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Milestones on the road to modern Iraq

1917 British capture Baghdad from Turkey

1920 Mandate for Iraq awarded to UK by League of Nations

1921 Hashemite monarchy established under King Faisal I

1922 Boundary with Saudi Arabia is agreed

1927 Discovery of oil north of Karkuk. Pipeline begun to the Mediterranean

1932 Iraq achieves independence from Britain on October 3

1933 Faisal I dies and is succeeded by his son, Ghazi

1936 First of seven military coups d'etat over the next five years

1939 King Ghazi dies and is succeeded by his son, King Faisal II

1948-49 Iraqi troops participate in Arab League invasion of the new state

of Israel

1958 Hashemite kingdoms of Iraq and Jordan join the Arab Union Federation. King Faisal assassinated in a coup. General Abdul Karim Qassem takes power. The Arab Union is dissolved

1961 Qassem claims Kuwait as an integral part of Iraq. Kurds begin armed revolt against Baghdad

1963 Qassem killed in military coup led by Colonel Abd al-Salam Aref, who becomes president. Iraq renounces claim to Kuwait

1966 Ceasefire between Kurds and government forces. Colonel Aref dies. His brother Abdul Rahman Aref (right) takes power

1967 June war. Israel attacks Iraqi airfields. Diplomatic relations broken with America

1968 Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party seizes power in a coup

1970 Announced settlement ends Kurdish rebellion in the north, but legal status of Kurdish territory remains unresolved

1972 Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC) - a consortium of Western companies - is nationalised

1975 Algiers accord fixes the southern Iran and Iraq boundary and formally ends the Kurdish rebellion

1977 First export pipeline via Turkey to the Mediterranean is completed

1979 Saddam Hussein emerges as President and chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC)

1980 Unilateral denunciation of the Baghdad Treaty. Outbreak of eight-year war with Iran

1988 IranIraq war ends. Iraq retaliates against the Kurds for supporting Iran and reasserts its claim to Kuwait

1990 Iraq invades Kuwait. United Nations imposes economic embargo on Iraq

1991 Iraq forcibly ejected from Kuwait by coalition forces in Gulf War

1992 Kurdish groups opposed to Baghdad elect their own parliament

1993 America launches cruise missile attack on Baghdad's Iraqi intelligence headquarters, in retaliation for the attempted assassination of President George Bush in Kuwait on June 27

1995 United Nations Security Council Resolution 986 - the "oil-for-food"

programme. Not accepted by Iraq until May and not implemented until

December, 1996

1997 UN disarmament commission concludes Iraq has continued to conceal information on biological and chemical weapons and missiles

1998 Iraq ends all forms of co-operation with the UN weapons inspectors. America and the UK launch "Operation Desert Fox" to destroy Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programmes

2002 In September, American President George W Bush tells the UN General Assembly session to confront the "grave and gathering danger" of Iraq. British Prime Minister Tony Blair publishes a dossier on Iraq's military capability. In November, UN weapons inspectors return to Iraq, backed by a UN resolution which threatens serious consequences if Iraq is in "material breach" of its terms

2003 In March 20, American missiles hit targets in Baghdad, marking the start of the US-led campaign to topple the regime of Saddam Hussein.

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