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Iraq War Timeline

Dates of Significant killings in Iraq War

Dates of Beheadings


  World War 3 - Act 1 Scene 1



World War 3 - Act 1: The Middle East

Scene 1: Baghdad Invaded

Scene 2: 'Victory' Declared


Scene I: Baghdad Invaded

The initial 42 day war, waged strictly 'by the numbers'.

March 17, 2003 -- At 8:15pm, EST, President Bush announces a 48-hour ultimatum to Saddam Hussein to leave the country with his sons, or suffer the invasion.

March 20, 2003 -- US starts invasion of Iraq, exactly 555 days after September 11, 2001.

April 9, 2003 -- Coalition Forces seize control of Baghdad quickly and relatively effortlessly because Saddam orders a tactical retreat.

April 12, 2003 -- "In a unique meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, the leaders of Russia, France, and Germany meet to deliver a very somber warning against President Bush. Russia's President Putin delivers the key summation: 'We are not going to export capitalist, democratic revolutions. If we do, we're going to end up on a slippery slope to non-ending military conflicts. We can't let that happen'."  Putin backs up his threat by deploying the Black Sea Fleet between Syria and North Korea, in Peter the Great Bay, and conducts aggressive sea, air and land exercises from April 15-21.

April 17, 2003 -- The US issues an impossible ultimatum to Syria demanding:

  • the release of all Weapons of Mass Destruction hidden by Saddam in Syria;

  • the return to Iraq of all officials of the Saddam regime granted asylum;

  • the disbanding of command structures of the Hizballah, Hamas, Jihad Islami and other Palestinian terrorist groups.

April 17, 2003 -- The United States bolsters its military presence near the Iraqi-Syrian border. U.S. officials say Central Command has ordered a build-up of assets in western Iraq. They say the build-up is centered at Al Rutba and includes M1A1 main battle tanks, AH-64A attack helicopters and A-10 ground-support fighter-jets.

April 17, 2003 -- Bechtel Corp., the San Francisco construction giant, wins a contract worth up to $680 million to rebuild Iraqi roads, schools, sewers and hospitals damaged in the war.

May 01, 2003 -- President Bush lands on the aircraft carrier, Abraham Lincoln, at 3:33pm to declare the major combat phase in the Iraqi War over, exactly 42 days after the war started.  In his speech he says, "The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11, 2001 -- and still goes on... From Pakistan to the Philippines to the Horn of Africa, we are hunting down al Qaeda killers... The liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror... Our war against terror is proceeding according to principles that I have made clear to all: Any person involved in committing or planning terrorist attacks against the American people becomes an enemy of this country, and a target of American justice. Any person, organization, or government that supports, protects, or harbors terrorists is complicit in the murder of the innocent, and equally guilty of terrorist crimes. Any outlaw regime that has ties to terrorist groups and seeks or possesses weapons of mass destruction is a grave danger to the civilized world -- and will be confronted."


World War 3 - Act I, Scene II: Victory Declared - Ongoing Hostilities

December 13, 2003 -- In one of the greatest PsyOp exercises of all time, Saddam is captured while the dreaded Patriot Act II is quietly signed into power.

January 18, 2004 -- Suicide car bombing near main gate to U.S.-led coalition's headquarters in Baghdad kills at least 31 people.

February 1, 2004 -- Twin suicide bombers kill 109 people in two Kurdish party offices in Irbil.

February 10, 2004 -- A suicide bomber detonates a truckload of explosives outside a police station in Iskandariyah, killing 53 people.

February 11, 2004 -- A suicide attacker blows up a car packed with explosives in a crowd of Iraqis waiting outside an army recruiting center in Baghdad, killing 47.

March 2, 2004 -- In the deadliest attack since the fall of Saddam Hussein, suicide bombers strike Shiite Muslim shrines and kill 185 Iraqi religious pilgrims in Baghdad and Karbala.

March 22, 2004 -- Exactly 11 days after the Madrid bombings, Israel assassinates the quadriplegic, partially blind elderly Muslim clerical founder of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.  In a region which has become a hotbed of political rage, could this assassination become the equivalent to the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand which ignited World War I?

March 31, 2004 -- In an apparent retaliation, nine Americans died in and around Fallujah 30 miles west of Baghdad in a particularly horrendous spasm of blood-letting Wednesday, March 31. Exactly one week after assuming responsibility for the most intractable town in Iraq in a troop rotation, the California-based 1st Marine Expeditionary Force suffered the loss of five men in a single attack: a bomb exploded under their vehicle in a village near Fallujah. Inside the city, gunmen attacked two civilian cars carrying four US civilian contractors. The cars were torched by a dancing lynch mob which screaming Islamic slogans dragged the bodies through the city, dismembered and decapitated them and hanged them by their feet.  DEBKAfile.  For extremely graphic and disturbing pictures of what happened, see

March 31, 2004 -- In the first year of war in Iraq, the military makes 18,004 medical evacuations during Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Pentagon's top health official told Congress. The new data, through March 13, is nearly two-thirds higher than the 11,200 evacuations through Feb. 5 cited in February to Congress by the same official.  DEBKAfile.

April 21, 2004 -- Five suicide bombings near police stations and police academy in southern city of Basra kill at least 74 and wound 160.

April 24, 2004 -- A roadside bomb hits a bus south of Baghdad, killing 13.

April 30, 2004 -- A New Yorker article appears exposing mistreatment at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad.  Soon after, similar stories start breaking about British troops engaging in the same activities.  Details of prisoner abuse, torture and rape are plastered all over the media, in a seeming attempt to fulfill part of an overall plan to enrage specific Muslim sensibilities in order to provoke war.  See a Timeline of events leading up to the torture.

May 11, 2004 -- A video airing on an Islamic militant website shows a man who identifies himself as Nick Berg from Philadelphia. The video shows the man being beheaded. The website says he was executed in revenge for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners.  All indications are that the video is purely a psy-op exercise designed to shock and scare Americans.

May 17, 2004 -- A suicide car bomber kills Izzadine Saleem, president of the Iraqi Governing Council, and eight others including the bomber outside the Green Zone.

June 1, 2004 -- A roadside bomb explodes near U.S. base in the northern town of Beiji, killing 11 Iraqis and wounding more than 22 people, including two U.S. soldiers.

June 1, 2004 -- A Sunni Governing Council Chief is named the new Iraqi President after the U.S.-backed candidate refused the post. 

The Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dismissed Iraq’s new caretaker administration a few days later as a 'lackey' government at the beck and call of the United States. 'Humiliating Iraqi men, raping Iraqi women, breaking down the doors of Iraqi homes and installing a lackey government, that’s what happens when you remove the clergy from politics', Khamenei said in a keynote speech marking the 15th anniversary of the death of his predecessor Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

June 6, 2004 -- A car bomb explodes near the entrance to an American-run base at Taji north of Baghdad, killing at least nine people and wounding 30 others, including three U.S. soldiers.

June 8, 2004 -- A car bomb explodes outside a U.S. base in Baqouba, killing one U.S. soldier and five Iraqis. Fifteen Iraqis and 10 U.S. soldiers are wounded. A second car bomb explodes in Mosul, killing nine people and injuring 25.

June 13, 2004 -- A suicide car-bomber kills 12 people and wounds 13 near a U.S. garrison in Baghdad.

June 14, 2004 --  A car bomb rips through convoy in Baghdad, killing 13 people, including an American, two Britons and a Frenchman.  At least 62 wounded.

June 17, 2004 -- A sport utility vehicle packed with artillery shells slams into a crowd waiting to volunteer for the Iraqi military, killing at least 35 people and wounding at least 138.

June 18, 2004 -- The second apparent beheading of an American - Paul M. Johnson Jr., previously taken hostage by terrorists.  Gruesome photographs were apparently published on an Al Qaeda Web site.

June 22, 2004 -- Militants behead Kim Sun-il in Iraq after Seoul refused their demand to withdraw its troops and scrap plans to send additional troops.

June 24, 2004 -- Insurgents launched fierce attacks that killed about 100 people in five Iraqi cities, wreaking havoc just days from the handover of power. The worst attacks were in the city of Mosul, where at least 62 people died and 220 were hurt in a series of car bombings, the US military said. More than 40 people died in Baquba, Ramadi, Falluja and Baghdad, in what appeared to be coordinated attacks.

September 18, 2004 -- "Iraq had no WMD: the final verdict", by Julian Borger in Washington, (London).  "The comprehensive 15-month search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq has concluded that the only chemical or biological agents that Saddam Hussein's regime was working on before last year's invasion were small quantities of poisons, most likely for use in assassinations. A draft of the Iraq Survey Group's final report circulating in Washington found no sign of the alleged illegal stockpiles that the US and Britain presented as the justification for going to war, nor did it find any evidence of efforts to reconstitute Iraq's nuclear weapons programme... President George Bush now admits that stockpiles have not been found in Iraq but claimed that "Saddam Hussein had the capability of making weapons, and he could have passed that capability on to the enemy".

November 8, 2004 -- 5,000 US-led troops kick off Operation Plymouth Rock, in which 116 suspected insurgents are captured.

December 11, 2004 -- "U.S. deserter numbers reach 5,500", Big News  "Since the war started in Iraq, the Pentagon says 5,500 U.S. soldiers have deserted, with some of them seeking refugee status in Canada, CBS reported... Meanwhile, other soldiers who were denied conscientious objector status are using the Internet to locate Vietnam-era resisters who assist and even drive objectors to Canada, CBS said."  No doubt because of the poor conditions coalition forces are expected to operate in.



Next: Act II: Israel & Palestine

Intro | Prelude | Act I | Act II | Act III | Act IV | Act V


For a more detailed timeline, covering 28 April 2003 to 16 April 2004, see Iraq Timeline.

See also Iraq Attacks at a Glance


World War 3 Statistics

>For a detailed look at WW3 statistics, including the running cost of World War Three, the number of lives lost and the countries involved in World War Three, please see our World War Overview.  Further details will be added as events dictate.

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Next:  How the  tragic events of 911 fit in with the planned World War 3.

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Today is World War 3 on March 20, 2003 and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.