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timeline of iraq

Pyrovitae

TRIBE Member
i subscribe to a few special interest mailing lists and in light of saddam's capture thought this to be interesting. it's a brief synopsis of events in iraq from before the first world war on.




1917 - With World War I over and the Ottoman Empire on its knees, western European powers begin carving the Middle East into spheres of colonial influence. British forces enter Baghdad and replace the Ottoman provincial government with a British imperial one. The Ottomans had ruled Iraq, along with most of the Middle East, since the 16th century, yet prior to the arrival of the British, "Iraq" was not a single political unit. While the term had been used since the Middle Ages to refer to the area, the Ottomans had treated the region as five provinces approximating linguistic and religious divisions.

1920 - The emir Faysal I establishes an Arab government in Syria and is proclaimed king. Nationalists in northern Iraq instigate a revolt and proclaim Faysal's older brother, Abdullah, their king. The French expel Faysal from Syria, while the British suppress the revolt in Iraq.

1921 - Britain offers Faysal the Iraqi throne, though under British colonial control. Faysal refuses to assume the throne without the approval of the Iraqi people and proposes an Anglo-Iraqi alliance in lieu of British oversight. Britain's colonial secretary, Winston Churchill, accepts the proposal, and Faysal is proclaimed king. A plebiscite confirms the proclamation, and Faysal claims his throne.

1922 - Britain and Iraq sign a treaty of alliance. The treaty satisfies neither the Iraqis--who notice that the British still have considerable say in their affairs--nor the British public, which opposes spending money on Iraq.

1925 - King Faysal signs the "Organic Law," establishing a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary government. Neither monarchy nor parliament is organic to the region. The Organic Law will survive for only 33 years, during which more than 50 different cabinets will be formed.

1932 - The League of Nations formally admits Iraq as an independent state. Though the treaty of alliance with Britain had been scheduled to last 20 years, Britain terminates the agreement. With independence achieved, the numerous Iraqi political parties turn on each other.

1933 - Several hundred members of a small Christian community are killed in clashes with Iraqi troops. The incident fires deep-seated demographic divisions and sets a bad precedent for dealing with minorities. An ailing King Faysal counsels moderation but cannot control the situation. The king dies in Switzerland and is succeeded by his young and inexperienced son, King Ghazi.

1934-35 - Tribal insurrections, spurred by opposition leaders, lead to the fall of three governments in two years. The insurrections reflect two critical problems for the Iraqi government: the questionable legitimacy of a political system largely imposed from outside and the country's ethnic and religious diversity (only 20 percent of Iraqis are both Arab and Sunni Muslim, though this group has traditionally dominated government).

1939 - King Ghazi is killed in a car accident and is succeeded by his 4-year-old son, Faysal II. His uncle, Emir Abdullah, serves as regent. World War II breaks out in Europe. Despite paying lip service to the Anglo-Iraqi alliance, Iraq's prime minister, General Nuri, declares Iraq "nonbelligerent." The army dominates domestic politics.

1940 - Iraq sides with pan-Arab leaders who are opposed to Britain's positions throughout the Middle East and who have entered into secret negotiations with Nazi Germany and Italy, the original "axis of evil."

1941 - British forces rout the Iraqi army and force Iraqi leaders and their pan-Arab supporters to flee the country. Under duress from the British, Iraq declares war on the Axis powers and grants transportation and communications rights and facilities to the Allies.

1945 - World War II ends. The regent, Abdullah, calls for reforms that would make Iraq more genuinely democratic. His call is embraced by a generation of young reformers, yet vested interests block any change.

1948 - S'alih Jabr, Iraq's first Shi'ite prime minister, negotiates a new and more equal treaty with the British. Popular protest promptly compels repudiation of the treaty and, ultimately, Jabr's resignation. Iraq participates with other Arab nations in the First Arab-Israeli War, which ends in bitter humiliation for the Arab states.

1952 - Opposition leaders, students, and extremists spur a popular uprising that spins out of control. The regent calls in the army, and the country falls under martial law. The government signs a profit-sharing agreement with the Iraq Petroleum Company, despite protests from opposition groups who want to nationalize the oil industry.

1958 - The "Free Officers," a group of young military officers operating in secret cells, stages a coup, overthrows the monarchy, and proclaims a republic. The king, the crown prince, and many members of the royal family are executed. 'Abd-al-Karim Qasim, leader of the Free Officers, assumes primary control of the government and begins consolidating power. It soon becomes apparent that Iraq is a republic in name only.
1961 - In an apparent attempt to divert attention from problems at home, Qasim advances a claim to Iraqi sovereignty over Kuwait. The claim has little historical basis and serves primarily to anger Britain, Kuwait, and other Arab nations. Qasim nationalizes the oil industry.

1963 - A faction of the army cooperates with the Iraqi branch of the Arab Socialist Ba'th ("Renaissance") Party in a rebellion against Qasim's regime. The government collapses, Qasim is executed, and a National Council for Revolutionary Command is created under Colonel Ahmad Hassan al-Bakr. The Ba'th leaders install 'Abd-as-Salam Arif as president. Arif promptly rallies the military to his side, has the Ba'th leaders arrested, and consolidates his power. Forced underground, the Ba'th party reorganizes under al-Bakr, assisted by Saddam Hussein.

1966 - President Arif dies in a helicopter accident and is succeeded by his older brother, 'Abd-ar-Rahman Arif, who ignores calls from Ba'th and other opposition leaders for general elections and for getting the army out of politics.

1968 - A faction of the army, in cooperation with Ba'th leaders, again overthrows the government. President Arif surrenders and leaves the country. The new regime forms the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC), which elects al-Bakr president. Al-Bakr delegates considerable power to Saddam Hussein and consolidates his own power by forcing military leaders to leave the country. A Kurdish uprising begins but is quickly suppressed. The Ba'th party becomes the central force in national politics.

1970 - Ba'th party leaders meet with leaders of the Kurds, a non-Arab people who represent approximately a fifth of Iraq's population and who have wanted their own country throughout Iraq's short history. The government promises to recognize the Kurds as a national group entitled to a form of self-rule by 1974.

1974 - The promises of 1970 go unkept, and the Kurds revolt. The Shah of Iran supports the Kurds, primarily because he wants to pressure the Iraqi government into renegotiating a 1937 treaty that gives Iraq control over the valuable Shatt al-'Arab shipping channel.

1975 - Saddam Hussein meets with the Shah of Iran, and the two quickly come to an agreement: Iraq will share control of the Shatt al-'Arab, and Iran will stop supporting the Kurds. The agreement puts an end to the Kurdish war.

1978 - Pursuing the Ba'th party's goal of Arab unity, Iraq and Syria sign a "charter for joint national action." The charter declares the intent of the two nations to join their militaries and suggests they will one day form a single political entity. Negotiations on forming the union stall, however, as leaders on both sides work to ensure they remain on top. The quick engagement-turned-annulment leads to bad feelings on both sides.

1979 - Al-Bakr resigns, and Saddam Hussein, who has assumed increasing control throughout al-Bakr's tenure, succeeds him. Not quite two weeks later, the government announces that it has uncovered a conspiracy to overthrow Saddam's new regime. Several members of the RCC are arrested, a special court is set up, the government of Syria is accused of funding the conspiracy, and 22 conspirators are executed. In Iran, a radical Shi'ite Islamic movement led by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini overthrows the Shah and proclaims a policy of "exporting the revolution." Clashes along the Iran-Iraq border become frequent.

1980 - Iraqi forces invade Iran, setting off a full-scale war between the two nations that will last eight years and create an Iraqi war debt of $80 billion, around half of it owed to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. After some initial Iraqi successes, a stalemate ensues.

1983 - Having pushed Saddam's forces back across the border, Iranian forces begin to penetrate into Iraq. Kurds in the northeastern provinces cooperate with Iranian forces. In response, Iraq deploys chemical weapons and bombs Iranian oil holdings in the Persian Gulf.

1987 - Iraq regains the upper hand in the war, partly by acquiring arms from France and the Soviet Union. Iraq also enjoys diplomatic and occasional military support from the United States, which bombs Iranian ships and oil platforms and provides information about Iranian troop movements.

1988 - The Iran-Iraq War ends. Ultimately, the two sides make peace by reverting to agreements made in 1975. Saddam begins to rebuild the Iraqi military. He also begins chemical weapons attacks against the Kurds, massacring between 50,000 and 100,000 people in northern Iraq.

1990 - Angered by Kuwaiti and Saudi refusals to forgive Iraq's war debt, Saddam resurrects Iraq's claim to sovereignty over Kuwait. Iraqi forces invade Kuwait. The UN Security Council imposes economic sanctions against Iraq, and U.S. troops arrive in Saudi Arabia. Saddam declares Kuwait an Iraqi province.

1991 - A multinational coalition of military forces led by the United States launches "Operation Desert Storm." The attack begins with a massive air campaign against military and industrial targets throughout Iraq. Ground forces soon follow. Iraq withdraws from Kuwait and accepts a cease-fire dictated by the UN. Almost immediately, Saddam flouts the terms of the cease-fire, and economic sanctions against Iraq remain in place. Kurds in the north and Shi'ite Muslims in the south rebel, but are put down with brutal force. In an attempt to protect the Kurds, the United States creates a "no-fly" zone in northern Iraq. U.S. forces establish a southern "no-fly" zone the following year.

1996 - Citing a growing humanitarian crisis stemming from the ongoing economic sanctions, the UN allows Iraq to sell $1 billion worth of oil every 90 days, on the condition that the money be used for humanitarian relief.

1997 - The UN disarmament commission determines that Iraq continues to hide information regarding its development of chemical and biological weapons.

1998 - Iraq ends all cooperation with the UN weapons inspection program. To force compliance and destroy weapons facilities, U.S. and British forces bomb Iraqi military targets and oil refineries.

1999 - The UN Security Council proposes a new arms inspection plan that could lead to the suspension of economic sanctions. Iraq rejects the plan.

2003 - The United States and Great Britain argue that Iraq continues to hide prohibited weapons. U.S. and British forces invade and quickly topple Saddam Hussein's government. Eight months after Baghdad's fall, U.S. forces capture Saddam Hussein.

Steve Sampson
December 14, 2003
 

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
1934-35 - Tribal insurrections, spurred by opposition leaders, lead to the fall of three governments in two years. The insurrections reflect two critical problems for the Iraqi government: the questionable legitimacy of a political system largely imposed from outside and the country's ethnic and religious diversity (only 20 percent of Iraqis are both Arab and Sunni Muslim, though this group has traditionally dominated government).

Nice post Natalie.
 

lok

TRIBE Member
1988 - The Iran-Iraq War ends. Ultimately, the two sides make peace by reverting to agreements made in 1975. Saddam begins to rebuild the Iraqi military. He also begins chemical weapons attacks against the Kurds, massacring between 50,000 and 100,000 people in northern Iraq.
Yeah. I'd say its a great post
 

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
Only thing it's missing is the receipts that were attached to those weapons. Wouldn't have them kicking around wouldja lok?
 
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