The History of Iraq and Gulf War Timeline

The History of Iraq War Timeline

State of Western Asia, located in the northern sector of the Arabian Peninsula, bordered on the north by Turkey, on the west by Syria and Jordan, on the south by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and on the east by Iran; to the southeast its coasts are washed by the Persian Gulf.

Early Iraq History Timeline

Some of the first human settlements Humanity’s oldest known have been found in present-day Iraq. Houses, temples, utensils and pottery found in various sites can be dated as early as the fifth millennium BC. Some sites have names that are familiar from the Bible, which describes the region of the Tigris (Tigris) and the Euphrates, such as the location of the Garden of Eden and the city of Ur for being the birthplace of the patriarch Abraham. Scientific exploration and archaeological research have expanded biblical accounts.

The area around the Euphrates and Tigris rivers has been home to some of the most significant and famous ancient cultures, most notably the Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrians. For the history of these cultures, see Sumerian, Assyria, Babylonia and Mesopotamia.

In 539 B.C.E., Babylonia was conquered by the Persian king Cyrus II the Great, and the area was then part of the Persian Empire. In 331 B.C.E., Iraqi territory was conquered by Alexander III the Great. Until about 140 B.C.E., the area was part of the Seleucid kingdom, whose capital, Seleukia, was located at Tigris. During the Parthian wars against Rome in the following centuries, the border between the Roman Empire and the Parthian Empire passed through Iraq, and from about 225 C.E., the area was part of the Sasanian Empire.

The History of Iraq Timeline
The History of Iraq Timeline

The history written in Mesopotamia (the ancient name of Iraq, especially the area between the Tigris and the Euphrates) begins with the Sumerians, who by the fourth millennium BC had established the city-state. Records and beads on clay tablets prove that they had a complex economic organization before 3200 BC. The kingdom of Sumer was contested by King Sargon of Akkad (rc2350 BC), a Sumerian-Akkadian culture continued in Erech (Tall al-Warka) and Ur (Tall al-Muqayyar) until it was replaced by the Amorites and Babylonians (circa 1900 BC), with their capital in Babylon. The cultural height of Babylonian history is represented by Hammurabi (c.1750-rc1792 BC), who compiled a celebrated code of laws.

After Babylon was destroyed by the Hittites around 1550 BC, the Hurrians founded the kingdom of Mitanni in the north for about 200 years, and the Kassites ruled for about 400 years in the south.

The history written in Mesopotamia (the ancient name of Iraq, especially the area between the Tigris and the Euphrates) begins with the Sumerians, who by the fourth millennium BC had established the city-state. Records and beads on clay tablets prove that they had a complex economic organization before 3200 BC. The kingdom of Sumer was contested by King Sargon of Akkad (rc2350 BC), a Sumerian-Akkadian culture continued in Erech (Tall al-Warka) and Ur (Tall al-Muqayyar) until it was replaced by the Amorites and Babylonians (circa 1900 BC), with their capital in Babylon. The cultural height of Babylonian history is represented by Hammurabi (c.1750-rc1792 BC), who compiled a celebrated code of laws.

After Babylon was destroyed by the Hittites around 1550 BC, the Hurrians founded the kingdom of Mitanni in the north for about 200 years, and the Kassites ruled for about 400 years in the south.

What religion of Iraq before Islam?

What was the dominant religion in Iraq before Islam? Iraq just before Islam was known as Khowarvaran. It was a province of Sassanian Persia. The Persian capital Csetiphone was situated on the eastern bank of Tigris some 26 miles to the southeast of current Baghdad. Thus, even the Sassanian capital was in Iraq. Every Iraqi was Idol worship. 

Eastern Romans called this province (Iraq) as Mesopotamia, this is a Greek word meaning: land between two rivers. Population of western and northern Iraq was mostly Persian and Kurdish, while the eastern and central part which was mainly desert was inhabited by a Syriac , semitic tribe : Banu Lakhm or Lakhmids. They were from the Arab ethnicity. Their language Syriac was nearly identical with Arabic.

Banu Lakhm were vassals of Persians and were used as cavalry men against the Eastern Romans by Persians. Religion of Syriac Arabs and Persians was Zoroastrian. But during the 6th AD, lots of Arabs were converted to Christianity and monasteries were established in major cities of Iraq like Mosul, Nineveh , Basra etc. Romans aided the missionaries in order to detach Lakhmids from Persians. There were some Indian settlements in Basra and Mosul as well. They were the servants of Arab traders and mostly were Jats and Mohyals from Makran and Zabul and Kabul. Iraq or Khowarvaran was peaceful and prosperous province of Iran. It was considered the bread basket for the Iranian nation due to fertility of the plains of Euphrates and Tigris.

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Khusro Pervez the last of the great Sassanian king took direct control of Khowarvaran by 620AD. This infuriated Lakhmids who, till that time were nearly semi-independent. Christianity was also making inroads in to Syriac Lakhmids. It was this scene which was exploited by early Muslims under the command of Khalid ibn al Walid and later Sad ibn Waqqas to demolish the Iranian nation with the help of Lakhmid dissents within short time between 634 to 651 AD.

Mid Age History of Iraq

The region was conquered by the Arabs from the 630s, in 642 the Sasanians suffered the decisive defeat, and Iraq was thus part of the caliphate created in Medina after the death of the Prophet Muhammadin 632. With the Abbasid Revolution of 749-750, Iraq replaced Syriaas the political and economic center of the caliphate. Baghdad was founded in the 760s and remained the capital of the caliphate until the Mongol conquest ofthearea in 1258.

After belonging to several different dynasties in the following period, parts of Iraq were subjugated to the Shiite Safavids in the early 1500s, but already in 1534 the Ottomans managed to secure the area, which was administratively divided into the provinces of Mosul, Baghdad and Basra. In 1623, the Safavids again succeeded in subjugating part of Iraq, but already in 1638 they had to hand over control to the Ottomans again. Formally, Iraq was part of the Ottoman Empire until the end of World War 1. During World War II, both Mosul and Basra provinces were often controlled by local families.

The formation of modern Iraq

From the end of the 1800s, the first examples of Arab nationalism can be traced in the Iraqi territory. As in other parts of the Arab Middle East under Ottoman control, groups of Arabs began to work for independence. In 1915, the Shariff of Mecca, Husayn ibn Ali, on behalf of the various Arab groups, concluded an agreement with Britain that promised to support the establishment of an independent state comprising the former Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire. In turn, in 1916, the Arabs, led by Husayn ibn Ali, initiated the Arab Revolt, which a small number of Arab officers from Iraq joined.

Iraq had already been involved in World War 1 in 1914. During World War II, a British army secured control of Shatt al-Arab. By the end of the war in 1918, the British had captured the area from Basra in the south to Kirkuk in the north, but they did not fulfill their promise; the former Ottoman provinces in the Middle East were instead divided as seats between Britain and France.

When it was decided in 1920 that Iraq should be a British mandate, riots broke out in the south of the country. The rebellion was suppressed, and after negotiations, Husayn ibn Ali’s sonFaysalagreed to be installed as king of Iraq; The Iraqi government in 1922 recognized the country’s status as a British Mandate. In 1924, a constituent assembly was elected, which ruled that Iraq should develop into a sovereign state with a hereditary constitutional monarchy and an elected parliament. The Mosul region, whose population was mainly Kurdish and which Turkey had also claimed, was incorporated into Iraq in 1925 on the recommendation of the League of Nations.

In 1930, Iraq and Britain reached an agreement that for 25 years secured British control of a few air bases and paved the way for British recognition of Iraq’s independence in 1932.

Post-independence Iraq

The transition to full independence was marked by conflicts between different groups, all of which wanted to secure political power. Faysal established cooperation with local leaders in both southern and northern Iraq, although several uprisings suggested that not everyone accepted being ruled from Baghdad. In 1933, Faysal was succeeded by his sonGhazi. During the 1920s, the Iraqi government had handed over oil concessions to foreign companies, and from 1934 oil was exported from Kirkuk. Exports of oil from Mosul and Basra began only after World War 2. World war. The oil revenues from Kirkuk enabled the many successive governments, almost all of which were rooted in the army, to embark on a limited modernization of the country.

Iraq as a republic

In July 1958, Iraqi officers staged a coup in which the royal family and a number of leading politicians, including Nuri al-Said, were killed. The new rulers turned Iraq into a republic and took over all political power. The coup was planned by Abdal-Karim Qasim and Abd al-Salam Arif, both of whom wanted economic reforms and withdrawal from the Baghdad Pact; but while Qasim wanted to keep Iraq as an independent political entity, Arif advocated Iraqi joining the United Arab Republic, which had been formed that same year by Egypt and Syria.

The power struggle was won by Qasim, who assumed power. However, his regime was challenged from several sides. By the 1950s, the Iraqi Communist Party had established itself both within the army and in trade unions. Qasim carried out several purges against the Communists, and in 1959 he banned the party. The Kurds posed a more serious challenge to the regime. Kurdish leader Mulla Mustafa al-Barzani founded the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) in 1958. He called for the introduction of a new constitution guaranteeing Kurdish autonomy.

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Qasim was overthrown in a coup in 1963, and with the support of the Baath Party, Abd al-Salam Arif became the country’s new leader. Soon after, a land reform was carried out, and in 1964 all banks and insurance companies were nationalized, as well as a number of major industrial companies. On the same occasion, all existing political parties and organizations were banned except the Arab Socialist Union. Arif’s government did not keep its promises of increased Kurdish autonomy and broke a ceasefire. In 1966, the government was pressured into a new ceasefire, and the Kurds were again promised increased autonomy. They were also to have permanent representation in the government; But this time, too, the promises were not fulfilled.

Baath Party

A new coup brought the Baath Party to power in 1968. The Revolutionary Council of Command, RCC, became the country’s main political body, and Ahmad Hasan al-Bakrassumed the presidency. Iraq’s oil industry was nationalized in 1972; Iraqi demands for higher oil prices found support from other oil-exporting countries and led to a quadrupling of the price of oil in the winter of 1973-74. The rise in prices and Iraq’s growing oil exports made it possible to expand its infrastructure, build schools and hospitals, and offer a range of new social services to the general population. This secured popular support for the Baath regime, but a number of the political problems that had plagued the country for many years were not resolved.

In 1970, a new agreement had been concluded with the Kurds: Kurdish was recognized as an official language on a par with Arabic, and the Kurds were to be guaranteed direct influence on the development of the Kurdish areas and have permanent representation in the RCC. When the promises had not yet been fulfilled in 1974, new fighting broke out between the Kurds and the Ba’athist regime. The fighting was brought to an end when, in 1975, Iran promised to abandon its support for the Kurds’ struggle, and parts of the Kurdish population were forcibly settled in central and southern Iraq. Many were allowed to move back in 1976, but a real solution to the Kurdish problem had still not been found, and Kurdish resistance continued, led from Tehran by al-Barzani.

Throughout the 1970s, Iraq became one of the USSR’s most important partners in the Arab world. The Iraqi government was a fierce critic of the negotiations that Egypt began with Israel after the October War in 1973, and after Egypt’s President Sadat’s trip to Jerusalem in 1977, Iraq assumed the role of leader of the Arab countries’ anti-Egyptian wing.

Iraq under Saddam Hussein

In 1979, Saddam Hussein replaced Hasan al-Bakr as president. When Iraq launched a military strike against Iran the following year, it was the beginning of the eight-year Iranian-Iraqi War. The war was at times very extensive and indirectly involved several states on the Persian Gulf. The region’s oil-rich Arab states supported Iraq financially but failed to bring Iran to its knees. In August 1988, the parties concluded a ceasefire, which, however, has not yet led to a genuine peace agreement in 1997.

 IRAQ AT WAR WITH IRAN (1980-1988)

Worried about a possible influence of the Iranian Islamic revolution on its Shiite majority, fearing a breakdown of the fragile Iraqi balance, the regime thinks it will find in the collapse of the Pahlavi an opportunity to cancel the important territorial concessions made to Iran during the agreements of 1969 and those of Algiers (1975); he also wants to make his claims on Iran’s Khuzestan successful.

In September 1980, Iraq attacked its Neighbour, triggering a deadly war that would totally ruin the Iraqi economy for eight years despite the significant financial support received from Western countries and those of the Persian Gulf. During the conflict, Shiites, Kurds and communists sided with Iran. Kurdish villages are massively destroyed, including by chemical bombing, and their populations deported: helped by Turkey, which hosts 120,000 of them, the Iraqi Kurds try to regroup. The Shiites, meanwhile, are supported by Syria, which in 1982 closed the Kirkuk oil pipeline, which amounts to a declaration of war.

All opponents, especially religious leaders, whose leaders live in exile (most often in Tehran), are accused of collusion with the Persian enemy, and therefore savagely repressed. Frequent government reshuffles and rumours of coups testify to the country’s political instability, complicated by an extremely tense social situation. Shiite and Kurdish attacks ravage the country’s main cities; Basra was destroyed by Iranian missiles in 1982; Baghdad by bombing in the spring of 1985.

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Externally, however, the war allows the restoration of relations with the West, especially with the United States and Arab countries – with the exception of Syria, Baghdad supporting the SyrianMuslim Brotherhoodand Lebanese groups opposed to Damascus. Saudi Arabia, the Gulf countries, provide massive aid to Baghdad in the form of loans, the repayment of which will prove very heavy; Saddam Husayn cooperated with Egypt and Jordan and even got Kuwait to lease the island of Bubyan to create a deep-water port (1988). It bought weapons massively (from the France in particular, then from the USSR), opened up to investments from large firms and was very active on the oil market.


History of the Iraq war: Saddam Husayn continues to arm the country. On 2 August 1990, hoping to cancel part of its debt, monopolize Kuwait’s enormous foreign exchange wealth, find a maritime outlet on the Persian Gulf and double its oil revenues, Iraq invaded Kuwait, whose territory it had claimed since its independence, thus triggering the Gulf War.

History of the Iraq war

For six months, until January 1991, Saddam Husayn refused the evacuation demanded by the international community, despite the very severe commercial, financial and military embargo decreed by the UN. With the exception of Turkey, Jordan and the Palestinians, the Arab-Muslim world, which had supported him against Iran, is now dissociating itself from the Iraqi president. An international force, led by the United States, but comprising soldiers of 30 nationalities, launches Operation Desert Storm from Saudi territory (January-February 1991). Crushed, its army disbanded, Iraq is invaded, occupied and placed under international financial trusteeship. The debacle is total: the Iraqi army is reduced from 1 million to 387,000 men.

Iraq After Saddam Hussein

Saddam Hussein was captured in December 2003, but this did not help to counteract the emerging crisis in the country. From the autumn of 2003, attacks on foreign military units were incipient, and from the beginning of 2004 the attacks escalated, and armed fighting between different factions in the country increased in scale. This made the establishment of a new political system difficult, and the time frame for restoring full Iraqi sovereignty was repeatedly postponed. Immediately after the fall of the old regime, the coalition established an interim administration, which drafted a new constitution for Iraq and ensured the holding of both local and national elections.

The real transfer of power was repeatedly postponed because attacks on international forces increased, and as parts of the administration have been transferred to Iraqi leadership, attacks were also carried out on it.

The central and southern parts of Iraq were effectively marked by civil war. The Kurdish region in the north of the country enjoys more peaceful conditions, but there too the contradictions sometimes turned into violence and terror. Nevertheless, in June 2004, power was handed over to a transitional government, and in January 2005, a multi-party election was held in the country for a constituent assembly. In October 2005, new parliamentary elections were held under the new constitution. This led to a fragile Shiite-dominated coalition government under Nuri al-Maliki, who became prime minister from 2006.

In response to the deteriorating security situation, in 2007 the United States reinforced its military presence and launched an offensive against the rebels. The insurgency was significantly suppressed, and the Iraqi government gained increased control of the country. Several countries withdrew their troops from the country, including Denmark in December 2008 and the United Kingdom in May 2009. In 2008, an agreement was negotiated with the United States, according to which U.S. troops would leave Iraqi cities in June 2009, when the Iraqi military would take over security duties. The last U.S. combat troops left Iraq up to 9/1/2010. During the summer of this year, there was an escalation of terrorist attacks in Iraq, no doubt due to the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

The last U.S. troops left Iraq at the end of 2011, and subsequently relations between the U.S. and al-Maliki’s government cooled significantly. Sunni opponents of al-Maliki’s rule were bolstered by the violent civil war in neighboring Syria. In 2014, the Islamist Sunni Islamic movement ISIS managed to overrun large parts of northern Iraq, and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (b. 1971), proclaimed a caliphate that provisionally covered the areas of Syria and Iraq it controlled.

ISIS’s success exposed the powerlessness of government forces against targeted enemies, even if they are inferior in number, equipment and training. The Islamists’ momentum led to al-Maliki’s resignation, and in September 2014 Haidar al-Abadi formed a new government. Al-Abadi is also Shia, but he also gained the support of Sunni and Kurdish politicians.


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