[Documents menu] Documents menu

Timeline: Iraq

BBC News, A chronology of key events, Friday 8 June 2001, 10:16 GMT 11:16 UK

[This actually combines two BBC timelines, the other being dated 16 February 2001.]

1920 25 April - Iraq is placed under British mandate.

1921 23 August - Faysal, son of Hussein Bin Ali, the Sharif of Mecca, is crowned Iraq's first king.

1932 3 October - Iraq becomes an independent state.

1958 14 July - The monarchy is overthrown in a military coup led by Brig Abd-al-Karim Qasim and Col Abd-al-Salam Muhammad Arif. Iraq is declared a republic and Qasim becomes prime minister.

1963 8 February - Qasim is ousted in a coup led by the Arab Socialist Ba'th Party (ASBP). Arif becomes president.

1963 18 November - The Ba'thist government is overthrown by Arif and a group of officers.

1966 17 April - After Arif is killed in a helicopter crash on 13 April, his elder brother, Maj-Gen Abd-al-Rahman Muhammad Arif, succeeds him as president.

1968 17 July - A Ba'thist led-coup ousts Arif and Gen Ahmad Hasan al-Bakr becomes president.

1970 11 March - The Revolution Command Council (RCC) and Mullah Mustafa Barzani, leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), sign a peace agreement.

1972 - A 15-year Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation is signed between Iraq and the Soviet Union.

Petroleum firm nationalised

1972 - Iraq nationalizes the Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC).

1974 - In implementation of the 1970 agreement, Iraq grants limited autonomy to the Kurds but the KDP rejects it.

1975 March - At a meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Algiers, Iraq and Iran sign a treaty ending their border disputes.

1979 16 July - President Al-Bakr resigns and is succeeded by Vice-President Saddam Hussein.

1980 1 April - The pro-Iranian Da'wah Party claims responsibility for an attack on Deputy Prime Minister, Tariq Aziz, at Mustansiriyah University, Baghdad.

Iran-Iraq war

1980 4 September - Iran shells Iraqi border towns (Iraq considers this as the start of the Iran/Iraq war).

1980 17 September - Iraq abrogates the 1975 treaty with Iran.

1980 22 September - Iraq attacks Iranian air bases.

1980 23 September - Iran bombs Iraqi military and economic targets.

1981 7 June - Israel attacks an Iraqi nuclear research centre at Tuwaythah near Baghdad.

Chemical attack on Kurds

1988 16 March - Iraq is said to have used chemical weapons against the Kurdish town of Halabjah.

1988 20 August - A ceasefire comes into effect to be monitored by the UN Iran-Iraq Military Observer Group (UNIIMOG).

1990 15 March - Farzad Bazoft, an Iranian-born journalist with the London Observer newspaper, accused of spying on a military installation, is hanged in Baghdad.

The Gulf War

1990 2 August - Iraq invades Kuwait and is condemned by United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 660 which calls for full withdrawal.

1990 6 August - UNSC Resolution 661 imposes economic sanctions on Iraq.

1990 8 August - Iraq announces the merger of Iraq and Kuwait.

1990 29 November - UNSC Resolution 678 authorizes the states cooperating with Kuwait to use

1991 16 -17 January - The Gulf War starts when the coalition forces begin aerial bombing of Iraq (

1991 13 February - US planes destroy an air raid shelter at Amiriyah in Baghdad, killing over 300 people.

1991 24 February - The start of a ground operation which results in the liberation of Kuwait on 27 February.


1991 3 March - Iraq accepts the terms of a ceasefire.

1991 Mid-March/early April - Iraqi forces suppress rebellions in the south and the north of the country.

1991 8 April - A plan for the establishment of a UN safe-haven in northern Iraq, north of latitude 36 degrees north, for the protection of the Kurds, is approved at a European Union meeting in Luxembourg. On 10 April, the USA orders Iraq to end all military activity in this area.

1992 26 August - A no-fly zone, excluding flights of Iraqi planes, is established in southern Iraq, south of latitude 32 degrees north.

1993 27 June - US forces launch a cruise missile attack on Iraqi intelligence headquarters in Al-Mansur district, Baghdad in retaliation for the attempted assassination of US President, George Bush, in Kuwait in April.

1994 29 May - Saddam Hussein becomes prime minister.

1994 10 November - The Iraqi National Assembly recognizes Kuwait's borders and its independence.


1995 14 April - UNSC Resolution 986 allows the partial resumption of Iraq's oil exports to buy food and medicine ( the

1995 August - Saddam Hussein's son-in-law, Gen Hussein Kamil Hasan al-Majid, Minister of Industry and Minerals, as well as Director of the Military Industrialization Organization (MIO), his brother, Saddam, and their families, leave Iraq and are granted asylum in Jordan.

Operation Desert Fox

1995 15 October - Saddam Hussein wins a referendum allowing him to remain president for another 7 years.

1996 20 February - Hussein Kamil Hasan al-Majid and his brother, promised a pardon by Saddam Hussein, return to Baghdad and are killed on 23 February.

1996 31 August - In response to a call for aid from the KDP, Iraqi forces launch an offensive into the northern no-fly zone and capture of Arbil.

[Iraqi women
protest against sanctions Anti-sanctions]

Iraqi women protest against sanctions Anti-sanctions

1996 3 September - The US extends the northern limit of the southern no-fly zone to latitude 33 degrees north, just south of Baghdad.

1996 12 December - Saddam Hussein's elder son, Uday, is seriously wounded in an assassination attempt in Baghdad's Al-Mansur district.

1998 31 October - Iraq ends all forms of cooperation with the UN Special Commission to Oversee the Destruction of Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction (Unscom).

1998 22 November - Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri, Vice-Chairman of the RCC, escapes an assassination attempt when visiting Karbala.

1998 16-19 December - After UN staff are evacuated from Baghdad, the USA and UK launch a bombing campaign,

Sanctions crumble

1999 4 January - Iraq asks the UN to replace its US and UK staff in Iraq.

1999 19 February - Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, spiritual leader of the Shi'i sect, is assassinated in Najaf.

1999 17 December - UNSC Resolution 1284 creates the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (Unmovic) to replace Unscom. Iraq rejects the resolution.

2000 1 March - Hans Blix assumes the post of Executive Chairman of Unmovic.

2000 27 March - In the National Assembly elections, Saddam Hussein's son, Uday, becomes a member for Baghdad Governorate's fifth constituency.

2000 August - Reopening of Baghdad airport, followed by a stream of international flights organised by countries and organisations to campaign against sanctions. The flights are labelled humanitarian missions to comply with UN sanctions on commercial flights into and out of Iraq.

2000 November - Iraq resumes domestic passenger flights. The Iraqi Airways flights are the first since the 1991 Gulf War. The airliners take off from Baghdad and fly through the no-fly zones imposed by the US and UK.

2000 November - Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz rejects new weapons inspection proposals.

2000 1 December - Iraq halts its oil exports after the United Nations rejected its request that buyers pay a 50-cent-a-barrel surcharge into an Iraqi bank account not controlled by the UN.

2000 31 December - Despite rumours surrounding his health, Saddam Hussein stages a huge show of military strength two weeks before the 10th anniversary of the Gulf War.

2001 20 January - On becoming 43rd president, George W Bush signals a new get-tough policy and vows to

2001 February - Britain and the United States carry out bombing raids on targets close to Baghdad.