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Iraq History Timeline

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Iraq's Information

Flag of Iraq
Land Area 437,367 km2
Water Area 950 km2
Total Area 438,317 km2
Population 38,146,025
Population Density 87.03 / km2
Government Type Federal Parliamentary Republic
GDP (PPP) $597.00 Billion
GDP Per Capita $16,500
Currency Dinar (IQD)
Largest Cities
  • Baghdad (5,672,513)
  • Al Basrah (2,600,000)
  • Al Mawsil al Jadidah (2,065,597)
  • Al Basrah al Qadimah (2,015,483)
  • Mosul (1,739,800)
  • Erbil (932,800)
  • Abu Ghurayb (900,000)
  • As Sulaymaniyah (723,170)
  • Kirkuk (601,433)
  • An Najaf (482,576)
  • (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
  • (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


  • (2003) U.S. President, George W. Bush, gave Saddam Hussein and sons 48 hours to leave Iraq or face war
  • (2003) U.S. and British troops entered Iraq, American missiles hit targets in Baghdad
  • (2003) Baghdad and Saddam Hussein's power crumbled
  • (2003) Saddam Hussein's sons, Uday and Qusay, killed in battle in Mosul
  • (2003) Suicide truck bomb destroyed UN headquarters in Baghdad, envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello killed
  • (2003) Shia leader Ayatollah Mohammed Baqr al-Hakim killed by cam bomb in Najaf
  • (2003) Saddam Hussein captured in Tikrit
  • (2004) 140 Shia festival-goers in Karbala and Baghdad killed by suicide bombers
  • (2004) During month-long U.S. military siege of Falluja, hundreds killed
  • (2004) U.S. turned sovereignty to an interim government headed by Prime Minister Iyad Allawi
  • (2005) Saddam Hussein transferred to Iraqi legal custody
  • (2005) Eight million Iraqis voted for Transitional National Assembly
  • (2005) 114 killed by car bomb south of Baghdad
  • (2005) Jalal Talabani, a Kurdish leader, elected president by parliament; Ibrahim Jaafari, named prime minister
  • (2005) Massoud Barzani sworn in as regional president of Iraqi Kurdistan
  • (2005) Voters approved new constitution, voted for first, full-term government and parliament since invasion led by U.S.
  • (2006) U.N. stated that an average of more than 100 civilians per day were killed by violence in Iraq
  • (2006) Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Al-Qaeda leader, killed in air strike
  • (2006) After nearly 25 years, Iraq and Syria restored diplomatic relations
  • (2006) Car bombings in Shia area of Sadr City in Baghdad killed more than 200
  • (2006) Saddam Hussein was executed for crimes against humanity
  • (2007) U.S. President George W. Bush announced thousands more U.S. troops would be dispatched to enhance security in Baghdad
  • (2007) In worst bombing since 2003, 130 people were killed in Baghdad's Sadriya market
  • (2007) Car and truck bombs struck two villages of Yazidi Kurds, killed at least 250
  • (2007) British handed over security of Basra province to Iraqi forces, ended five years of British control of southern Iraq
  • (2008) U.S. gave control of the western province of Anbar to the Iraqi government
  • (2008) Parliament approved security pact with U.S. in which U.S. troops would leave Iraq by end of 2011
  • (2009) Iraq took control of Green Zone in Baghdad
  • (2009) U.S. troops withdrew from towns and cities, handed over security duties to new Iraqi forces
  • (2009) Masoud Barzani re-elected president
  • (2009) Two car bombs near Baghdad's Green Zone killed 155
  • (2009) Al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State claimed responsibility for suicide bombing in Baghdad
  • (2010) Key figure in Saddam Hussein's government, "Chemical" Ali Hassan al-Majid, was executed
  • (2010) U.S. combat brigade left Iraq after seven years
  • (2010) Whistleblowing website, Wikileaks, published classified U.S. military logs about Iraq war
  • (2010) After long delay, Parliament reconvened, re-appointed Jalai Talabani as president, Nouri al-Maiki as prime minister
  • (2010) Parliament approved new government
  • (2011) Amid dispute between Iraqi Kurdistan region and central government over contracts with foreign firms, oil exports resumed
  • (2011) Iraqi Kurdistan moved troops into position around disputed city of Kirkuk
  • (2011) More than 40 coordinated nationwide attacks occurred in one day
  • (2011) Turkey launched military strikes against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq's mountains
  • (2011) U.S. completed pull-out of military troops
  • (2011) Iraqi government in disarray, Al-Iraqiya parliament block boycotted parliament and cabinet
  • (2012) Shia Muslims targeted by waves of bombings
  • (2012) Arab League summit met in Baghdad, the first major summit to be held since fall of Saddam Hussein
  • (2012) Arguments between central government and foreign firms over contracts halted oil exports
  • (2012) Iraq canceled $4.2 billion agreement with Russia for the purchase of arms due to concerns of Iraqi government alleged corruption
  • (2012) President Talabani suffered stroke, received treatment in Germany
  • (2012) Sunni Muslims held mass protests against Shia-led government across the country
  • (2013) Sunni anti-government camp near Kirkuk stormed by troops, 50 killed
  • (2013) Violence intensified, became a full-blown country-wide sectarian war zone
  • (2013) Nearly 500 senior al-Qaeda members escaped from jails in Taji and Abu Ghraib
  • (2013) Mass killing of Iranian exiles took place at Camp Ashraf
  • (2013) Kurdistan Democratic Party won regional parliamentary elections in Iraqi Kurdistan
  • (2013) Kurdistan capital, Irbil, hit with series of bombings
  • (2013) 35 people were killed in twin church bombings in Baghdad on Christmas Day
  • (2013) United Nations said 2013 was deadliest year in Iraq since 2008 with nearly 8,000 killed
  • (2014) Sunni militants, aligned with Al Qaeda, set fire to police stations, freed prisoners from jail, occupied mosques in Falluja and Ramadi, declared Falluja to be new independent state
  • (2014) Militants staged car bombings in Baghdad, killed truck drivers, detonated explosive at funeral tent in a village, 64 people killed
  • (2014) Shiite cleric, Moktada al-Sadr, one of Iraq's most powerful leaders, announced his withdrawal from politics
  • (2014) More than 400,000 people displaced by violence in Anbar Province
  • (2014) Iraqi security forces thwarted attack by al-Qaeda group on Yusufiya military base, 40 gunmen killed

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