The Washington Post
Navigation Bar
Navigation Bar

Iraq Time Line
Since the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August of 1990, Iraq's relations with the United States have been marked by confrontation. Our time line reviews significant events in U.S.-Iraq relations since the Gulf War.
1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 |
| 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999


Red tracers of Iraqi anti-aircraft fire fly
above appartment buildings in Baghdad during attacks in December.



30: Iraq Again Vows to Fire At American, British Jets
The Iraqi government warned again that it would fire on American or British jets that fly over any part of Iraq, but the United States said it would continue enforcing the "no-fly" zones across two wide swaths of the country.

29: U.S. Planes Hit Iraqi Site After Missile Attack
American aircraft patrolling the "no-fly" zone in northern Iraq attacked and destroyed an air defense site yesterday after the Iraqi missile battery opened fire, according to U.S. and Iraqi accounts.

22: Inspections, Embargo in Danger
After bombarding Iraq for four nights in the name of United Nations arms inspectors, the Clinton administration began fighting a rear guard battle at the world body to save the inspectors from diplomatic extinction.

  • Time May Be Arch Foe in Struggle
  • U.S. Commander: Attacks Caused Major Damage
  • Tea Leaves No Easy Read in Iraq

    21: U.S. Warns Iraq of More Raids
    U.S. national security advisors said that the United States would repeat airstrikes to keep Iraq from developing poison gas or germ warfare weapons.

  • Durable Saddam Declares 'Victory'
  • The Big Military Question: What’s Next?
  • Mideast Allies Welcome Raids' End

    20: U.S. Halts Attacks on Iraq After Four Days
    President Clinton announced a halt to the bombing of Iraq after four nights of furious airstrikes, calling the operation a success and sending the long-running conflict with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein into a new and uncertain phase.

  • Baghdad Hides Its Wounds
  • Officials Define Their Success
  • Raids Leave Baghdad a City of Contrasts

    19: U.S. Assesses Airstrikes' Spotted Damage
    As American and British forces bombarded Iraq for a third straight night, officials in Washington said they were nearing the end of their list of planned targets after striking a series of military sites but also one of Iraq's largest oil refineries, which provided a main source of revenue for the regime of President Saddam Hussein.

  • One Aim: Kill Saddam's 'Palace Guard'

    18: U.S. Steps Up Attack on Iraq
    The attack by U.S. and British forces against Iraq broadened and intensified, as salvos of missiles pounded scores of targets throughout Iraq.

  • Analysis: Is Mission 'Pinpricks' or Punitive?

    17: U.S. Strikes at Iraqi Targets
    President Clinton launched the largest military operation of his two terms in office, pairing U.S. and British forces against Iraq in what he called a "strong, sustained" attack from the air against the sources of President Saddam Hussein's military power.

  • Aides: President Saw Little Alternative
  • Analysis: Limited Campaign Could Limit Success
  • Attack Sites Crucial to Weapon-Making
  • U.S. Says Iraq Determined Timing
  • On Security Council, Mixed Views

    16: Iraq Hasn't Cooperated, Arms Inspector Reports
    U.N. arms inspectors set a fresh collision course with Iraq, reporting that the Baghdad government failed to honor the promises of cooperation that prompted President Clinton to call off a major military attack against it a month ago.


    23: Iraq Says It Has Handed Over Documents U.N. Inspectors Requested
    Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed Saeed Sahhaf accused U.N. arms inspectors of "a savage campaign . . . of disinformation" in their quest for more documents about Iraq's banned weapons. He said Iraq already has handed over millions of papers to monitors and that no more files exist.

    22: U.N. Team Downcast About Iraq Mission
    United Nations arms inspectors see little prospect of achieving the results Washington is promising in the standoff with Iraq after last week's barely averted military strike.

    21: Iraq Balks at U.N. Request for Arms Documents
    President Saddam Hussein's government defied a request from the chief inspector for documents relating to its prohibit weapons programs.

    18: U.N. Team Set to Resume Arms Inspections
    U.N. weapons inspectors plan to resume their work in Iraq, beginning with routine checks of the monitoring gear and building toward more sensitive inspections that could test Iraqi cooperation, U.N. officials said.

    17: Off-Again Airstrikes May Be On Again Soon, Officials Suspect
    President Clinton hailed the scheduled return of U.N. weapons inspectors to Iraq, even as administration officials privately offered starkly pessimistic assessments about whether Baghdad's retreat last weekend will prove to be more than temporary.

  • Iraq Claims Victory In Diplomatic Defeat

    16: Clinton Says Iraqis Have 'Backed Down'
    President Clinton announced that Iraq had "backed down" and pledged full cooperation with United Nations arms inspectors.

  • Text of Clinton Remarks
  • Senior Officials Split On Aborting Airstrikes
  • Saddam's Iraqi Foes Heartened By Clinton
  • Arab States Relieved
  • Clinton Remarks Indicate Policy Shift

    15: U.S. Launches, Then Aborts Airstrikes
    Hours after aborting a massive missile attack against Iraq, the United States rebuffed an Iraqi offer to allow United Nations weapons inspectors to resume their work and insisted that military strikes were still possible if Iraq fails to comply unconditionally with U.N. demands.

  • A New Vow, An Order Rescinded

    14: Oil-For-Food Program Key to U.S. Policy on Iraq
    American officials were among those trying to keep open a conduit for food and medicine under a massive humanitarian program designed to control Iraq's oil exports and relieve the suffering of its 20 million people.

    13: U.S. Flanks Covered In Latest Showdown
    The striking difference between the recent standoff with Iraq and the one nine months ago is that France and Russia have raised no significant objections.

  • Support for U.S. Stance on Iraq Grows

    12: Clinton Warns Iraq, OK's Gulf Buildup
    President Clinton declared that the United States "must be prepared to act" forcefully to end Iraq's defiance of the United Nations and authorized a new buildup of military forces in the Persian Gulf.

    11: Carrier, Marines Rushed to Gulf
    The Clinton administration took its first substantial steps to reinforce striking power in range of Iraq, speeding deployment of a second aircraft carrier and a Marine amphibious group

    07: U.N. Recalls 15 Inspectors
    The United Nations pulled 15 weapons inspectors out of Iraq today, the first in a series of planned staff pullbacks in the face of the Baghdad regime's decision to halt cooperation.

    01: Iraq Halts All Work by U.N. Inspectors
    Iraq halted all cooperation with United Nations weapons inspectors, the bluntest yet in a series of maneuvers by President Saddam Hussein to ease the impact of trade and military restrictions placed on his country after the Persian Gulf War.

    Previous stories: Oct. to Jan. 1998

  • © Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

    Back to the top

    Navigation Bar
    Navigation Bar