Chronology: Iraq

The Middle East Journal, Winter 2010 | Go to article overview

Chronology: Iraq


See also Iran, Regional Affairs, Yemen

July 18: Iraqi Provincial Police in Basra arrested an Iran-linked militiaman and his aide after he confessed to an attack that killed three US soldiers. Officials seized four Iranian-made rockets and lists of targeted Iraqi officials. [GN, 7/18]

July 25: Provincial elections in the semiautonomous Kurdish north ended peacefully. Voting was extended an hour to accommodate the unprecedented turnout of 78.5% of the 2.5 million eligible voters. The Change List, a coalition of 23 opposition parties, ran against the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) and the Democratic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), also running jointly. [Reuters, 7/25]

July 28: All British troops in Iraq left for Kuwait because the Iraqi Parliament had not yet ratified a mandate for a continued British presence. Most United Kingdom forces had left Iraq in April but a small contingent had remained in order to train the Iraqi Navy. [BBC, 7/28]

July 29: Iraqi soldiers raided Camp Ashraf, an Iranian refugee camp north of Baghdad, allegedly killing eight, wounding 500, and arresting others. The camp housed 3,500 members of the Mujahidin-e Khalq (MEK), an Iranian dissident group that fought alongside Iraqi forces in the Iran-Iraq War. Leaders of the group voiced concern that the camp's inhabitants would be forcibly returned to Iran and face persecution. The Iraqi government denied the claim. [Reuters, VOA, 7/29]

Massoud Barzani, head of the KDP, retained his seat as President of the Kurdistan Autonomous Region, winning 69.9% of the vote. The KDP and PUK coalition also won 57% of the regional parliamentary elections, ceding 20 seats it previously held in the 111-seat body but maintaining parliamentary control. Services and Reform, a leftist-Islamic party, won 12.8% and the Change Movement won 23%; both parties made greater gains than expected. [BBC, 7/29]

July 31: Five nearly simultaneous and apparently coordinated attacks killed 29 people and wounded around 130 others near Shi'ite mosques in Baghdad. Local Shi'ite leaders cited the incident and the allegedly confused police response as further evidence that Iraqi police could not provide sufficient security to their constituents, and stoked fears of an al-Qa'ida resurgence. [BBC, 7/31]

It was announced that the US death toll for the month of June was seven, the lowest since the Iraq War began in March 2003. [VOA, 7/31]

Aug. 1: British and Australian military forces pulled their last combat troops out of Iraq. The move left the United States as the only foreign country with combat troops in Iraq. [AP, 8/1]

Aug. 2: The remains of US Navy pilot Captain Michael Scott Speicher were found 18 years after his plane was shot down in the first hours of the 1991 Persian Gulf war. He was the only American missing in action from that war. [NYT, 8/2]

Former Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq 'Aziz was sentenced to seven years in jail for the forcible displacement of Kurds in oil-rich northeastern Iraq during Saddam Husayn's rule. This was added to a 15-year sentence he received in March 2009 for his role in the killing of dozens of merchants for breaking state price controls in 1992. [Reuters, 8/2]

Aug. 7: Shi'a were targeted in bombings across Iraq as they celebrated the holiday marking the birth of Muhammad al-Mahdi, the 12th and last Imam - also known as the Hidden Imam. Thirty people died in an explosion outside a mosque during a funeral service while six others died in roadside bomb explosions on their return from the holy city of Karbala. [BBC, 8/7]

Aug. 9: The US confirmed 51 cases of the H1N1 flu virus and reported another 71 suspected cases among American troops stationed in Iraq. The announcement prompted concern from Iraqi officials who feared that the infected troops would spread the disease to the Iraqi people. [NYT, 8/9]

Aug. 17: Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that hundreds of gay men had been killed and tortured in Iraq since 2004, despite the legality of homosexuality in Iraq.

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