Key dates in Iraq since US invasion

2011-12-18 07:21

Baghdad - US troops left Iraq and crossed into neighbouring Kuwait on Sunday, completing their withdrawal from the country and ending an almost nine-year campaign.

Here are some key dates in the American presence in Iraq:


March 20: US-led forces begin onslaught against Iraq, which they accuse of harbouring weapons of mass destruction.

April 9: US forces topple a large statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad.

May 1: US President George W Bush announces the end of major combat operations using a "Mission Accomplished" banner.

October 2: US admits no weapons of mass destruction found.

October 16: UN Resolution 1511 legitimises the US-led occupation.

December 13: Saddam captured.


April-August: Clashes between coalition forces and militiamen of Shiite radical leader Moqtada al-Sadr.

April 28: Photographs emerge of US forces humiliating inmates at Abu Ghraib prison.

June 28: The US-led administration hands Iraqis power.


January 30: Iraqis vote in the first multi-party poll in 50 years despite deadly attacks, a poll Sunni Arabs largely boycott.

April 6-7: Jalal Talabani becomes president, the first Kurd in the post. Ibrahim al-Jaafari, a Shi'ite, becomes prime minister.

December 15: The conservative Shi'ite United Iraqi Alliance wins most seats in parliamentary elections.


February 22: Revered Shi'ite shrine in Samarra blown up; sectarian unrest kills 450 people.

May 20: New Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki formally presents cabinet to parliament for approval.

June 7: US air strike kills al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

July: The US hands over to Iraq's security control of 18 provinces.

December 30: Saddam hanged.


January 10: Bush deploys 30 000 more troops in a so-called "surge" strategy.


March 23: 4 000 US soldiers dead in Iraq since invasion.

November 27: Parliament ratifies a security agreement setting the framework for a US troop presence beyond the end of the year.


January 1: The US transfers control of Baghdad's high-security Green Zone.

February 27: President Barack Obama sets August 31 2010 deadline for end to US combat operations, with a total retreat by end 2011.

June 30: US forces quit urban areas.

August 19, October 25, December 8: At least 386 are killed in attacks on government buildings in Iraq.


January 1: US troops rename their force "United States Forces-Iraq," from "Multi-National Forces-Iraq," after all other countries pull soldiers out.

March 7: Inconclusive second parliamentary elections unleash political crisis.

August 31: End to US combat operations, with US troops now tasked with training Iraqi forces.

November 10: Iraq's political factions seal a power-sharing deal including all sides.

December 21: Parliament gives Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government a vote of confidence.


August 3: Iraq gives the green light to talks with Washington over a military training mission. Talks later break down.

August 15: At least 74 people are killed in nationwide attacks across 17 cities, claimed for the most part by al-Qaeda in Iraq.

October 21: Obama announces that US forces, numbering around 39,000, would be withdrawn by the end of the year, after a nearly nine-year campaign and 4 400 American fatalities.

November 9 - December 7: US forces hand Joint Base Balad, north of Baghdad, the Al-Assad air base in the western Anbar province, and the Victory Base Complex near Baghdad over to Iraqi control.

December 11: Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki travels to Washington, looking to open a new chapter with the United States after the protracted war left deep wounds.

December 15: US forces in Iraq hold a "casing of the colours" ceremony, marking a formal end to their mission in the country.

December 18: The last US troops cross into Kuwait from Iraq, completing the withdrawal. Just 157 soldiers, assigned with training Iraqi forces, remain at the US embassy, along with a small contingent of Marines responsible for the diplomatic mission's security.

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  george w bush  |  barack obama  |  moqtada al-sadr  |  saddam hussein  |  nuri al-maliki  |  us  |  iraq

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Land reform process lawful - Zuma

The land reform process is being done according to the law and the Constitution, says President Jacob Zuma.


Latest elections multimedia

11 Julius Malema quotes you'll never forget
DA won't get 30% - Zille
The EFF's ad was banned, see why
Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
  • Tuesday Century City - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Ratanga Road Southbound
    ROADWORKS - lane closure between Ocean Spirit Avenue and Century Boulevard (until mid April)
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Spine Road
    ROAD CLOSED between Weltevreden Drive and Seafarer Drive due to roadworks (until mid April)
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get 50% off selected books!

Buy 2 books and get 50% off the second book. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mother’s Day special offers!

Spoil mom with these awesome specials that will warm her heart. Shop now!

Twisp – the smoking alternative

Buy any 2 refills for R250 and save R149. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Mother’s Day specials on appliances

Browse our range of Mother’s Day appliances to spoil and pamper mom. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Canon EOS 600D

The Canon EOS 600D Digital Camera puts the widely respected...

From R5389.95

I'm shopping for:


You may be more sensitive today and can be influenced easily by the energies around you. Try not to be swayed too much by more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.