By Sahyim (Sage) Chung, 17, El Camino Real HS
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July 16, 1979:
Saddam Hussein elected president of the Republic of Iraq.

September, 1980: Iraq invaded Iran starting the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988). It is estimated that 400,000 people died. Britain, France and the United States supplied military equipment, including weapons, to Iraqi forces.

July 18, 1988: Iran accepted a United Nations-proposed truce with Iraq.

May, 1990: Hussein claimed that Kuwait had staged "economic warfare" with Iraq by overproducing oil, continuing to hurt Iraq’s economy.

Aug. 2, 1990: Hussein invaded Kuwait after Kuwaiti leaders refused to waive Iraq’s war debts. Hussein had never accepted the British-drawn border between Iraq and Kuwait.

Aug. 6, 1990: The United Nations imposed trade sanctions against Iraq and condemned the invasion.

Jan. 17, 1991: Operation Desert Storm began as the United States, Britain, and allied forces started a military offensive against Iraq. George Bush, father of current U.S. President George W. Bush, was the President then.

Feb. 28, 1991: Iraq surrendered and withdrew from Kuwait. The allies suffered about 300 casualties, while the Iraqis suffered an estimated 20,000 to 56,000 deaths in battle but up to some 114,000 deaths because of damage to the country’s water supply and infrastructure.

March, 1992: Responding to then-President George Bush’s advice to "take matters into their own hands," Shiite Muslims and Kurds living in Iraq launched uprisings all over Iraq hoping that the United States would come to their aid. However, U.S. troops never came. Hussein’s forces quelled the uprisings, killing between 30,000 and 60,000 civilians.

June 26, 1993: President Bill Clinton ordered a missile strike on Iraq’s intelligence headquarters after finding evidence of a plot to assassinate President George Bush on his last trip to Kuwait.

Sept. 3-4, 1996: United States launched missiles at Iraq after Iraqi forces entered a Kurdish "safe haven" zone.

Jan. 29, 1998: U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright started to tour Europe and the Middle East to gain support against Iraq, shortly after, Iraq kicked the U.S.-led weapons inspector team out.

Dec. 16-18, 1998: President Clinton launched missile attacks on Iraq for continued refusals to cooperate with weapons inspectors, otherwise known as Desert Fox. He aimed these missiles at about 100 different places thought to have something to do with weapons of mass destruction; 62 Iraqi military personnel were killed.

1999: Iraq rejected a U.N. resolution that would ease trade sanctions if Iraq would allow weapons inspectors to return. Since these sanctions were first put in place, about a million Iraqis, mostly children, have died because of starvation or lack of medical supplies.

Sept. 11, 2001: The World Trade Centers and the Pentagon were attacked by terrorists and another hijacked plane crashed in Pennsylvania killing 3,054. The terrorist group Al Qaeda headed by Osama bin Laden, was responsible. About a year later, President Bush started making connections between Al Qaeda and Iraq.

Early 2002: President George W. Bush labeled Iraq as a member of an Axis of Evil. Bush wants to continue the Clinton administration’s idea of Iraq’s "regime change." As these talks intensified, Iraq announced a new interest in letting weapons inspectors back in.

Sept. 12, 2002: Bush told the United Nations that Iraq should be dealt with forcefully. Bush added that the United Nations had given Iraq too many chances.

Nov. 8, 2002: The U.N. Security Council adopts Resolution 1441 declaring Iraq has violated previous resolutions calling for disarmament and cooperation with weapons inspectors.

January, 2003: The United States and Great Britain sped up military deployments in the Persian Gulf.

Feb. 5, 2003: Secretary of State Colin Powell presented satellite images and other information to show that Iraq has been making weapons of mass destruction, avoiding U.N. weapons inspectors and supporting the Al Qaeda terrorist group.

Feb. 15-16, 2003: Millions participated in anti-war demonstrations all over the world.

Feb. 18, 2003: Bush said anti-war demonstrations wouldn’t deter him.

Feb. 21, 2003: U.N. Chief Weapons Inspector, Hans Blix, ordered Iraq to destroy a list of weapons by March 1, or else.

March 1, 2003: Iraq said it has started destroying the missiles Blix demanded. More than 225,000 U.S. and British forces are in the Persian Gulf.

Information gathered from the BBC, CNN and other news sources.