These are some key dates in the history of Iraq:
5000-2000 B.C.—Sumer culture.
A.D. 750-1258—Abbasid Caliphate rules eastern Muslim world with headquarters in Baghdad.
1912—Founding of Turkish Petroleum Co. (controlling Iraq reserves).
1920—League of Nations formally gives Britain mandate to control three provinces of old Ottoman empire, now called Iraq.
1921—British install a king in Iraq, Faisal I, born in what's now Saudi Arabia.
1927—Oil discovered near Kirkuk.
1932—Iraq achieves formal independence from British mandate.
1958—King Faisal II assassinated. Military government led by Abdul Karim Kassem takes over.
1963—Kassem killed in military coup.
1967—Iraq joins war against Israel, breaks off diplomatic relations with U.S.
1968—Baath party seizes power.
1972—Iraq Petroleum Co., a consortium of Western firms, is nationalized.
1979—Saddam Hussein becomes president.
1980—Iraq invades Iran.
1984—U.S. resumes diplomatic relations.
1988—In March, 5,000 Kurds killed by poison gas in town of Halabja. In August, cease-fire ends war with Iran.
1989—President George Bush signs directive to give aid to Iraq.
1990—Iraq invades Kuwait.
1991—U.S. troops force Iraq out of Kuwait, institute "no-fly zones."
1992—Kurds elect a parliament.
(c) 2003, Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.