CHRONOLOGY of Key Events Affecting Modern-Day Iraqi Kurds

1918 The Ottoman Empire is defeated. British forces occupy Iraq, bringing Kurdish-populated areas under British control.

1918 Winston Churchill orders the Royal Air Force to drop chemicals on the rebellious Kurds.

1919 Kurdish areas are added to the new Iraqi state, which comes under a British mandate.

1920 The Treaty of Sevres provides for a Kurdish state, subject to the agreement of the League of Nations.

1921 Faisal I is crowned king of Iraq, including Kurdish areas.

1923 Sheik Mahmud Barzinji rebels against the new Iraqi government. Sheik Mahmud declares a Kurdish Kingdom.

1923 The Treaty of Sevres fails to be ratified by the Turkish Parliament.

1924 In a rebellion against the new British-backed Iraqi government, Sulaimaniya falls.

1932 Barzani leads a rebellion, demanding autonomy for the Kurds. Autonomy is refused.

1943 Barzani rebels yet again but is more successful, with his Kurdish fighters gaining large areas of territory.

1946 The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) is formed by Massoud Barzani. It is a tribally based Kurdish political party.

1946 The British Royal Air Force bombs Kurdish forces. Kurdish fighters flee into Iran seeking exile.

1946 Barzani has to flee Iran over a dispute with Iranian forces. He seeks exile in the Soviet Union.

1951 Barzani is elected president of the KDP even though he is still in exile in the Soviet Union.

1958 Barzani returns from exile after the Iraqi monarchy is overthrown. The new Iraqi government recognizes Kurdish national rights.

1959 The first Baathist coup fails. Saddam Hussein flees to Egypt.

1961 The Iraqi government dissolves the KDP after another Kurdish rebellion.

1963 The Baathist coup succeeds. Nine months later, a countercoup overthrows the Baath government.

1968 Baathists return to power. Saddam Hussein is second in command.

1970 The Iraqi government and the Kurdish political parties agree to a peace accord that grants the Kurds autonomy.

1971 Peace between the Iraqi government and the KDP is strained.

1974 Barzani calls for a new rebellion after rejecting the autonomy agreement.

1975 The Algiers Accord between Iran and Iraq ends Iranian support for the Iraqi Kurds.

1975 Jalal Talabani, a former member of the KDP, organizes a new Kurdish political party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).

1978 Talabani's PUK and Barzani's KDP clash, leaving many Kurdish fighters dead.

1979 Saddam Hussein replaces Ahmed Hassan al-Bakri as president of Iraq. Barzani, the head of the KDP, dies. His son, Massod Barzani, assumes leadership.

1980 Iraq attacks Iran, and war breaks out.

1983 The PUK agrees to a cease-fire with the Iraqi government. Talks on Kurdish autonomy begin.

1985 The Iraqi government becomes increasingly repressive to Kurds. Talks break down. Iraqi government militia murder the brother and two nieces of Jalal Talabani.

1986 Kurdish fighters from the KDP and the PUK join forces with the Iranian government against the Iraqi government.

1987 The Iraqi military uses chemical weapons against Kurdish fighters.

1988 The Iraqi military launches the Anfal Campaign against the Kurds. Tens of thousands of Kurdish civilians and fighters are killed, and hundreds of thousands are forced into exile in Iran, Turkey, and Syria. The town of Halabja becomes the most recognized symbol for the heinous chemical attacks.

1991 After Iraq is expelled from Kuwait, there is a Kurdish uprising. The Iraqi military wages war against the Kurds. Many thousands are killed and over a million are forced into exile. Many are forced to seek refuge in the mountains.

1991 A no-fly zone is established in northern Iraq to protect the Kurds from Saddam Hussein.

1994 Clashes between the PUK and the KDP turn into civil war.

1996 The KDP leader Barzani appeals to Saddam Hussein for help in defeating the PUK.

1996 PUK forces retake Sulaimaniya.

1998 A peace agreement is reached between the PUK and the KDP.

2003 Saddam Hussein's government is overthrown by Coalition forces. Kurdish people are safe for the first time since Iraq was first formed after World War I.

2005 Iraqi and Kurdish history is made with the appointment of the first Kurdish president, Jalal Talabani, on April 6, 2005. Talabani was the original founder of the PUK.

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