Iraq officially the Republic of Iraq  is a country in Western Asia

Iraq borders Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest, and Syria to the west.

Iraq profile
Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iran and Kuwait

total: 438,317 km2 (169,235 sq mi)
land: 437,367 km2 (168,868 sq mi)
water: 950 km2 (370 sq mi)

Land boundaries:
total: 3,650 km (2,270 mi)

and largest city
Three equal horizontal bands of red (top), 
white, and black; the Takbir 
(Arabic expression meaning
 "God is great") in green Arabic script
 is centered in the white band; the band colors derive from the Arab Liberation flag and represent oppression (black), 
overcome through bloody struggle (red), 
to be replaced by a bright future (white); 
the Council of Representatives approved this flag in 2008 as a compromise temporary replacement for the Ba'athist Saddam-era flag similar to the flag of Syria, which has two stars but no script, 
Yemen, which has a plain white band, and that of Egypt, which has a gold Eagle of Saladin centered in the white band

1534 - 1918     
Region is part of the Ottoman Empire
1914 - 1918 
World War I.
Britain seizes Baghdad.
1920 Britain creates state of Iraq with League of Nations approval
Great Iraqi Revolution - rebellion against British rule.
Faysal, son of Hussein Bin Ali, the Sharif of Mecca, is crowned Iraq's first king.
Iraq becomes an independent state.
1939-1945 World War II. Britain re-occupies Iraq.  
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.
Prime Minister Qasim is ousted in a coup led by the Arab Socialist Baath Party (ASBP). Arif becomes president.
The Baathist government is overthrown by Arif and a group of officers.
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.
A Baathist led-coup ousts Arif. Revolution Command Council (RCC) takes charge with Gen Ahmad Hasan al-Bakr as chairman and country's president.
1972 Iraq nationalises the Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC).
1974 Iraq grants limited autonomy to Kurdish region.
Saddam Hussein succeeds Al-Bakr as president.
The pro-Iranian Dawah Party claims responsibility for an attack on Deputy Prime Minister, Tariq Aziz, at Mustansiriyah University, Baghdad.
Iran-Iraq war.
1981 June 
Israel attacks an Iraqi nuclear research centre at Tuwaythah near Baghdad.
1988 March 
Iraq attacks Kurdish town of Halabjah with poison gas, killing thousands.
1990 March 
- Farzad Bazoft, an Iranian-born journalist with London's Observer newspaper, accused of spying on a military installation, is hanged in Baghdad.
Iraq invades Kuwait, prompting what becomes known as the first Gulf War. A massive US-led military campaign forces Iraq to withdraw in February 1991.
1991 April 
Iraq subjected to weapons inspection programme.
1991 Mid-March/early April 
Southern Shia and northern Kurdish populations - encouraged by Iraq's defeat in Kuwait - rebel, prompting a brutal crackdown.
1991 April 
UN-approved safe-haven established in northern Iraq to protect the Kurds. Iraq ordered to end all military activity in the area.
1992 August 
A no-fly zone, which Iraqi planes are not allowed to enter, is set up in southern Iraq, south of latitude 32 degrees north.
1993 June 
US forces launch a cruise missile attack on Iraqi intelligence headquarters in Baghdad in retaliation for the attempted assassination of US President George Bush in Kuwait in April.
1995 April 
UNSC Resolution 986 allows the partial resumption of Iraq's oil exports to buy food and medicine (the "oil-for-food programme").
1995 October 
Saddam Hussein wins a referendum allowing him to remain president for another seven years.
1996 August 
After call for aid from KDP, Iraqi forces launch offensive into northern no-fly zone and capture Irbil.
1996 September 
US extends northern limit of southern no-fly zone to latitude 33 degrees north, just south of Baghdad.
1998 October 
Iraq ends cooperation with UN Special Commission to Oversee the Destruction of Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction (Unscom).
1998 December 
After UN staff are evacuated from Baghdad, the US and UK launch a bombing campaign, "Operation Desert Fox", to destroy Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programmes.
1999 February 
Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, spiritual leader of the Shia community, is assassinated in Najaf.
1999 December 
UNSC Resolution 1284 creates the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (Unmovic) to replace Unscom. Iraq rejects the resolution.
2001 February 
Britain, US carry out bombing raids to try to disable Iraq's air defence network. The bombings have little international support.
2002 September 
US President George W Bush tells sceptical world leaders at a UN General to confront the "grave and gathering danger" of Iraq - or stand aside as the US acts. In the same month British Prime Minister Tony Blair publishes a ''dodgy'' dossier on Iraq's military capability.
2002 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 March 
Chief weapons inspector Hans Blix reports that Iraq has accelerated its cooperation but says inspectors need more time to verify Iraq's compliance.
2003 March 
UK's ambassador to the UN says the diplomatic process on Iraq has ended; arms inspectors evacuate; US President George W Bush gives Saddam Hussein and his sons 48 hours to leave Iraq or face war.
2003 March 
US-led invasion topples Saddam Hussein's government, marks start of years of violent conflict with different groups competing for power.
2003 July 
2003 July - US-appointed Governing Council meets for first time. Commander of US forces says his troops face low-intensity guerrilla-style war.

Saddam's sons Uday and Qusay killed in gun battle in Mosul.
2003 August
Suicide truck bomb wrecks UN headquarters in Baghdad, killing UN envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello.
Car bomb in Najaf kills 125 including Shia leader Ayatollah Mohammed Baqr al-Hakim.
2003 14 December 
Saddam Hussein captured in Tikrit.
2004 March Suicide bombers attack Shia festival-goers in Karbala and Baghdad, killing 140 people.
2004 April-May 
Shia militias loyal to radical cleric Moqtada Sadr take on coalition forces.

Hundreds are reported killed in fighting during the month-long US military siege of the Sunni Muslim city of Falluja.

Photographic evidence emerges of abuse of Iraqi prisoners by US troops.
2004 June 
US hands sovereignty to interim government headed by Prime Minister Iyad Allawi.
2004 August 
Fighting in Najaf between US forces and Shia militia of radical cleric Moqtada Sadr.
2004 November 
Major US-led offensive against insurgents in Falluja.
2005 30 January Some 8 million vote in elections for a Transitional National Assembly. 2005 28 February - At least 114 people are killed by a car bomb in Hilla,south of Baghdad, in the worst single such incident since the US-led invasion

2005 April
Amid escalating violence, parliament selects Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani as president. Ibrahim Jaafari, a Shia, is named as prime minister.
2005 May onwards 
Surge in car bombings, bomb explosions and shootings: Iraqi ministries put the civilian death toll for May at 672, up from 364 in April.
2005 June 
Massoud Barzani is sworn in as regional president of Iraqi Kurdistan.
2005 August 
Draft constitution is endorsed by Shia and Kurdish negotiators, but not by Sunni representatives.
2005 October 
Voters approve a new constitution, which aims to create an Islamic federal democracy.
2005 December 
Iraqis vote for the first, full-term government and parliament since the US-led invasion.
2006 February onwards A bomb attack on an important Shia shrine in Samarra unleashes a wave of sectarian violence in which hundreds of people are killed.
2006 22 April 
Newly re-elected President Talabani asks Shia compromise candidate Nouri al-Maliki to form a new government, ending months of deadlock.
2006 May and June 
An average of more than 100 civilians per day are killed in violence in Iraq, the UN says.
2006 7 June 
Al-Qaeda leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, is killed in an air strike.
2006 November 
Iraq and Syria restore diplomatic relations after nearly a quarter century.
More than 200 die in car bombings in the mostly Shia area of Sadr City in Baghdad, in the worst attack on the capital since the US-led invasion of 2003.
2006 December 
Iraq Study Group report making recommendations to President Bush on future policy in Iraq describes the situation as grave and deteriorating.
2006 December 
Saddam Hussein is executed for crimes against humanity.
2007 January 
US President Bush announces a new Iraq strategy; thousands more US troops will be dispatched to shore up security in Baghdad.

UN says more than 34,000 civilians were killed in violence during 2006; the figure surpasses official Iraqi estimates threefold.

2007 February 
A bomb in Baghdad's Sadriya market kills more than 130 people. It is the worst single bombing since 2003.
2007 March 
Insurgents detonate three trucks with toxic chlorine gas in Falluja and Ramadi, injuring hundreds.
2007 April Bombings in Baghdad kill nearly 200 people in the worst day of violence since a US-led security drive began in the capital in February.
2007 August 
Truck and car bombs hit two villages of Yazidi Kurds, killing at least 250 people - the deadliest attack since 2003.

Kurdish and Shia leaders form an alliance to support Prime Minister Maliki's government but fail to bring in Sunni leaders.
2007 September 
Controversy over private security contractors after Blackwater security guards allegedly fire at civilians in Baghdad, killing 17.
2007 October 
The number of violent civilian and military deaths continues to drop, as does the frequency of rocket attacks.
2007 December 
Britain hands over security of Basra province to Iraqi forces, effectively marking the end of nearly five years of British control of southern Iraq.
2008 January 
Parliament passes legislation allowing former officials from Saddam Hussein's Baath party to return to public life.
2008 March 
 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visits.

Prime Minister Maliki orders crackdown on militia in Basra, sparking pitched battles with Moqtada Sadr's Mehdi Army. Hundreds are killed.
2008 September 
US forces hand over control of the western province of Anbar - once an insurgent and Al-Qaeda stronghold - to the Iraqi government. 
It is the firstSunni province to be returned to to the Shia-led government.

Iraqi parliament passes provincial elections law. Issue of contested city of Kirkuk is set aside so elections can go ahead elsewhere.

2008 November
Parliament approves a security pact with the United States under which all US troops are due to leave the country by the end of 2011.
2009 January Iraq takes control of security in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone and assumes more powers over foreign troops based in the country. PM Nouri al-Maliki welcomes the move as Iraq's "day of sovereignty".

2009 March US President Barack Obama announces withdrawal of most US troops by end of August 2010. Up to 50,000 of 142,000 troops now there will stay on into 2011 to advise Iraqi forces and protect US interests, leaving by end of 2011.

2009 June 
US troops withdraw from towns and cities in Iraq, six years after the invasion, having formally handed over security duties to new Iraqi forces.
2009 July 
New opposition forces make strong gains in elections to the regional parliament of Kurdistan, but the governing KDP and PUK alliance retains a reduced
majority. Masoud Barzani (KDP) is re-elected in the presidential election.

2009 October 
Two car bombs near the Green Zone in Baghdad kill at least 155 people, in Iraq's deadliest attack since April 2007.
2009 December 
The al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq claims responsibility for suicide bombings in Baghdad that kill at least 127 people, as well as attacks in
August and October that killed 240 people.

Tension flares with Tehran as Iranian troops briefly occupy an oilfield in Iraqi territory.
2010 January 
 Controversy as candidates with alleged links to Baath Party are banned from March parliamentary polls. A court later lifts the ban, prompting a delay in campaigning.

"Chemical" Ali Hassan al-Majid, a key figure in Saddam Hussein's government, is executed.

Inconclusive elections
2010 March 
Parliamentary elections. Nine months pass before a new government is approved.
2010 August 
Seven years after the US-led invasion, the last US combat brigade leaves Iraq.
2010 September 
Syria and Iraq restore diplomatic ties a year after breaking them off.
2010 October 
Church in Baghdad seized by militants. 52 people killed in what is described as worst single disaster to hit Iraq's Christians in modern times.
2010 November/December 
Parliament reconvenes after long delay, re-appoints Jalal Talabani as president and Nouri al-Maliki as prime minister. A new government includes all major factions.
2011 January 
Radical Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr returns after four years of self-imposed exile in Iran.
2011 February 
Oil exports from Iraqi Kurdistan resume, amid a lengthy dispute between the region and the central government over contracts with foreign firms.
2011 April 
Army raids camp of Iranian exiles, killing 34. Government says it will shut Camp Ashraf, home to thousands of members of the People's Mujahedeen of Iran.
2011 August 
Violence escalates, with more than 40 apparently co-ordinated nationwide attacks in one day.
2011 December 
US completes troop pull-out.

Unity government faces disarray. Arrest warrant issued for vice-president Tariq al-Hashemi, a leading Sunni politician. Sunni bloc boycotts parliament and cabinet.
2012 Bomb and gun attacks target Shia areas throughout the year, sparking fears of a new sectarian conflict. Nearly 200 people are killed in January, more than 160 in June, 113 in a single day in July, more than 70 people in August, about 62 in attacks nationwide in September, and at least 35 before and during the Shia mourning
month of Muharram in November.

Nearly 200 people are killed in bombings targeting Shia Muslims in the immediate wake of the US withdrawal.
2012 March 
Tight security for Arab League summit in Baghdad. It is the first major summit to be held in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein. A wave of pre-summit attacks kills scores of people.
2012 April 
Oil exports from Iraqi Kurdistan halted amid row with central government over contracts with foreign firms.

Coffin at the scene of a bombing in Baghdad

Sectarian violence picked up again 2013 after having declined following a peak in 2007
2013 September 
Fugitive Vice-President Tariq al-Hashemi is sentenced to be hanged for murder. He sought refuge in Turkey after being accused of running death squads.
2012 November 
Iraq cancels a $4.2bn deal to buy arms from Russia because of concerns about alleged corruption within the Iraqi government. The purchase, signed in
October, would have made Russia the country's second-largest arms supplier after the US. Moscow was the main arms supplier of to Saddam Hussein.

2012 December 
President Jalal Talabani suffers a stroke. He undergoes treatment in Germany and makes progress through the winter and spring.

Sunni Muslims stage mass rallies across the country over several months, protesting against what they see as marginalisation by the Shia-led government.

Syrian refugees try to cross into northern Iraq

Thousands of Syrians have fled to neighbouring countries, including Iraq, to escape civil war at home
2013 April 
Troops storm a Sunni anti-government protest camp in Hawija near Kirkuk, leaving more than 50 dead and prompting outrage and clashes in other towns.

Insurgency intensifies, with levels of violence matching those of 2008. By July the country is described as being in a full-blown sectarian war zone once again.

2013 July 
At least 500 prisoners, mainly senior al-Qaeda members, escape from Taji and Abu Ghraib jails in a mass breakout.
2013 September 
Mass killing at Camp Ashraf housing Iranian exiles - members of the People's Mujahedeen Organisation of Iran.

Regional parliamentary elections in Iraqi Kurdistan, won comfortably by Kurdistan Democratic Party.

Series of bombings hits Kurdistan capital Irbil in the first such attack since 2007. Al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq says it was responding to alleged Iraqi
Kurdish support for Kurds fighting jihadists in Syria.

2013 October 
 Parliamentary elections set for April 2014.

Government says October is deadliest month since April 2008, with 900 killed. By the year-end the UN estimates the 2013 death toll of civilians as 7,157 - a dramatic

increase in the previous year's figure of 3,238.
2013 December 
At least 35 people killed in twin bombing of Baghdad churches on Christmas Day.

2014 January 
Pro-al-Qaeda fighters infiltrate Fallujah and Ramadi after months of mounting violence in mainly-Sunni Anbar province. Government forces recapture
Ramadi but face entrenched rebels in Fallujah.

2014 March 
The electoral commission board tenders resignation in protest at what it says is political interference ahead of parliamentary elections, amid allegations

opposition candidates are being barred using a controversial legal clause.
2014 April 
Iraqis vote in first parliamentary election since 2011 withdrawal of US troops.
2014 June 
Sunni insurgents expand their territory by seizing Iraq's second city of Mosul and other smaller towns. Thousands flee amid reports of atrocities by the rebel Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). US says it may intervene.

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