The birthplace of civilization
ESTABLISHING A MODERN IRAQ
King Faisal dies. Ghazi, 21, his playboy son, takes throne.
Failed coup attempt.
Saddam Hussein born.
King Ghazi dies in car crash. His toddler son, Faisal II, becomes king.
British send troops to Baghdad after second coup attempt.
May 14, 1948
Israel declares independence. Iraq sends troops when Arabs declare war the following day.
Dissidents under Gen. Abdel Karim Qasim overthrow the monarchy and execute the king. Iraq is declared a republic with Qasim its prime minister.
There are 29 known coup attempts against Qasim government.
October 7, 1959
Saddam part of Baathist coup attempt, which fails.
Baathists overthrow Qasim, execute communists and Kurds.
Military overthrows Baathists.
Baathists regain power. As Deputy Secretary-General of the Baath Party, Saddam involved in exiling rival leaders.
Saddam is appointed deputy chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council and vice president, becoming driving force in regime of President Ahmed Hassan Al-Bakr, his cousin.
Baath government agrees to an autonomous region in the north for Kurds, but it never is implemented.
Iraq deports 200,000 Shiites, Turkmen and Kurds to Iran.
Government reportedly uses phosphorous shells against Kurds; two Kurdish villages are razed, and 8,000 Kurds disappear from another. The Kurds are crushed, but continue guerrilla activities.
July 16, 1979
Al-Bakr is forced to retire and Saddam becomes president.
Hundreds of Baathist party leaders and army officers are accused of plots against Saddam and executed.
Saddam invades Iran.
February, 1987-August, 1988
Saddam appoints a cousin, Ali Hassan al-Majid, to "take care of" the Kurds. In the ensuing campaign, thousands of villages are razed and an estimated 180,000 Kurds disappear. Thousands more die when Kurdish villages on the Turkish border are gassed.
Iraq restores diplomatic relations with Iran.
A BUILDUP OF AGGRESSION
Iraqi troops invade Kuwait, declaring it Iraq's 19th province.
U.S. and U.N. coalition forces retake Kuwait. U.N. imposes economic sanctions.
Iraq accepts cease-fire. Allied troops withdraw. "No-fly" zones
Saddam Hussein, citing Iraqi sovereignty, rejects U.N. offer to sell oil to buy food and medicine as hunger and disease become widespread.
U.N. chemists, biologists and weapons experts begin inspections aimed at disarming Iraq.
Amnesty International urges Kurdish leaders to stop killing and mutilating prisoners in their custody.
Iraqi troops march on Shiite shrine cities of Najaf and Karbala and force the grand ayatollah to denounce rebellion there. U.N. later reports many clerics are killed, with administrators put in charge of Shiite mosques.
Saddam River Irrigation Project dams the Tigris and Euphrates, draining Shiite marshlands. U.N. calls it "the environmental crime of the century."
Evidence surfaces of plans to assassinate former President Bush during April visit to Kuwait.
Saddam accepts oil-for-food plan after U.N. estimates a quarter of Iraqi children suffer malnutrition.
First shipment of food, chickpeas and white flour arrives.
Iraq Sanctions Challenge, a coalition of U.S. opposition groups, delivers first shipment of medical supplies to Iraq in violation of sanctions.
Because British/American bombing is soon to commence in retaliation for Iraq's lack of cooperation with weapons inspectors, U.N. pulls inspectors from Iraq.
President Clinton orders Operation Desert Fox the bombing of Saddam's Republican Guards to force complete accounting of weapons.
Sept. 11, 2001
Attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
Jan. 29, 2002
In State of the Union address, President Bush denounces Iraq, Iran and North Korea as an "axis of evil."
Oct. 16, 2002
Bush signs a resolution authorizing the use of armed forces against Iraq.
U.N. calls for renewed weapons inspections and puts Iraq on notice to allow inspectors back into the country by Dec. 23 or face "serious consequences." Saddam agrees.
Inspectors return to Iraq.