Oct. 11, 2002
Congress authorizes the use of force against Iraq. Ending a somber debate that pushed past midnight, the Senate votes, 77 to 23, for the resolution. The action came hours after the House gave its approval on a 296-133 vote.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press
Nov. 8, 2002
United Nations Security Council passes Resolution 1441 calling on Iraq to cooperate with weapons inspectors. The show of international unity sends a strong message to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein that he is without allies if he continues to defy the United Nations, ambassadors said.
Jan. 28, 2003
Speaking to a skeptical world, President Bush in his
State of Union address gives a forceful and detailed denunciation of Iraq. He promises new evidence that Saddam Hussein's regime poses an imminent danger to the world and demands the United Nations convene in just one week to consider the threat.
Feb. 5, 2003
Colin Powell at U.N.
Secretary of State Colin Powell argues before the Security Council that the U.S. has evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, based on information provided by source codenamed "Curveball," who later admitted to lying.
March 17, 2003
President gives Saddam Hussein a 48-hour deadline to leave Iraq or face sure destruction "at a time of our choosing."
March 20, 2003
U.S. Forces Enter Iraq
U.S. and British troops sweep into southern Iraq in an invasion aimed at Baghdad, where a new wave of missiles and bombs struck a presidential compound housing several government departments at the heart of Saddam Hussein's power. Among the first Marines killed in combat --
Lance Corporal Jose Gutierrez, 23, of Lomita and 2nd Lieutenant Therrel Shane Childers, 30, of Harrison County, Miss.
April 9, 2003
U.S. troops break Saddam Hussein's 24-year grip on Iraq. With help from the Marines, Iraqis topple a four-story statue of the president. Looting of government and public buildings, including museums and armories, ensues unchecked amid mass disorder.
May 1, 2003
Aboard USS Abraham Lincoln, President Bush tells a cheering crew that U.S. forces have brought about a 'turning of the tide' against terrorism. Underneath a banner reading "Mission Accomplished," the president says the conflict with Iraq marked the beginning of "a new era" in waging war.
Don Tormey/Los Angeles Times
July 22, 2003
Hussein's sons killed
U.S. forces kill Saddam Hussein’s sons Uday and Qusai in a firefight at a luxury home on the outskirts of Mosul. The two brothers ranked second only to their father in the deposed regime and shared his reputation for the brutal exercise of power.
Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times
An American soldier stands guard outside the house in Mosul, Iraq, where Uday and Qusai Hussein were killed.
Aug. 19, 2003
U.N. headquarters bombed
A brutal attack on the U.N.'s Baghdad headquarters is denounced by the Security Council as a "terrorist criminal attack." U.N. officials declare their determination to stay the course.
Dec. 13, 2003
American troops track a scruffy and haggard Saddam Hussein to a dirt hole at a farmhouse near his hometown of Tikrit, capturing the elusive dictator without firing a shot after an eight month hunt.
March 31, 2004
U.S. civilians killed
A mob of angry Iraqis attack two vehicles carrying U.S. civilian security workers in Fallouja, an anti-American stronghold, killing four contractors, mutilating their remains and hanging two of the charred corpses from a bridge over the Euphrates River.
Khalid Mohammed/Associated Press
April 28, 2004
Abu Ghraib abuse
CBS News releases photos showing abuse of Iraqi prisoners held at Abu Ghraib. The images, which led to criminal charges against six American soldiers, show U.S. military police stacking naked Iraqi prisoners in a human pyramid and attaching wires to one detainee to convince him he might be electrocuted.
June 28, 2004
Iraqis take power
Led by Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, an interim Iraqi government takes power from U.S. administrator L. Paul Bremer III after a furtive ceremony meant to preempt insurgent attacks that could have disrupted the hand-over.
Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times
Pictured left to right: Chief Justice Mahdi Mahmood, President Ghazi Ajil Yawer, Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, Vice President Ibrahim Jafari and Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih
Nov. 8, 2004
Second battle of Fallouja
Ten thousand U.S. troop and more than 1,000 Iraqi soldiers launch the second battle of Fallouja. The battle will last 46 days and is the heaviest urban fighting for the U.S. military since Vietnam.
Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times
Jan. 12, 2005
U.S.: No WMD in Iraq
The White House acknowledges that its two-year hunt for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq has ended without finding the stockpiles that President Bush cited as a justification for war against Saddam
Jan. 30, 2005
Millions of Iraqis defy violence, calls for a boycott and a legacy of despotism to cast ballots in the nation's first multiparty elections in half a century.
James Vellacott/Associated Press
July 17, 2005
A special Iraqi tribunal refers the first case against the ex-dictator to a court, which is to set a date for trial in the 1982 killing of 150 villagers.
Oct. 19, 2005
Hussein pleads not guilty
An imperious, defiant Saddam Hussein wages a theatrical struggle to control the opening of his murder trial, sparring repeatedly with the chief judge and challenging the legitimacy of the Iraqi court. He and seven former aides plead not guilty.
Dec. 15, 2005
Election in Iraq
Iraqis begin voting in their country's most competitive election in decades, a U.S.-backed exercise that will produce the first full-term government here since the ouster of Saddam Hussein.
Feb. 22, 2006
An explosion in Samarra tears through the dome of the Golden Mosque, one of the most sacred Shiite shrines, setting off a nationwide wave of reprisals against Sunni Muslims and fears of civil war.
June 7, 2006
Abu Musab Zarqawi, leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, is killed by a U.S. airstrike in the town of Hibhib near Baqubah, Iraq. Zarqawi was blamed for leading a relentless campaign of suicide bombings and beheadings.
Nov. 5, 2006
Deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, 69, is found guilty of crimes against humanity and is sentenced to death by hanging, bringing to an end the first trial examining the alleged crimes of the former regime.
Iraqi Special Tribunial
Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, seen here last year, was convicted today of charges connected to the deaths of Shiite Muslim villagers.
Nov. 8, 2006
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld resigns. President Bush says that he had come to the conclusion before the election that a new Defense secretary was needed.
Gerald Herbert/Associated Press
Nov. 23, 2006
Deadly car bombings
A series of fiery suicide car bombings kill at least 152 people and wound 236 others in the deadliest sectarian attack in Baghdad since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.
Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images
Dec. 30, 2006
A defiant Saddam Hussein is hanged at dawn in a secret concrete death chamber. Before his execution, he denounces the West and Iran.
David Furst/AFP/Getty Images
Jan. 10, 2007
President Bush acknowledges that his previous strategy has failed and announces the U.S. needs to add more than 20,000 troops in order to avert defeat.
April 11, 2007
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates announces 12- to 15-month tour of duty extensions for Army troops.
Mikhail Metzel/AFP/Getty Images
Sept. 16, 2007
Contractors for the private security firm Blackwater shoot 17 Iraqi civilians in a Baghdad square. American officials scramble to head off a potential crisis after irate Iraqi authorities cancel the controversial firm's license. Ultimately all charges are dismissed.
Marko Drobjakovic / Associated Press
A helicopter operated by Blackwater flies over central Baghdad in 2007.
Dec. 4, 2008
Withdrawal date set
The U.S.-Iraq Status of Forces Agreement is ratified by Iraq's three-member Presidency Council. The agreement mandates that U.S. combat forces withdraw from Iraqi cities by June 30, 2009, and from the country by Dec. 31, 2011.
Jan. 1, 2009
U.S. hands over Green Zone
The U.S. formally hands over military control of the heavily fortified Green Zone to Iraqi troops, a first major step in the American withdrawal from Iraq.
Feb. 27, 2009
August pull-out planned
President Obama tells Marines at Camp Lejeune, N.C., that most of the 142,000 troops now in Iraq would be pulled out by the end of August 2010.
April 30, 2009
British troops end six years of combat operations in Iraq, beginning their withdrawal from the southern city of Basra after a bloody and costly mission that was deeply unpopular at home.
Jan. 25, 2010
'Chemical Ali' hangs
The Iraqi government hangs Ali Hassan Majid, one of the most notorious figures of Saddam Hussein's regime, who had earned the nickname "Chemical Ali" for his gassing of Kurds in the late 1980s.
Darko Vojinovic / Associated Press
Aug. 19, 2010
Combat troops leave
The last of U.S. combat troops withdraw from Iraq. The move comes amid a deep political crisis that many think could turn increasingly violent, and Iraqis are deeply apprehensive.
Aug. 31, 2010
Official end of combat
The U.S. combat mission in Iraq officially ends. In an Oval Office speech, President Obama acknowledges the 'huge price' the U.S. paid in the war.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press
President Obama meets with troops at Ft. Bliss, Texas. "It's time to turn the page," he said.
Dec. 17, 2011
Last troops leave
The last U.S. troops pass a fortified Kuwaiti border police post eight years, eight months and 28 days after U.S. forces poured across the same frontier, 150,000 strong, sweating inside bulky chemical and biological protective suits, but convinced of a swift and certain victory.
Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times