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Iraq History Timeline

BC
  • (3500BC) World's first civilization, Mesopotamia, was developed in southeastern Iraq
  • (539BC) Persians conquered Mesopotamia
  • (332BC) Alexander the Great conquered the Persians
200s - 1800s
  • (226AD) Persian Sassanid dynasty gained control of Mesopotamia
  • (633AD) Arab Muslims conquered Sassanid and Iraq
  • (750) Islamic world conquered by the Abbasids; Baghdad founded as capital
  • (1258) Mongol invaders, led by grandson of Ghengis Khan, captured Mesopotamia and Baghdad, Arab Empire was destroyed
  • (1534 - 1918) Region was ruled by Ottoman Empire
  • (1800's) Great Britain became involved with Mesopotamia in protecting trade routes with India and the East
1900s
  • (1914-1918) World War I occurred
  • (1917) British troops occupied Baghdad, seized control of the country
  • (1920) Mesopotamia renamed Iraq
  • (1921) British named Faisal, the Sharif of Mecca, as Iraq's first king
  • (1932) Iraq became independent state
  • (1939-1945) World War II took place
  • (1940 - 1941) Iraq formed allies with Germany, Italy and Japan, sought to rid Iraq of British power
  • (1941) British defeated Iraq
  • (1945) World War II ended; Iraq helped form Arab League
  • (1948) Arab League declared war against the newly formed Israel
  • (1950-1952) Iraq signed agreements with foreign oil companies; received 50% of the oil profits
  • (1953) Faisal II became king of Iraq
  • (1955) Iraq signed Baghdad Pact with Turkey, Pakistan, Iran
  • (1958) During military coup, Iraq became a republic, monarchy was killed
  • (1961) Iraq claimed jurisdiction over Kuwait
  • (1972) Iraq nationalized Iraq Petroleum Company
  • (1975) Border disputes between Iraq, Iran ended with signing of treaty
  • (1979) Saddam Hussein succeeded Al-Bakr as Iraqi president
  • (1980-1988) Iran-Iraq war
  • (1981) Israel attacked Iraqi nuclear research center near Baghdad
  • (1988) Iraq attacked Kurdish town of Halabjah, killed thousands with poison gas
  • (1990) Iraq invaded Kuwait
  • (1991) United Nations Security Council imposed sanctions on Iraq, included weapons inspections, no-fly zones
  • (1990) Iraq announced merger of Kuwait and Iraq
  • (1991) Coalition of 39 countries began bombing Iraq beginning Persian Gulf War
  • (1992) No-fly zone set up in southern Iraq
  • (1993) U.S. launched cruise missile attack on Iraqi intelligence headquarters in Baghdad
  • (1995) Saddam Hussein won referendum which allowed him to remain president for seven more years
  • (1996) Iraq's forces launched offensive into northern no-fly zone, captured Irbil
  • (1996) U.S. extended northern no-fly zone to south of Baghdad
  • (1998) Iraq ended cooperation with United Nations Special Commission to oversee destruction of weapons of mass destruction
  • (1998) U.S. and UK launched a bombing campaign to destroy Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs in Operation Desert Fox

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.