Student Reader

Kingdom of Iraq

The alluvial plain of the Tigris and Euphrates was known in Europe as Mesopotamia. Since at least the eighth century, Arab geographers referred to this land as al-'Iraq, a term meaning the shore of a great river along its length, and the grazing land surrounding it.
Iraq IndependenceOctober 1932League of Nations ends Mandate and grants independence to Iraq.
King Ghazi SucceedsSeptember 1932
Kirkuk-Mediterranean PipelineJanuary 1935Opening of the Kirkuk-Mediterranean Pipeline.
Military Coup d'ÉtatOctober 1936Military coup d'état, backed by General Bakr Sidqi. Hikmat Sulaiman forms a government.
Sidqi AssassinatedAugust 1937Bakr Sidqi assassinated. Hikmat Sulaiman is overthrown by the army.
King Ghazi DiesApril 1939King Ghazi killed in a car accident.
King Faisal II SucceedsApril 1939King Ghazi is succeeded by his infant son Faisal II, under regency of Prince 'Abd al-Ilah.
MIlitary Coup d'ÉtatApril 1941The Government of National Defence is formed by Rashid 'Ali al-Kailani following a military coup d'état. The regent Prince 'Abd al-Ilah flees Baghdad.
British InvasionMay 1941British troops march on Baghdad. Rashid 'Ali al-Kailani flees as his government collapses.
Regent ReturnsJune 1941The regent Prince 'Abd al-Ilah returns to Baghdad.
al-WathbaJanuary 1948A new Anglo-Iraqi treaty is signed at Portsmouth. Mass protests in Baghdad, known as al-Wathba (the leap) lead to abandonment of the treaty.
Iraq ExpeditionMay 1948Iraq sends an expeditionary force to Palestine.
Iraq WithdrawalFebruary 1949Iraqi army withdraws from Palestine.
League of Iraqi Women1952League of Iraqi Women founded with branches throughout the country. It was not part of the CP but many of its active members were CP members,
Iraq Petroleum CompanyFebruary 1952Iraq agrees with Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC) on a 50-50 share of profits.
al-Intifada1952/11-12Demonstrations erupt in Baghdad, known as al-Intifada (the uprising).
King Faisal II EnthronedMay 1953King Faisal II is enthroned, ending the regency.
Baghdad PactFebruary 1955
Suez CrisisOctober 1956Riots known as the Suez Crisis occur in Baghdad, Mosul and Najaf.
United Arab Republic
Arab Union
February 1958Egypt and Syria form the United Arab Republic. Jordan and Iraq form the Arab Union.
Kurdish Revolution Begins1961
Halabja Attacked by Iraq1963

Halabja is attacked for the first time by the Iraqi army.

Jet fighters came and bomber-aircraft; peshmerga came to our house in the middle of the night and told us, "You should run away from here." We fled to the Iranian border, to a very small village called Hanagermala. We stayed there for three months: my mother, my sister, my brothers and I. When we came back to Halabja we found everything our house had been completely destroyed by the army. Completely. (Thornhill, p 157)
Kurd-Iraq Negotiations04 1964Roads begin to re-open and the economic blockade against Kurdistan by Baghdad is disassembled.

Studies

Tripp, Charles. A History of Iraq: New Edition.

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