Iraq Timeline


Early Civilizations in Mesopotamia

4000 B.C. - 3501 B.C.

End of the Paleolithic Period and the start of settlements by the Sumerians, in and near the city of Babylon.

Establishment of Major Cities in Mesopotamia

3200 B.C.

The cities of Uruk, Eridu, Kish, Lagash, Agade, Askshak, Larsa, and Ur were established. Over centuries, trade routes began to form creating a network of trade throughout the area. These cities would develop and eventually lead to creating the first urban culture of Iraq.

Struggle for Power

2900 B.C.

The city-states in Mesopotamia (Uruk, Ur, Umma, etc) begin their conquest for power over the region (some of them formed alliances with one another). The establishment of different settlements would eventually lead to many centuries of fighting between the Assyrians, Babylonians, Elamites, Hittites, and many more groups.

Rise of Kish

2750 B.C.

The city of Kish becomes the supreme power over Mesopotamia. Their kings conquered enough territory and gained a strong enough following where they were able to establish their own dynasty.

King Gilgamesh

2675 B.C.

During his rule, he gained independence for the people of Uruk from the kings of Kish.

Ur's First Dynasty

2500 B.C.

King Mesannepada created the first dynasty in Ur. He built royal tombs that showed that displayed the dynasty's well established economy and agricultural developments. It also became a major manufacturing center for the region.

City-state of Lagash

2457 B.C.

King Eannatum, the King of Lagash, conquered all of Sumer.

Uruk becomes the Sumerian Capital

2375 B.C. - 2347 B.C.

King Lugalzages, of the southern Sumerian city of Umma, makes Uruk the capital of the Sumerian region.

The City of Elba

2350 B.C.

The City of Elba becomes the political and economic center of Mesopotamia.

Sargon I the Great

2334 B.C.

Sargon I the Great created the worlds first empire by conquering all of the southern lands from King Lugalzagesi. His empire stretched from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea. In 2300 B.C., Sargon I conquered the political and economic capital, Elba. He died in 2279 B.C. His longstanding army finally dismantled in 2200 B.C.

Kingdom of Akkad

2250 B.C. - 2213 B.C.

Narram-Sin expands the Kingdom of Akkad to its maximum size after conquering East Arabia.

Destruction of the Kingdom of Akkad

2200 B.C.

The Gustains invade the Kingdom of Akkad, destroying the kingdom, and taking control of northern Mesopotamia.

3rd Dynasty of Ur

2048 B.C.

King Ur-Nammu, of the Kingdom of Akkad, makes Ur the political and economic center of Mesopotamia, ultimately bringing power back to the Sumerians. He also builds one of the first religious temples in the region, a ziggurat.

Sumerian Code of Ur-Nammu

2048 B.C.

One of the oldest legal codes in history. It was written about 300 years before Hammurabi's code.

The Settlement of the Thracians

2000 B.C.

Indo-European tribes settle in the northwest region of present day Turkey.

Destruction of Ur

2000 B.C.

Attacks by the Elamites (Caucasians from the east) and the Amorites (Semantics from the west) destroy the Dynasty of Ur.

Destruction of the 3rd Dynasty of Ur

1950 B.C.

The Elamites and the Amorites conquer the Ur empire and decreases the kingdom to individual city-states.

Invasion and Establishment of Culture of the Hittites into Anatolia

1900 B.C.

Amorites Establish Their Own Dynasty in Babylon

1830 B.C.

King Schamshi-Adad I, from the Assyrian Kingdom, Becomes the Supreme Ruler of Upper Mesopotamia

1813 B.C. - 1781 B.C.

Creation of the City of Babylon Under King Hammurabi

1792 B.C.

Babylonian empire established along the Tigris and Euphrates by the Amorites under the rule of King Hammurabi. King Hammurabi set out on a conquest to expand his kingdom and captured major cities, such as, Elam and Eshnunna (each city played a role in providing natural resources).

First Dynasty of Babylon

1728 B.C.

Amorite King, Hammurabi, takes the throne and makes Babylon the political and cultural capital of Mesopotamia.

The Babylonians Conquer the Crucial Sumerian city of Mari

1695 B.C.

Death of Hammurabi

1686 B.C.

Before his death, he united all of the Babylonian city-states, who then united all of Mesopotamia. He also created his own code which consisted of a set of criminal laws and punishments. After his death, the Babylonian Empire began to shrink and other groups like the Hurrians of Syria and Hittites of Turkey began to expand their territories.

Old Kingdom of Hittites

1600 B.C.

King Labarna creates the Old Kingdom of Hittites by uniting all of the Hittite city-states with Hattusas as its capital.

Invasion of the Indo-Europeans

1600 B.C.

Indo-Europeans (Hittites) invade India and settle in Iran and in Europe. They conquered and destroyed Babylon.

End of Babylonia Empire

1595 B.C.

Mursilis, the Hittites King, invaded Babylon and captured it, destroying Hammurabi's Babylonian Empire.

Kassites in Babylonia

1531 B.C.

The Kassites, who are from modern day Iran, take control of the Babylonian territories and start uniting the region.

Rise of the Hittite Kingdom

1355 B.C. - 1350 B.C.

The kingdom rises to power in the Middle East under the rule of King Suppiluliuma I. He invades Syria and and the Kingdom of Mitanni, while continuing a strong campaign throughout the Middle East.

Kingdom of Mitanni Collapses from Assyrians invasions

1335 B.C.

Assyrian King, Shalmaneser I, Creates the First Assyrian City, Nimrud

1300 B.C. - 1001 B.C.

Conquest of the Hittites

1300 B.C.

Hittites controll the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf, taking Syria in its path.

First Peace Treaty

1259 B.C.

Hattusili III created the first recognized peace treaty, which created the Syrian boundary.

Fall of Hittite Empire

1200 B.C.

The Sea People ( a group of people who originated from either western Anatolia or from Southern Europe) conquered the Hittite Kingdom and settled in the region of Syrian-Palestine

Creation of the Middle Assyrian Kingdom

1116 B.C. - 1077 B.C.

King Tiglath-Pileser I conquers the area between the Black Sea and Asia Minor, creating the Middle Assyrian Kingdom. They built a royal palace and Ishtar Temple in the important city of Nineveh.

Marduk Becomes the Holy God of Babylon

1000 B.C.

Marduk is an ancient Mesopotamian deity.

Rise of Assyria

934 B.C. - 912 B.C.

Under the rule of King Ashur-dan II, Assyria, the kingdom with an agricultural based society, was able to rise to power.

Nimrud Becomes the Capital of Assyria

880 B.C.

The Ruling of Sargon II

800 B.C. - 701 B.C.

Assyrian King, Sargon II, conquers the Hittites in northern Syria.

Babylonian Revolt

710 B.C.

The Babylonians revolted against Assyrian rule, while dismantling the cities of Kalach and Nimrud in the process.

City of Nineveh

700 B.C. - 690 B.C.

The city of Nineveh in the Assyrian Kingdom turns into a beacon of suppression and tyranny.

Muhammad and the Spread of Islam

570 - 632

Muhammad was born in Mecca c. 570. After he received his first revelation, he began his religious campaign by preaching in Mecca c.613 B.C. After settling in Medina, authorities forced him and his family out of the city. He still continued how campaign and eventually reached a position of power when he took possession of the Ka'aba, the holiest shrine in the Arabian Peninsula. He died c.632, with the first caliphate starting after his death.

Rashidun Caliphate

632 - 661

The First Caliph was Abu Bakr. Under his rule he established Islamic control over Arabia and made his campaign towards Syria. In 634, Bakr's successor, Umar, conquered Syria, part of the Byzantine Empire, Jerusalem, Damascus, Persia, and finally the Sasanian capital, Ctesiphon. During his rule he created different towns that separated the soldiers from townsmen. He also instituted the the Muslim calendar which started with the testimonies of Muhammad in 639. After the assassination of Umar, Uthman becomes the third caliph, but with much backlash from the Muslim community. There was a split between the Shia and Sunni because the Shia wanted the next caliph to be inherited, while the Sunni believed they should be selected. After Uthman died, Ali Ibn Sbi Talib became the fourth caliph.

Death of Zoroastrianism and Rise of Islam


As the Islamic Empire expanded, they defeated the Sasanian Empire, another prominent empire in the region, killing Zoroastrianism (a monotheistic religion that believed in Dualism--combination of the mind and spirit) in the process. After Zoroastrianism declined, Islam began to sweep the region. With the death of Zoroastrianism, Caliph Othman had scribes write down all of the oral holy scriptures and stories compiled to form the Qur'an

Arab Umayyad Caliphate

661 - 750

At the end of the Rashidun Caliphate, Uthman's people, the Umayyads, took control of the region. When Uthman died, Muhammad's grandson, Ali Ibn Abi Talib, became the next caliph. Ali had to fight off Uthman's cousin Mu'awiya after he asserted his claim to the throne. While trying to fight off Mu'awiya, he also had to fight off the Kharijis, a group who believed the next caliph should be selected and not inherited. When Ali died in 661, Mu'awiya declared himself the next caliph causing Ali's followers to form their own group.

Formation of the Shiites and Sunni


After Caliph Ali's death caused by the Umayyads in the Battle of Karbala, his followers formed the Shia, the branch of Islam who believed the next caliph should be inherited. The Sunni, the other branch of Islam, believed the next caliph should be selected.

The Qur'an


The Arabic alphabet is written down in the Qur'an, which causes the spread of Islam to strengthen.

Expansion of the Umayyad Empire


Under Walid I ( a new Umayyad caliph) the empire expands towards the Indian subcontinent by 711.

Arab Forces Conquer the Iberian Peninsula


Under General Tariq, Arab forces wage war on the Visigoth Kingdom (located in Spain). In their conquest, they leave the Christian kingdom of Asturia untouched. Within a couple of years, the army takes over the Iberian Peninsula expanding the Arab empire.

Abbasid Caliphate

749 - 1258

The third Islamic caliphate. The caliphate was established under the Abbasid family, who were descendants of Ali, who claimed the caliphate in the name of the Shia, but ended up taking it for themselves. The beginning of the caliphate was led by Abu al- Abbas al- Saffah in 749. His main purpose was to demolish the Umayyad tribe which dominated the Umayyad Caliphate under Caliph Uthman. He defeated them in the "Battle of the Zab". The empire competed with trade routes along the Silk Route. In 754, Al-Mansur became the second caliph.

Umayyad Establishes an Emirate


After the Umayyad dynasty falls to the Abbasid Caliphate, some of its members establish an emirate on the Iberian Peninsula, with Cordoba as its capital. This area became the cultural center of western Islam.

Baghdad as the Abbasid Empire's Capital


Under the rule of Caliph Al-Mansur, capital of the Abbasid Empire changed from Damascus to Baghdad. The city was established along the Tigris River and near Persian support basses. In 770, Baghdad opened the first public apothecary (pharmacy), giving people access to medicines and different healing methods.

Baghdad as the Center of Arab Scholarship


Under the rule of Caliph Harun al-Rashid, the empire entered a state of cultural florescence and made Baghdad the center for Arab academia.

Arab Armies Overtake Sicily


Fatimid Caliphate

909 - 1171

The Caliphate's region ranged from North Africa and throughout the Middle East. The caliphate is named after the one of the daughters of Muhammad. The Fatimid family were Shia, who followed the rule of the Abbasid Caliphate, but eventually tried to overthrow them. In the beginning of their rule, most of their followers were Sunni. The dynasty was ended in 1171, when the last four caliphs lost their following and religious power.

Caliphate of Cordoba

929 - 1031

Under the rule of Abd-ar-Rahman III, the Caliphate of Cordoba is established in the area of al-Andalus, also known as Muslim Spain. In 939, the Caliphate of Cordoba loses Madrid to the kingdom of Leon. The Caliphate works with the Umayyads and send the Peninsula into a cultural florescence that lasted until 1031. Around 1008, the caliphate's strength begins to decline. In 1031, the Caliphate separated into twenty individual city-states. In 1236, the Arabs lost control of Cordoba to Castile.

Abbasid Family Power Ended


The Abbasid family was overthrown when the Buyids (people, predominately Shia, from the northwest of Iran) seized control over Baghdad. They also lost support from the Shia community because over time they started expressing Sunni beliefs. For the next century, the region was ruled by local dynasties, like that of the Buyids.

Shia Fatmids Secure control Over Egypt


The Shi'ite Fatimids campaign towards Egypt and conquered Cairo. They eventually established a palace city within Cairo and turned the city into the capital of their empire.

India Falling to Islamic Raids


Under the rule of Mahmud of Ghazni, Arab armies begin expeditions into India. There conquest consisted of plundering, establishments of wealth, and the construction of Islamic mosques and shrines.

Mongols Invade Baghdad


In 1258, the grandson of Genghis Khan's seized Baghdad and took control of the city.

Osman, Founder of the Ottoman Empire is Born


Ottoman Empire

1299 - 1923

Early Campaigns of the Ottoman Empire

1301 - 1402

The early expansions of the Sunni Muslim empire originally took place with Osman I and continued with his successors, Orhan (1324-60), Murad I (1360-89), and Bayazid I, after his death in 1326. There conquest included the conquering of the Byzantine Empire, the Kingdom of Bulgaria, northwest Anatolia (1388), and Kosovo, which gave them control over Serbia. The cities of Bursa (1326) and Adrianople (1366) became the capitals of the empire.

Osman I Dies in Turkey


Capturing of Gallipoli


The Turks finally expand their empire into Europe with the capturing of Gallipoli.

Campaign under Murad I

1360 - 1389

During his reign, Murad I captured a large portion of Byzantine cities, such as, Adrianople, Philippopolis, Macedonia, Serrai, granting him much control over the princesses and emperors in the region. After his death, his successor, Bayezid I, took the throne.



The Turks conquer Adrianople, whose name was later changed to Edirne, the capital of their empire. This city provided the army with a base of commands within the middle of Thrace ( southeast Europe).

Kara Koyunlu

1375 - 1468

The area of Iraq is occupied by the Kara Koyunlu, also known as the White Sheep Turkmen. Their tribe ruled over Baghdad (captured in 1410) , Mosul, and Tabriz (the area's capital). Eventually their area was split into three provinces: Mosul, Baghdad, Basra.

Capturing of Asia Minor


The Turks capture the last part of Asia Minor from the Byzantine Empire.

Conquering of Baghdad


Timur, founder of the Timurid Empire in Persia, conquers Baghdad. He also captures Bajazet, ruler of the Ottoman Empire, and holds him as prisoner.

Turks Capture Constantinople


Under the rule of Mehmed II, the Turks capture Constantinople, later named Instanbul, and killed the emperor, Constantine XI, thus ending the Byzantine Empire.

Turks Conquer Athens


After the capturing of Athens, the Turks later take control of Greece in 1460.

Safavid Dynasty's Involvement in Baghdad


The Safavid Dynasty of Iran started there conquest near Azerbaijan and after they maintained control they began their campaign towards Baghdad. The army occupied Baghdad around 1511.

Early Ottoman Conquest of Iraq


The Ottomans began their conquest in Iraq around 1514 due to the tensions between the Sunni and Shia. The empire is predominantly Sunni, but respected the beliefs of the Shia, until tensions boiled over. The wars took place between the Sunni Ottoman sultans and the Shia Safavids (Persians). During the times of war, the empire was at its peak and they claimed the territories of Iraq during and after the conflict.

Turks Conquer Kurdistan


Under the rule of Selim I, the Turks expand there empire and capture eastern Anatolia and Kurdistan.

Capturing of Cairo and Arabia


Under the rule of Selim I, the Turks continue their campaign and capture Cairo and Arabia.

Hungarian Conquest

1526 - 1541

The Turks began their Hungarian conquest in 1526 by capturing the city of Mohacs. They continued to wage war and eventually captured half of Hungary.

Occupying Baghdad

1586 - 1629

The ruler, Abbas I, Shah of Persia conquers Baghdad.

Conflict Between the Persians and Ottomans

1606 - 1639

Persians Take Control of Baghdad


Ottomans Retake Baghdad


After losing Baghdad to the Persians, they retake the city in 1632.

Mamluk Dynasty of Iraq

1704 - 1831

The Mamluks, a group of freed slaves, take control of Ottoman Iraq. The governing body consisted of Georgian officers until they fell to the Ottomans in 1831.

Ottoman Involvement in Baghdad

1831 - 1914

Due to the constant changing of power in Baghdad, the Ottomans begin to govern the city directly instead of having small governing bodies.

British Invasions During WWI

1914 - 1918

The British armies from India penetrated Basra and the area of Southern Iraq. Around 1915, the forces unsuccessfully tried to invade Baghdad, but they also tried again in 1917 and were successfully. The forces captured also captured Basra in 1915 and Mosul in 1918.

British Control Over Iraq

1917 - 1958

In order for Great Britain to gain support during WWI, they promised the Arabs in the provinces of Iraq, Syria, and Palestine(after they gained their supported they remained allies through WWII). If the Arabs provided their support then they would gain independence. The British held off on their deal until 1932, which caused Iraq to go into a state of mayhem. The tensions were running high between the Sunni and Shia. The Shia thought that the Sunni were gaining too many administrative positions within the government and the Sunni were concerned with the possible expansion of Shia-Iran into Iraq. In 1932, Iraq gained independence from Britain and they became allies after the separation and stayed connected until 1958.

Hashemite Monarchy

1923 - 1958

The monarchy stayed in power until 1958, when King Faisal II was executed in 1958. During the rule of the monarchy, there were six coups that took place. The Monarchy ruled over Jordan and Iraq. In 1958, the monarchy came to an end when a left-wing military coup led by Abd-al-Karim Qasim and Abd-al-Salam Muhammad Arif, succeeded by capturing and executing King Faisal II.

Iraq Gains Independence From Britain

October 3, 1932

When the British Mandate ended, Iraq was granted its independence and a position in the League of Nations on October 3, 1932. The British installed a monarchy with King Faisal I as the first ruler.

Six Coups Take Place to Overthrow the Monarchy

1936 - 1941

The six coups that took place were all on an individual basis. Each coup had there own agenda that did not have to deal with politics. None of the coups were spearheaded by the military, even though there might have been military personnel involved.

Saddam Hussein Joins the Baathist Party


First Kurdish- Iraq War

1961 - 1970

Starting in 1961, a series of uprisings took place in northern Iraq, as the Kurds worked to establish an independent Kurdish State. Throughout the 9 years of war, the Kurds were not able to remove themselves from the Iraqi nation.

Uprising of the Baathist Party


After the Hashemite Monarchy is overthrown, they place Prime Minister Brigadier Abdel Karim Qasim as the head of their republic. By 1963, Qasim was overthrow by a coup of Arab Socialists from the Baathist Party ( a political party that originated in Syria, who believed in the separation and freed of Western culture from the Arab nations. They also believed in the unification of the different Arab states, secularism and socialism.)

Baathist Party Takes Control of the Government


The party officially held a position of power when Saddam Hussein led a successful coup against the new Prime Minister Colonel Abdel Salam Muhammed Aref. In 1966. Saddam became the assistant general secretary and led the coup in 1968. General Ahmad Hasan al-Bakr, a relative of Saddam, became president, with Saddam named as his successor and they established the Revolutionary Supreme Council, who took supreme authority over the country.

General Al Bakr Dies and Saddam Hussein Becomes President


Iran-Iraq War

September 22, 1980 - July 20, 1988

The war began with tensions running high over politics, oil, waterways, and boarder disputes. Even though the treaty between the two countries were signed on July 20, 1988, both sides stated that the war essentially ended earlier, but the treaty was not signed until much later. There was a cease-fire that allowed for the treaty to be signed and a peace agreement to be formed on August 16, 1990.

Persian Gulf War

August, 1990 - 1991

The wars began after Saddam ordered his troops to invade Kuwait on August 2, 1990, in hope of capturing the major oil reserves located within the Kuwaiti boarders. On August 3, 1990, the United Nations ordered for Saddam to pull his soldiers out of Kuwait. Iraqi forces instead added 300,000 more troops to Kuwait, while the United States and NATO send troops to Saudi Arabia to prevent any attacks on their oil reservations. The UN demanded that Iraq remove its forces from Kuwait by January 15, 1991, and if it had not the UN would be forced to strike. Saddam kept his soldiers in Kuwait and for the rest of February, armed forces from the US, Great Britain, France, and other members of the coalition forces attack the Iraqi army. The coalition forces forced Iraq forces out of Iraq and Kuwait was able to establish themselves as a sovereign nation.

U.S. Bombs Iraqi intelligence Headquarters

June 27, 1993

During the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, Iraqi forces attempted to assassinate President George W. Bush. In retaliation, the U.S. bombed the intelligence Headquarters in Baghdad on June 27, 1993.

Saddam Hussein Becomes Prime Minister

May 29, 1994

Resolution 986

April 14, 1995 - November 21, 2003

Due to being in a constant state of war, the Iraqi people began to suffer from a lack of food. In response, the UN Security Council approves Resolution 986, so that Iraq could trade oil for food.

Operation Desert Fox

December 16, 1998

The U.S. and Britain launch a series of air for the lack of cooperation when Iraq was asked to provide a detail summary of weapons inventory to the United Nation Security Council. The goal of the air strikes were to destroy any chemical, and biological weapons programs.

U.S.-Iraq War

March 20, 2003 - December 18, 2011

On March Under President George W. Bush, the U.S. declares war on Iraq and the exile of Saddam Hussein from Iraq. President Bush claimed that Saddam held weapons of mass destruction that he planned to unleash on the world. During 2003, multiple members of Saddam's regime were captured or killed and coalition forces take over Baghdad. Saddam was eventually captured on December 13, 2003 in a hole near a hut in Tikrit. On July 1, 2004, Saddam makes his first court appearance. Ultimately, he is sentenced to death. After the removal of Saddam, there was a power vacuum left in the region which triggered an assortment of attacks, looting, and constant chaos for the Iraqi people. American troops are approved to leave the country by the end of 2011.

Ayad Allawi Becomes the New Interim Prime Minister of Iraq

June 28, 2004 - April, 2005

Jalal Talabani

April 7, 2005 - July 24, 2014

Jalal Talabani becomes the first democratically elected president of Iraq.

100 Deaths/Day

May, 2006 - June, 2006

The UN releases a report stating, approximately over 100 Iraqi citizens are killed everyday due to violence and the constant chaos.

Saddam Hussein is Hanged

December 30, 2006

Rise of ISIS

December 2009

After a series of bombing near and in the city of Baghdad, ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq) take responsibility for the bombings and begins their campaign to establish their desired caliphate. Some Sunni members join ISIS and battle to take control of major cities such as Mosul, Falluja, Ramadi, and Tikrit.

Fear of Sectarian War


Tensions begin to flare as the Sunni Muslims think that the Iraqi government is ignoring there sect of Islam and only granting Shia members positions of power.

ISIS Takes Control of Nineveh and Mosul

June 10, 2014

ISIS Takes Control of Tikrit

June 11, 2014 - April 1, 2015

The Iraqi military with the help of other Shiite militia help to recapture Tikrit.

ISIS Captures Ramadi

May, 2015 - December, 2015

ISIS Occupy Falluja

February, 2016 - June, 2016