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Iraq Timeline Since US-led Invasion


March 17, 2003 - President Bush issues an ultimatum to Saddam Hussein to depart within 48 hours or face serious consequences.

March 19, 2003 - President Bush tells the American people in a televised address that coalition forces have started striking Iraqi military targets.

March 21, 2003 - U.S. begins the "shock and awe" campaign of major air strikes on Baghdad and other cities.

April 9, 2003 - Baghdad falls. Widespread looting across the capital.

May 1, 2003 - The United States declares an end to major combat operations.

May 12, 2003 - Paul Bremer takes over as civil administrator in Iraq.

May 22, 2003 - U.N. Security Council approves a resolution acknowledging U.S./U.K. as occupying powers in Iraq and lifts sanctions.

July 13, 2003 - Inauguration of Iraq's interim governing council of 25 Iraqis appointed by U.S. and British officials.

December 13, 2003 - U.S. troops find and arrest Saddam Hussein near Tikrit

January 19, 2004 - Thousands demonstrate in Baghdad to call for elections.

March 8, 2004 - Iraq's transitional administrative law (interim constitution) signed.

May 31, 2004 - Coalition Provision Authority establishes the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq.

June 28, 2004 - U.S.-led coalition transfers sovereignty to the Interim Iraqi Government.

August 18, 2004 - Iraqi National Conference selects a national assembly to act as a parliament until elections are held.

November 1, 2004 - Voter and candidate registration begins.

November 21, 2004 - Election date is set for January 30, 2005.

December 15, 2004 - Campaigning starts

January 30, 2005 - More than 8 million Iraqis at home and abroad vote for 275-member interim national assembly.

February 13, 2005 - Final election results show Shi'ite coalition winning slight majority of seats, Kurdish alliance coming second, and Sunni Arabs poorly represented due to low voter turnout.

August 15, 2005 - Date by which a constitution is to be drafted by the transitional government

August 22, 2005 - Extended deadline for constitutional draft missed.

August 26, 2005 - Third deadline for constitutional draft missed.

August 28, 2005 - Constitutional drafting committee signs draft constitution.

September 18, 2005 - Iraq's parliament approves draft constitution.

October 2005 - Five million copies of draft constitution are printed and distributed across Iraq.

October 11, 2005 - The Iraqi Islamic Party - the main Sunni Arab political party - says it will support the constitution, after winning guarantees from Shi'ite and Kurdish lawmakers to consider amendments to the charter if it is approved.

October 12, 2005 - Parliament approves mechanisms for considering constitutional amendments.

October 13, 2005 - Iraqi detainees and hospital patients begin casting ballots ahead of nationwide vote.

October 15, 2005 - National referendum on accepting or rejecting the proposed constitution

December 15, 2005 - Date that elections for a permanent government take place if the constitution is ratified. If the constitution is not ratified, this is the date by which elections for a new national assembly are to be held.