Operations in Iraq: History of the military campaign in Iraq

Links are provided to more extensive briefings where available.

Operations in Iraq

British Forces played a key role in the United States-led coalition military operations, which began on 20 March 2003, and ultimately brought down Saddam Hussein's regime. British Forces, along with US colleagues, continue to work with the democratically-elected Iraqi Government to maintain security and strengthen democracy as well as assist with reconstruction and economic development.

9 Nov 10 Iraqi Council of Ministers request UK continues to support the Training and Maritime Support mission beyond 22 November 2010.
1 Sep 10 US transition to Operation New Dawn, which brought an end to US combat operations and will see US force numbers reduce from 50,000 as US footprint reduces to an Office of Security Cooperation.
7 Mar 10 Iraqi National Elections passed off peacefully.
1 Jan 10 Multi-National Forces-Iraq transforms to United States Forces–Iraq (USF-I).
22 Nov 09 New naval training and maritime support agreement between Iraq and UK entered into force. Royal Navy personnel returned to Iraq, alongside US colleagues, to undertake training and mentoring of the Iraqi Navy and Marines.
31 Jul 09 All UK combat forces withdrawn from Iraq.
30 Apr 09 Defence Secretary John Hutton announced the formal completion of the UK military mission in southern Iraq. 14 Division of the Iraqi Army now judged ready to plan, execute and sustain operations with minimal Coalition support.
31 Mar 09 UK-led Multi National Division (South East) and US-led Multi National Division (Centre) merged to form Multi National Division (South) under US command.
31 Jan 09 Iraqi Provincial Elections passed off peacefully.
1 Jan 09 Basra International Airport transferred to Iraqi control. The Iraqi government became fully sovereign, including taking back control of its airspace.

New individual agreements for the presence of Coalition forces between the Government of Iraq and the Governments of individual countries came into force.
31 Dec 08 UNSCR 1790 expired.
29 Oct 08 Wasit Province transferred to Iraq control.
23 Oct 08 Babil Province transferred to Iraq control.
1 Sep 08 Anbar Province transferred to Iraq control.
16 Jul 08 Diwaniya (formerly known as Al Qadisiyah) Province transferred to Iraqi control.
16 Dec 07 Basra Province was handed over to the Iraqi authorities. As a result, all four provinces in Multi-National Division (South East) were now under Iraqi security control.
29 Oct 07 Karbala Province transferred to Iraqi control.
5 Sep 07 A ceremony took place in Basra to mark the official handover of Basra Palace to the Iraqi authorities.
30 May 07 Three more provinces in Iraq - Erbil, Sulaymaniyah and Dohuk, were transferred to the control of Iraqi security forces.
24 Apr 07 Shaibah Logistics Base on the outskirts of Basra City was handed over to the Iraqi Army.
18 Apr 07 Iraqi authorities took control of security enforcement in Maysaan Province, southern Iraq.
8 Apr 07 In another step towards delivering a stable and secure environment in Basra City, UK troops handed over control of the Shatt-Al-Arab Hotel to the 10th Division Iraqi Army.
20 Mar 07 The first coalition forces base, the Old State Building in Basra City, was handed over to the Iraqi Army.
20 Feb 07 The Iraqi Army division based in Basra transferred from Coalition command, and is now - for the first time - taking its orders direct from an Iraqi headquarters in Baghdad.
20 Dec 06 Defence Secretary Des Browne welcomed the handover of An-Najaf province in Iraq.
21 Sep 06 Defence Secretary Des Browne confirmed that the southern province of Dhi Qar was handed over to the Iraqi people.
30 Aug 06 The first stage of the repositioning of the Multi National Force in Maysan began the departure of British troops from Camp Abu Naji to be replaced with soldiers from the 4th (Iraqi Army) Brigade.
13 Jul 06 Iraqi authorities in Al Muthanna, South-East Iraq, officially took over the responsibility for security in their province at a ceremony in the capital, As Samawah.
20 Mar 06 Iraq's new Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, announced his government of national unity.
16 Mar 06 The new permanent Iraqi parliament, the Council of Representatives, convened for the first time.
15 Dec 05 Democratic elections were held for a permanent, constitutional Iraqi government.
25 Aug 05 Lieutenant Colonel Toby Bridge, Commanding Officer of The Kings Royal Hussars, handed over responsibility for basic military training to the Iraqi Army.
7 Mar 05 British Forces assumed command from the Dutch battalion at a handover ceremony at Camp Smitty in As Samawaha, the principle city of Al Muthanna province.
30 Jan 05 Iraq held its first democratic national elections in decades, along with local elections. (Latest photos can be found here)
30 Sep 04 A ceremony at Umm Qasr marked the transfer of responsibility for Iraq's territorial waters to the Iraqi Coastal Defence Force, following training of the new formation by instructors from the Royal Navy, Royal Australian Navy, Royal Netherlands Navy and the United States Navy.
1 Jun 04 Sovereignty in Iraq transfered from the Coalition Provisional Authority to the Iraqi Government. The new interim Iraqi government was appointed with Sheikh Ghazi al-Yawar as President, and Dr Ayad Alawi as Prime Minister. Statement by UN Special Envoy.
13 Dec 03 Coalition forces detained Saddam Hussein during an operation in Tikrit.
10 Jul 03 1(UK) Division handed over to 3(UK) Division in Basrah, with the latter forming the headquarters of the new Multi-National Division (South-East). 
9 Apr 03 Crowds gathered in central Baghdad to welcome coalition forces and destroy symbols of old regime.
6 Apr 03 UK forces entered Basra. Within a week, the first UK-Iraqi joint police patrols took place.
4 Apr 03 US forces seized outskirts of Baghdad, and Baghdad International Airport.
20 Mar 03 US missiles were launched against regime targets in Baghdad. Later in the day, the land offensive began and UK Marines led an amphibious assault on the Al Faw peninsula.
18 Mar 03 President Bush issued Saddam Hussein with a final ultimatum to leave Iraq.
2 Nov 02 UN Security Council unanimously declared Iraq in material breach of previous resolutions.

Operations in Iraq

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