accident) & Faysal II (4yrs old at succession, under the regency of Prince ‘Abd al-Ilah); and attempted to dissolve the Seven and reestablish civilian control.

March 1940

"The Seven" force Nuri al-Sa‘id's resignation; with the agreement of the regent ‘Abd al-Ilah, Rashid ‘Ali is installed as PM of Iraq. Haj Amin El Hussini, exiled Palestinian Mufti, agitates fora coup.
April 1, 1941 Iraqi coup by "The Seven," re-installing Rashid ‘Ali al-Kaylani as the head of a government of “National Defence”. Nuri al-Sa‘id and Faysal II flee. At first, Rashid ‘Ali signals intention to adhere to Anglo-Iraqi Treaty, but The Seven refuse the passage of British troops as required under the Treaty, and articulate pro-Axis positions; also supported by Palestinian pro-Axis leader Haj Amin El Husseini who had fled to Iraq.
May 2, 1941 Britain invades Iraq to restore pro-British government. Rashid ‘Ali requests, and obtains, German support and other Axis support, but it is ineffective; Ali escaped to Tehran (29 May), then Germany (Nov 41) & Saudi Arabia (May 1945). Husseini likewise escaped to Germany. Click for details of Mufti, British Intervention and the Farhud
June 1941 Farhud - civil order breaks down in Baghdad : became known as the ): extensive pogrom against Jews (120-600 killed, 2100 injured) & looting of their property by soldiers. The British ambassador, Kinahan Cornwallis, refused to allow British troops to enter the city until the pogrom was over. Click for details of British Intervention and the Farhud
July 14, 1958 Qasim Coup in Iraq.  King Faysal, Nuri As-Said and crown prince of Iraq are killed, together with Deputy PM Ibrahim Hashim & Defence Minister Sulayman Tuqan of the Federation; ‘Abd al-Karim Qasim becomes PM of Iraq. Qasim was initially Nasserist, & there was pressure from his deputy ‘Abd al-Salam ‘Arif (supported by ‘Aflaq, who moves to Baghdad; but discouraged by Nasser) to join the UAR. However, but Iraqi communist party, Shi‘a majority (Qasim himself was of half-Shi‘a parentage) & ethnic minorities urge Qasim to reject UAR: vying for leadership in Arab world turns Iraq against UAR.
March 1959 Qasim withdraws Iraq from the Baghdad Pact , leaving the way open for Iran to sign a military cooperation agreement with the US, providing for American defense of Iran, which in turn leads Iran to reassert its claim that the Shatt al-Arab thalweg constitutes the international boundary.
July 27, 1959 Qasim constitution  promotes the notion of a partnership of Arabs & Kurds in Iraq and allows the return of Mustafa Barzani (the KDP’s leader) from the SU and legalizes KDP in 1960.
July 1959  Qasim breaks with communist party in Iraq: 500,000 had demonstrated for Communist role in government (1May), but after between 31 & 79 are killed in Kirkuk in fighting between Turkomans & mostly ICP-supporting Kurds in Kirkuk, Qasim publicly blames the ICP: leading communists are arrested, & party is persecuted thereafter, despite political liberalization in other spheres from Jan 60.
Oct 7, 1959 Failed Ba‘thist coup attempt on Qasim in Iraq; Qasim is injured and his driver killed. 78 Ba‘thists are tried, but one of them, Saddam Hussein, escapes to Syria & then Egypt.
June 19, 1961 Kuwait, under al-Sabah family and a British protectorate from 1899, declares independence from Britain;
June 25, 1961 Qasim calls for ‘the return of Kuwait to the Iraqi homeland’ (25Jun), opposed by Egypt to prevent Iraqi dominance.
July, 1961 UK sends troops to Kuwait, replaced by Arab League contingent, which stayed for 2 years. Kuwait joins Arab League (July) despite tension with Iraq; and was admitted into UN on 14 May 63.
Sept 1961 After Qasim rejects Mustafa Barzani's autonomy plan, he launches a major offensive against Kurds in Iraq; escalates through into early 1962, ceasefire from 1964 to April 1965, & peaks from Oct65-Jan66.
Feb 8, 1963 Qasim overthrown in Iraq by Ba‘ath party coup, led by ‘Abd al-Salam ‘Arif, who installs himself as President; Qasim executed by firing squad on 9Feb (the "Ramadan revolution"). ‘Arif also recognises the independence of Kuwait (Oct).
Nov 18, 1963 "Countercoup" by  ‘Arif forming a different, non-Ba‘thist, pro-Nasserist government. He halts unification projects with Syria, & ends decentralization talks with Kurdish leaders.
Apr 18, 1966 Iraqi president ‘Arif al-Salam ‘Arif dies in a helicopter crash; his brother, ‘Abd al-Rahman ‘Arif takes over
June 29,1966 Iraq, under PM ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Bazzaz, agrees to ceasefire with Kurdish population, seemingly bringing to an end the 6 year war; a 12 point agreement officially recognizes the Kurdish language & representation of Kurds in the civil administration. But mutual dissatisfaction results in gradual breakdown of the agreement from the end of the year.
July 17, 1968 Repeated coups in Iraq bring Ba‘thists under Ahmad Hasan al-Bakr to power, first in alliance with non-Ba‘thist elements and then (30Jul) in Ba‘thist power monopoly, led by the 15-member Revolutionary Command Council (RCC). Public ownership of land is encouraged; agricultural cooperatives and collective farms are established. Saddam Hussein (b.1937), who had been imprisoned by ‘Arif from 1963-8 for Ba‘thist activism in organising the party militia, becomes a member of the RCC (Nov69) and its deputy chair.
November, 1968  Kurdish rebellions (1961-9) against Iraqi government peak, with appeals by Kurdish Democratic Party to UN for intervention (in 18Nov memo), followed by major attack on Kirkuk oil refinery (Mar69).
April 19, 1969 Iran unilaterally abrogates the 1937 Frontier Treaty with Iraq.  Iraq responds by expelling resident Iranians & establishing "Popular Front for the Liberation of Arabistan", claiming that Khuzistan ("Arabistan") was unjustly surrendered to Iran by the Ottomans.
March 11, 1970 Kurdish autonomy proclaimed in Iraq, recognizes national rights of Kurdish people, and broadly welcomed by other Kurdish parties. Tensions continue however.
Dec 1, 1971 British withdraws from the Gulf territories: UAE formed as a federation on 2Dec, under presidency of Abu Dhabi’s Shaykh Zayid.  Iraq, in competition for the leadership of the Gulf region, denigrates Iran by stressing its Arabist credentials, breaks off relations with Iran & UK, expelled Iranian nationals, turns to Soviet Union for support.
May 14,1972 Iraqi Ba‘thist leadership brings communists into government after Iraqi-Soviet 15 year Treaty of Friendship & Cooperation of Apr 72. Nationalization of Iraqi Petroleum Company (Jun). After extended negotiations, the Iraqi Communist Party join the Baa‘th in a National Progressive Front in1973. This lasted until 1979.
March 13, 1974 Negotiations between Mustafa Barzani’s KDP and the Iraqi government break down after the Kurdish Autonomous Region is only half the area the KDP demanded, and excludes oil-rich Kirkuk. Iraq earned 60% of its oil revenues from Kurdish-majority areas.
1974-1976 Renewal of hostilities with Kurds in N.Iraq, but crushed by Iraqi government (1974-5), with razing of Zakho and Qala’at Diza. 800 villages along the Iran-Iraq border are evacuated (1976). 130,000 Kurds flee to Iran.
December 1974 Strong Shi‘a political demonstrations against Ba‘thist rule in Iraq; led by members of al-Da'wa al-Islamiyya (established 1969 with support of Muhsin Hakim, the most senior Shi'a ayatollah; strongest in Najaf-Karbala region). 5 Shi‘a leaders are executed.
January 1975 Iran sends 2 regiments into KDP-controlled areas of Iraq; war averted through Turkish, then Algerian, mediation.
March 6, 1975 Algiers accord  - Iraq and Iran agree to first: carry out a final delineation of their land boundaries in accordance with the Constantinople Protocol of 1913 and the Proceedings of the Border Delimitation Commission of 1914. and to demarcate their river boundaries according to the thalweg (median river course) line. It was understood from this by Iraq that Iran would withdraw from certain border territories.
June 13, 1975 Iraq and Iran sign an agreement regulating their borders and water rights based on the Algiers accord.
February 1977 Shi‘a riots in Najaf after police interfered with a religious procession from Najaf to Karbala: 2k arrested, 8 executed.
July 16, 1979 Saddam Hussein replaces Ahmad Hasan Bakr as President of Iraq after dispute over Bakr favored closer links with Syria; Hussein cites Bakr's poor health, places him under house arrest and blames Syria for plotting a coup (28 July). Bakr dies, possibly due to poisoning, in 1982.
April 1, 1980 Pro-Iran al-Da‘wa party claims responsibility for attempted assassination of Tariq Aziz, Iraqi deputy PM, in Baghdad, in revenge for the execution of its members; Iraq blames Iran. 40,000 Iranian-born Shi‘is expelled from Iraq; & Saddam Husayn orders the secret execution of Ayatollah Sadr & his sister Bint al-Huda (8Apr): when revealed, Khomeini calls for the overthrow of the Ba‘th regime. Iraq encourages rebellion in Khuzestan; Iran aids KDP Kurdish rebels.
Sept , 1980 Start of Iraq-Iran war - Iraq invades Iran after alleged Iranian artillery bombardment on Khonqin & Mandali (4 September), Iraqi abrogation of 1975 treaty ( 17Sept); Iraq quickly captures Khoramshahr (10 November) & Abadan. Both attack each others' oil facilities.
June 7, 1981 Israel bombs Iraqi Osirak nuclear plant near Baghdad.
April 12, 1982 Under strong Iranian counterattack, despite flow of arms from SU & France & money from GCC to Iraq, Saddam Hussein offers to withdraw from Iran in order to end the conflict. Iran makes peace conditional on payment of reparations; and launches major offensive in the south ( from 29Apr ); but fails in bid in to take Basra (Jul) & Mandali (Oct).
February 1984 Iran & Iraq shell each others' cities; UN-mediated agreement to cease, with UN observers posted in Baghdad & Tehran to monitor (from 12Jun). Meanwhile, Iran captures Iraq's oil-rich Majnun islands. Iraq turns to attacking Kharg Island oil terminal & Iranian ships in the Gulf, using French-purchased Exocet missiles (27Mar). Iran retaliates with strikes on Saudi & Kuwaiti ships (13May). UN condemns the shipping war (1Jun); Saudi shoots down an Iranian jet fighter, allegedly in its airspace (5Jun).
March 1985 Iraq begins bombing Ahvaz & Bushahr; Iran responds with missiles on Baghdad, and then Iranian troops cross Tigris, closing Basra-Baghdad road (17Mar); unable to hold it, amd ceasefire arranged in the war of the cities (6 Apr).
May 1985 Iraq breaks cease fire again on 26 May. Husayn & Mubarak visit Saddam to show their support.
August 17, 1985 Khamane'i reelected President of Iran, with 89% of the vote.
Sept. 13, 1985  Iran received 508 US-made Tow missiles, as part of secret arms-for-hostages deal with US. 4000 more missiles authorised by Reagan on 17Jan86, supplied through Israel. US arrests 10 officials involved (22Apr86). The sales are finally revealed by al-Shira'a newspaper (Beirut) on 3Nov86, creating the international "Irangate" scandal.
Jan 17, 1986 4000 more missiles for Iran authorized by Reagan, supplied through Israel.
February 1986 Iran captures Fao peninsula, in S.Iraq; many Iranians now set the objective of capturing Najaf and Karbala, and installing an Islamic government in Baghdad.
April 22, 1986 US arrests 10 officials involved in Iran arms sales.
Nov 2, 1986 US/Iran Arms sales are finally revealed by al-Shira'a newspaper (Beirut) , creating the international "Irangate" scandal.
Feb 18, 1987 Iraq resumes war on Iranian cities.  Moscow pressures Iraq to end it..
May 21, 1987 USS Stark attacked in Gulf by 2 Iraqi Exocet missiles, killing 37; United States blames Iran.
1987 Reports of chemical warfore attacks on Kurdish villages and guerrilla fighters became more frequent and detailed. Clinical evidence as well as soil samples, confirmed the use of mustard gas and the nerve agent tabun against the Kurdish population. Although the exact number of casualties is not certain, it is generally believed that several thousand Kurdish civilians and Iranian soldiers in the area were killed and several thousands more injured.
Feb 27, 1988  Iraq resumes ‘war of the cities’; Iraq replies to Iranian attacks on Baghdad by hitting Tehran for the first tim
March 16, 1988  Iraq uses chemical weapons against Kurds supporting Iran in Halabja, killing 4000, an attack which begins the Anfal campaigns against Kurdish villages (formally continuing until 6 Sept, though  attacks continued until 1989). Approximately 50,000 to 180,000 Kurds are killed in this campaign, and 1,276 villages are destroyed.
April 16-18, 1988 Iraq recaptures Fao peninsula, using large quantity of chemical weapons; similar attack on Mehran (17-22Jun).
April 18, 1988 US blows up 2 Iranian oil rigs, destroys an Iranian frigate and immobilises another.
July 3, 1988 USS Vincennes shoots downs an Iranian Airbus passenger aircraft, killing 290.
July 20, 1988 Iran accepts ceasefire after UN-brokered agreement in Geneva.
August 20, 1988 Formal ceasefire in Iraq-Iran war. UN monitoring force established for Iran-Iraq border. Confirmation by UN that Iraq did use mustard gas against Iranian civilians.
Sept, 1989 Explosion in Iraqi missile production facility near Baghdad. A British Observer journalist, Farzad Bazoft, is caught investigating and is hanged.
August 2, 1990 Iraq invades Kuwait. UN resolution 660 calls for Iraqi withdrawal.
August 3, 1990 Iraqi forces reach Kuwaiti-Saudi border. The Arab League condemns Iraq.
August 5, 1990 President Bush declares that the invasion “will not stand.”
August 6, 1990 King Fahd meets with Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney and requests U.S. military assistance. UN resolution 661 bans the importation of Iraqi goods.
August 8, 1990 American fighter planes arrive in Saudi Arabia. Iraq declares a “comprehensive and eternal merger” with Kuwait and annexes it as its nineteenth province.
August 9, 1990 UN resolution 662 finds the annexation of Kuwait has no legal validity.
August 12, 1990 Iraq offers to withdraw in exchange for an Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian territory ( the Gaza Strip and the West Bank) and a Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon.
August 18, 1990 UN resolution 664 demands that Iraq release foreign nationals who are being detained in Iraq.
August 21, 1990 Syria joins earlier Egyptian commitment to defend Saudi Arabia.
August 25, 1990 UN resolution 665 strengthens the economic embargo against Iraq.
Sept 5, 1990 Iraq calls for the overthrow of leaders in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Sept 9, 1990 Joint U.S.-Soviet statement made that “we must demonstrate beyond any doubt that aggression cannot and will not pay.” (George Bush and Brent Scrowcroft, A World Transformed [New York: Knopf, 1998], p. 368)
Sept 13, 1990 UN resolution 666 asks for continuous information on the humanitarian situation within Kuwait and Iraq.
Sept 16, 1990 UN resolution 667 condemns Iraqi violation of diplomatic compounds in Kuwait and demands the immediate release of foreign nationals removed from Kuwait.
Sept 24, 1990 UN resolution 669 imposes an air embargo on Iraq.
Oct 29, 1990 UN resolution 674 reiterates the condemnation of Iraqi treatment of foreign nationals and demands their release.
Nov 6, 1990 American congressional elections take place.
Nov 8, 1990 The United States announces that it is doubling its troop presence in the region to over 400,000.
Nov 19, 1990 Iraq begins significant reinforcement of its troops in Kuwait.
Nov 29, 1990 UN resolution 678 authorizes the use of "all means necessary" after January 15, 1991, to enforce previous UN resolutions, including that requiring Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait.
Dec 6, 1990 Iraq decides to release all foreign nationals held since the invasion.
January 9, 1991 Secretary of State James Baker meets Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz in Geneva in unsuccessful effort to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Baker delivers a letter from President Bush to President Hussein. Aziz reads but refuses to forward it.
January 12, 1991 The U.S. Congress authorizes the use of force. The Senate vote is 52–47 in favor.
January 15, 1991 UN issues a deadline for Iraqi withdrawal.
January 17, 1991 The allied attack ("Operation Desert Storm") begins with an Apache helicopter strike at 2:38 A.M. Palestinian groups - PFLP & PLF support Iraq, with PLF sending troops to assist Iraq; Faruq al-Qaddumi, Yasir ‘Arafat & 84% of West Bankers in al-Nadwa poll in mid-Aug90 indicate solidarity with Iraq; 58% of West Bankers support Iraq's invasion in same survey) » subsequent expulsion of 300,000 Palestinian workers from Kuwait; Jordanians & Yemenis expelled also from Saudi). Saudi closes its border with Jordan, and suspends all foreign aid to it (as does US). All other Arab States oppose Iraq's actions.
January 18, 1991 First Scuds hit Israel. Navy aircraft losses during attack on Scud sites leads to recriminations about low-altitude bombing tactics. First American air attacks are launched from Turkey
February 25, 1991 US  101st Airborne Division cuts Highway 8 in Euphrates Valley. Iraqis counterattack 1st Marine Division. Scud destroys barracks in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, killing twenty- eight Americans and wounding ninety-eight.
Feb 28, 1991 Cease-fire takes effect at 8 A.M
March-April 1991 Uprising of Kurds and Shi'a in Iraq, based on US encouragement. Begins in Basra, in early Mar. Major cities in South & Kurdish areas come under rebel control (government has continuous control over only a third of governorates). Southernn revolt crushed by 29Mar with recapture of Samawa & Northern revolt by early Apilr. Approx 1.5m Kurds flee into N & E Iraq, Turkey, Iran.
April 3, 1991 UN Security Council Resolution 687 establishes the terms of the peace, including return of Kuwaiti property and prisoners, economic sanctions, and Iraqi disarmament. Iraq is to provide a list of all weapons of mass destruction in its possession. UNSCOM inspectors are to ascertain that the arms have been surrendered.
October, 1991 President Bush informs congress  that he is escalating covert operations in Iraq, under the direction of Frank Anderson, head of CIA's Directorate of Operations Near East division.
June 1992 Iraqi National Congress established by 300 delegates in Vienna as the opposition umbrella body, on the initiative of Ahmad Chalabi. Bush informing Congress (Oct91) that he was escalating covert operations in Iraq, under the direction of Frank Anderson, head of CIA's Directorate of Operations Near East division.
Jan 1993 Renewed skirmishes between Iraq and US, UK & France, after Iraq installs surface-to-air missiles in the Southern US/UK-declared no-fly zones, bans UN flights in the southern zone, and makes incursions into the demilitarized zone with Kuwait (ostensibly to remove equipment). Allied bombing in Southern and Northern no-fly-zones (10-19Jan), which kills 43; ends with Baghdad issuing a unilateral ceasefire and rescinding measures.
May 1994 Rivalry between Kurdistan Democratic Party & Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, coalition partners for 5 years, breaks out into open conflict in Northern Iraq. INC, brokers truce, but fighting continues until Sept, and intermittently thereafter despite peace plan of November 94. 3000 killed by Jun96, with PUK controlling half the territory but 2/3rds of the population.
Oct 8-10, 1994 Iraq deploys troops nr the Kuwaiti border; Security Council expresses concern & US, Fr & UK move troops to the region. Iraq announces redeployment.
Nov 6, 1994 Iran fires Scud missiles at bases of Mujahedin al-Khalq in Iraq.
Nov 10, 1994 Iraqi National Assembly officially acknowledges Kuwait’s sovereignty; ratified by RCC in a decree signed by Saddam Hussein on the same day.
April 14, 1995 UN Security Council Resolution 986 establishes the "Oil for Food" Program
August 7-8 1995 Two of Saddam Hussein’s sons-in-law, Lt. Gen. Hussein Kamil (former director of Iraq's Military Industrialization Establishment, in charge of WMD program) and Saddam Kamil defect to Jordan with Saddam's daughters; Hussein Kamil takes crates of documents revealing past concealment of WMD capacities, and provides these to UNSCOM. Iraq responds by revealing a major store of documents that showed that Iraq had begun an unsuccessful crash programme to develop a nuclear bomb (20Aug).
August 20, 1995 Under pressure, Iraq reveals a major store of documents that showed that Iraq had begun an unsuccessful crash program to develop a nuclear bomb.
Feb 23, 1996 Iraqi defectors Hussein and Saddam Kamil are shunned by Iraqi opposition groups, and agree to return to Iraq, where they are promptly assassinated.
June 26, 1996 Attempted coup in Iraq, organised by the Iraqi National Accord and coordinated in part by CIA operatives within UNSCOM, fails when 120 coup plotters are arrested (& laregly executed) by the Iraqi regime.
28July: 72-hour incursion by Iranian forces into Kurdish “safe haven”, focused on Mas’ud Barzani’s KDP camp at Koi Sanjaq. Iraq takes up a stronger stance against Iran’s ally, Jalal Talabani’s PUK.
July 28, 1996 72-hour incursion by Iranian forces into Kurdish “safe haven”, focused on Mas’ud Barzani’s KDP camp at Koi Sanjaq. Iraq takes up a stronger stance against Iran’s ally, Jalal Talabani’s PUK.
August 31, 1996 Iraq, working with the KDP, occupies Irbil (12 miles into NFZ) & destroys Western-backed opposition bases. The KDP takes over most of Iraqi Kurdistan, and Iraqi forces withdraw (2Sept). Saddam Hussein lifts internal economic embargo on the Kurdish region.
Sept 3-4, 1996 US launches military strikes against Sn Iraq & extends Sn no-fly zone to 33rd parallel, the suburbs of Baghdad. Little international backing for these actions, exc from UK. UN postpones implementation of SCR986.
Sept-Oct. 1996 PUK offensive, with Iranian help, in N Iraq recaptures most areas lost in recent KDP offensive, except Irbil, by 21Oct. Ceasefire between PUK & KDP on 23Oct, brokered by US & UK.
Dec 10, 1996 Oil flows for the first time since 1990 from Iraq, through Turkish pipeline. SCR986 (14Apr 95) had permitted exports under the oil-for-food program. In six months, $lbn of revenue generated will be spent on food & medicine for 18 million Iraqis living under Baghdad rule; $260m goes to 3m people in Kurdish areas, only $17 m permitted for essential infrastructure. Since Aug 1990, estimates indicate that 750,000 people have died through malnutrition and lack of medicines; currently, 10,000 a month.
Dec. 12, 1996 Saddam Hussein’s eldest son, Uday, is seriously wounded in an assassination attempt in al-Mansur district, Baghdad.
Oct. 29, 1997 Iraq demands US members of UNSCOM leave Iraq; all UNSCOM inspectors withdrawn (13Nov).
Nov 13, 1997 All UNSCOM inspectors withdrawn from Iraq, but allowed back later that month.
Sept, 1998 UNSCOM Inspector Scott Ritter resigns. Initially claims that US/UN did not act to help UNSCOM investigate suspected Iraqi weapons sites, later claims that the entire inspection program is unwarranted and Iraq has no WMD.
October, 1998 UNSCOM report  shows Iraq has weaponized VX agent despite Iraqi dentials.
Nov 1, 1998 Iraq halts cooperation with UNSCOM.
Nov 15, 1998 US aborts missile strike after Iraq agrees to cooperate with UNSCOM.
Dec 17-20, 1998 Extensive US & British bombardment of Iraq in ‘Operation Desert Fox’, after UNSCOM head reports Iraq’s failure to fully cooperate; after end of the operation, Iraq again refuses UNSCOM permission to reenter Iraq, and US & UK continue bombardment, aimed at Iraq’s air defense capacity.

Dec 17, 1999

Resolution 1284 creates UN monitoring, verification and inspection commission (Unmovic) to replace Unscom. Iraq rejects resolution
November 2000 Deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz rejects new weapons inspection proposals
2001 Following Sept 11, 2001 terror attacks on World Trade Towers, US President Bush declares a War on Terror, targeting Iraq as a major player in an "Axis of Evil." Evidence for Iraqi involvement in the attacks is sketchy, but includes a probable contact between hijacker Mohamed Atta and an Iraq official in Czechoslovakia, as well as evidence of defectors that prospective hijackers were trained at Salman Pak base.
Sept 14, 2001 Deputy secretary of defense, Paul Wolfowitz, says that it is "not just simply a matter of capturing people, [but] ending states who sponsor terrorism". Wolfowitz gained stature after the Iraqi attack on Kuwait, which he had correctly pointed out as a possibility in 1979. Speculation grows that Iraq may have had a hand in training the hijackers. James Woolsey, CIA director from 1993-95, speaks of the potential for a "very fruitful marriage between Saddam and Bin Laden".
Sept 20, 2001 British and US jets bomb surface to air missile batteries in southern Iraq. A Ministry of Defense official denies any connection to the September 11 attacks.
Sept 21, 2001 US officials tell the Washington Times that Saddam Hussein made contact with Bin Laden days before the attacks. Later, it is verified after repeated denials that hijacker Mohamed Atta met with Iraqi officials in Czechoslovakia. Iraqi defectors claim that hijackers were trained in a mockup Boeing 707 at the Salman Pak base in Iraq.
Jan 29, 2002 US President George Bush lists Iraq, Iran, North Korea and Syria as part of an "axis of evil" in his state of the nation speech to Congress. "By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger," he says and shifts the focus of US foreign policy from terror groups to governments.
March/May 2002 UN secretary general Kofi Annan unable to persuade Iraqi representatives to allow inspectors' return
July 5-6 Talks in Vienna between Annan and Iraq's foreign minister, Naji Sabri, fail.
July 25 2002 Sabri says any agreement must include route towards lifting sanctions, ending threats of regime change, and end to no-flight zones
August 2002 Iraq invites chief weapons inspector to Baghdad for talks on resuming inspections
Sept 12, 2002 US President George W. Bush addresses a special session of the UN, calls for multilateral action against Iraq. Iraq responds by announcing it will allow inspections unconditionally, but quickly retracts the offer, making it conditional on no new US resolutions.
Sept 22 ,2002 British PM Tony Blair releases dossier showing Iraq has significant WMD capabilities, in an effort to gain support for British role in projected US invasion.
Nov 8, 2002 UN Security Council Resolution 1441 calls on Iraq to cooperate with UN inspection teams and not to obstruct UN forces. Iraq must declare all weapons of mass destruction in its possession by December 8, 2002. UNMOVIC inspection teams began inspecting sites in Iraq.
Dec 7, 2002 Iraq submits documentation as required by UN Security Council Resolution 1441 that details the disposal of weapons of mass destruction. the document claims that Iraq has disposed of all such weapons. Shortly thereafter, US experts examining the documentation claim it is not complete and convincing.
Jan, 27, 2003

Reports of UNMOVIC chief inspector Hans Blix and International Atomic Energy Commission head El-Baradei

March 1, 2003 Arab summit in Sharm el-Shaikh calls on Iraq to disarm, but does not call for regime change in Iraq; Iraq begins destroying Samoud II missiles which have a range greater than that allowed by the UN.
March 7, 2003 Report of UNMOVIC chief inspector Hans Blix to the UN Security Council. US and Britain calling for a second resolution that will authorize a war against Iraq, with stiff opposition from France, Russia, Germany and Arab countries.
March 19, 2003 War begins with US raid on meeting of Saddam with his advisors. Saddam is apparently unhurt. US forces invade southern Iraq, meeting relatively light resistance, but by March 22 are bogged down at Um Qasr and Basra in the south and Nasariyeh on the road to Baghdad. 
April 9, 2003 Baghdad falls to US troops.
May 1, 2003 President Bush declares an end to the Iraq war.
May 28, 2003 A defiant letter from Saddam Hussein to the Iraqi people indicates that US assassination attempts have failed. Resistance to US occupation from unidentified sources includes sabotage of infrastructure and suicide bombings of US soldiers.
July 14, 2003 First meeting of US - appointed Iraqi interim council
July 22, 2003 Uday and Qusay Hussein, sons of Saddam killed in a shootout with US troops.
Aug, 2003 Increasing evidence shows that US and British governments "improved" intelligence estimates to make a case that Iraq was still stockpiling WMD.
Aug 19, 2003 UN compound bombed by unknown Iraqi forces, killing at least 20.
Aug 22, 2003 Capture of Ali Majid ("Chemical Ali") by US forces is announced. Ali was questioned about WMD programs but has not revealed any new information.
Aug 29, 2003 Explosion near Najaf Mosque kills over 90 including Shi'ite leader Ayatollah Mohammed Bakir al-Hakim.
Oct 16, 2003 UN SC Resolution 1511 on Iraq -  recognizes the legitimacy of the American supported provisional Iraqi government, and authorizes UN aid to Iraq under US supervision, while at the same time calling for submission of a time-table for Iraqi self governance.
Dec 13, 2003 Saddam Hussein captured alive by US forces.
Mar 1, 2004 Iraqi interim constitution agreed upon by interim government and approved by US.
Mar 2, 2004 Terror attacks- suicide bombings in Karbala and Baghdad kill 117 (US figures) 271 (Iraqi figures) Shi'a worshippers during Ashura holy day rites.
April 2004 Insurgency by radical Shi'a leader Moqtada Sadr and his "Mehdi Army." Fighting in Najaf and Falluja.
June 7, 2004 UN SC Resolution 1546 on Iraq - recognizes the legitimacy of the interim Iraqi government and calls on UN members to support it.
June 24, 2004 About one hundred people are killed in coordinated attacks throughout Iraq. Terror attacks are an almost daily occurrence as the date on which sovereignty is to be handed over to the Iraqis approaches.
June 28, 2004 Iraqi PM Iyad Allawi takes power for sovereign Iraq in a modest ceremony held two days before the deadline. US Administrator Paul Bremer leaves Iraq. NATO promises aid to Iraq in training security forces.
August, 2004 Coalition forces attack the holy city of Najaf, where extremist Shi'a leader Moqtada Sadr and his Mehdi army have fortified themselves. The situation is resolved by a peace brokered by Ayatollah Ali Sistani, who gains considerable prestige. Sadr subsequently agrees to disarm his militia and participate in the Iraqi elections.
November, 2004 Coalition and Iraqi forces begin attack on rebel forces in Fallujah, reputedly led by Abu-Musab al Zarqawi, pegged by the US as a member of Al-Qaeda.. Numerous civilians are killed in the attacks and Arab sources report damage to mosques and hospitals; UN Secretary General Kofi Annan cautions against the attacks, but Iraqi PM Ayad Alawi replies that the attack is necessary to restore order and allow for elections scheduled in January. Alawi declares martial law after a series of attacks in various Iraqi cities.

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