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Iraq Timeline: 2005


by Borgna Brunner
Jan. 4, 2005

Ali al-Haidari, governor of Baghdad Province, is assassinated by insurgents who are seeking to thwart elections scheduled for January 30.

Jan. 7, 2005

U.S. Lt. Gen. Thomas Metz acknowledges that large parts of nearly 25% of Iraq's provinces are not secure enough to hold elections. Baghdad is one of the four provinces cited. Violence continues on a daily basis throughout much of the country.

Jan. 11, 2005

Iraqi prime minister Ayad Allawi admits that some areas of Iraq are likely to be too dangerous to hold elections.

Jan. 12, 2005

The White House announces that the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, one of the main justifications for the war, is officially over. No such weapons were found.

Jan. 27, 2005

31 Marines die in a helicopter crash and 5 other U.S. soldiers are killed by Iraqi insurgents elsewhere in the country, making it the single deadliest day for American soldiers since the war began. The death toll for U.S. soldiers has now reached 1,408.

Jan. 30, 2005

Iraq's elections to select a 275-seat National Assembly went ahead as scheduled. A total of 8.5 million people voted, representing about 58% of those Iraqis eligible to vote. But violence accompanied the voting, with 260 attacks taking place on election day, the largest number since the war began. A coalition of Shiites, the United Iraq Alliance, received 48% of the vote, the Kurdish parties received 26% of the vote, and the Sunnis just 2%. The Sunni vote was so low because most Sunni leaders had called for a boycott.

Feb. 22, 2005

The United Iraqi Alliance, the group of Shiite political parties that won the most votes in Iraq's Jan. 30 election, selects Ibrahim al-Jaafari to be the prime minister of Iraq. The 58-year-old doctor served as Iraq's interim vice-president of Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Jaafari is a popular politician who is seen as acceptable to the Sunnis and Kurds as well as the dominant Shiites.

Feb. 27, 2005

Syria hands over Sabawi Ibrahim Hassan, a half brother of Saddam Hussein, and other fugitives to the Iraqi government. Hassan is believed to have organized and financed the insurgency in Iraq.

Feb. 28, 2005

In the deadliest attack ever by insurgents, suicide bomber blows up a car in Hilla, killing about 115 people who were seeking employment with the Iraqi police.

Mar. 5, 2005

U.S. soldiers shoot at car carrying Giuliana Sgrena, an Italian journalist who had been held hostage by Iraqi insurgents and just released from captivity. Sgrena was wounded and an Italian intelligence agent was killed. Relations between Italy and the U.S. grow strained.

Mar. 16, 2005

Diverse group of 275 newly elected leaders to the Iraqi assembly convene for the first time in a largely ceremonial meeting. Shiites and Kurds, who fared best in January elections, have not yet appointed leaders. On March 29, the assembly meets for the second time and fails again to agree upon the composition of the new Iraqi government.

Mar. 31, 2005

Panel set up by President Bush calls assessment on Iraq's weapons capabilities "dead wrong" and finds that intelligence agencies exaggerated evidence and relied on shaky sources in making the case for war in Iraq.

Apr. 3–7, 2005

On April 3, Iraqi Assembly name Hajim al-Hassani, a Sunni, as speaker, and Hussain al-Shahristani, a Shiite, and Arif Taifour, a Kurd, as deputies. On April 6, Iraq Assembly selects Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani as president; Adel Abdul Mahdi, a Shiite politician, as vice president, and Sheik Ghazi al-Yawar, the Sunni president of the interim government, as the second vice president. On April 7, the Iraq Assembly names Shiite Ibrahim al-Jaafari as prime minister. Interim prime minister Ayad Allawi resigns.

May 1, 2005

The leaked, top-secret "Downing Street Memo" of July 23, 2002, indicates that eight months before the Iraq war was launched, Blair and top British government officials acknowledged that "the case [for war] was thin," but that "Bush had made up his mind to take military action." The U.S. wanted the war "justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." Memo receives enormous attention in the UK but not in the U.S.

Jun. 3, 2005

Violence from the insurgency continues relentlessly despite the installation of the new Shiite-led government on April 28. Since that date, more than 825 people, including Iraqi civilians and U.S. forces, have been killed by insurgents.

Jun. 23, 2005

Gen. John Abizaid, commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East, stated that the Iraq insurgency remains as strong as it had been six months earlier.

Jul. 3, 2005

Ihab al-Sharif, who was to become Egypt's ambassador to Iraq, is kidnapped by gunmen in Baghdad. On July 7, the militant group al-Qaeda in Iraq says it has killed Sharif.

Jul. 21, 2005

Algeria's top diplomat, Ali Billaroussi, and envoy Azzedine Belakdi are kidnapped by gunmen in Baghdad.

Jul. 17, 2005

Suicide bomber detonates bomb under a fuel tanker in Musayyib, killing at least 70 people and wounding more than 150. Four other suicide bombers hit Baghdad on the same day.

Jul. 19, 2005

Two Sunnis involved in drafting the Iraqi constitution are shot in Baghdad.

Jul. 20, 2005

Pentagon report assessing Iraqi security forces finds that they are, at best, “partially capable” of fighting the country's insurgency.

Aug. 15, 2005

Iraq delays the final drafting of the constitution, extending the deadline so Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish delegates can compromise on disputed issues, such as the distribution of oil revenues, issues of federalism, the rights of women, and the role of Islam in government.

Aug. 22, 2005

Iraqi leaders give National Assembly a partially complete constitution and promise to complete the document within days.

Aug. 27, 2005

Frustrated with demands by Sunni Arabs, Shiite and Kurdish leaders end negotiations with Sunnis.

Aug. 28, 2005

Iraqi National Assembly receives the new constitution, which will be voted on by Iraqi citizens on Oct. 15. Sunni negotiators denounce the document.

Sep. 10–11,
2005

U.S. and Iraqi troops launch successful offensive against insurgents in the northern city of Tal Afar.

Oct. 2, 2005

Shiite and Kurdish leaders change election rules. The rules say that constitution will fail if two-thirds of all registered voters—rather than two-thirds of those who vote—reject it in three or more provinces. Changes likely to ensure that constitution passes in the national referendum on Oct. 15. On Oct. 5, facing pressure from the UN and U.S. officials, the Iraqi National Assembly votes to reverse the rules change.

Oct. 11, 2005

Leaders involved in drafting constitution agree to create a panel that could revise the constitution. In exchange, Sunni leaders say they will support the constitution in the upcoming referendum.

Oct. 15, 2005

Millions of Iraqi voters head to the polls to vote on a constitution.

Oct. 25, 2005

Electoral commission reports that constitution has passed, with 79% of voters supporting it. But it failed by more than a two-thirds majority in two Sunni-dominated provinces and by less than a two-thirds majority in a third, making the victory a narrow one. Turnout among Sunnis is high.

The number of deaths of U.S. soldiers fighting in Iraq reaches 2,000. The figure represents the number of fatalities since the war began in March 2003.

Nov. 2, 2005

Iraqi Defense Ministry begins recruiting former junior officers from Saddam Hussein's army to bolster army's forces and to siphon fighters away from the insurgency.

Nov. 7, 2005

Suicide bomber kills four U.S. soldiers in Baghdad in the deadliest suicide attack since June.

Nov. 10, 2005

Al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia claims responsibility for attack in a Baghdad cafe that kills about 30 people, including many police officers.

Nov. 15, 2005

Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari announces a prompt inquiry into alleged torture of more than 170 prisoners-mostly Sunnis-by Shiite police officers.

Nov. 18, 2005

Two suicide bombers blow themselves up in two Shiite mosques in the Kurdish town of Khanaqin. About 70 people are killed.

Nov. 21, 2005

For the first time, a group of Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish leaders sign a statement that demands a specific time for the pullout of foreign troops.

Nov. 30, 2005

President Bush unveils his vision for victory in Iraq and rejects calls by Democrats and some Republicans for a timetable for withdrawal: “Pulling our troops out before they've achieved their purpose is not a plan for victory.”

Dec. 2, 2005

Ten marines are killed and about a dozen wounded by a bomb attack in Falluja.

The Pentagon acknowledges that it hired a U.S. public relations agency, the Lincoln Group, to translate into Arabic articles written by American soldiers. The agency then passed the stories on to advertising agencies that paid Iraqi news outlets to run them.

Dec. 5, 2005

Witnesses in trial of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein detail horrifying examples of torture.

Dec. 6, 2005

At least 36 people are killed and about 75 are wounded when two suicide bombers attack the Baghdad Police Academy.

Dec. 15, 2005

Iraq holds parliamentary elections. As many as 11 million Iraqis turn out to select their first permanent Parliament since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. More than 7,000 Parliamentary candidates from 300 parties are seeking to fill the 275 seats in Parliament. Violence is minimal.

Dec. 19, 2005

Religious Shiites take an early lead in elections, according to preliminary figures released by election officials.

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