The War on Terror Timeline
How It All Went Down
Concession to extract oil
British investor William K. D’Arcy is granted a 60-year concession to extract oil by Mozafar’od – Din, Shah of Iran.
Anglo-Persian Oil Company established
British investors established the Anglo-Persian Oil Company—the forerunner of British Petroleum.
Foreign investors adopt the “redline agreement”
Foreign investors adopt the “redline agreement” allocating Iraq’s oil fields for development by the companies of the US, Britain, the Netherlands, and France.The United States is granted a 23.75 interest in Iraq’s oil fields.
Mohammed Reza Pahlavi succeeded the throne
Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran, with the support of the British and Russian governments replaces his father on the throne of Iran.
The United Nations develops a partition plan for Palestine
The United Nations develops a partition plan for Palestine.With the British mandate, which had granted Britain the authority to govern Palestine due to expire the following year, the UN proposes that Palestine be divided into separate Jewish and Arab nations.
Israel declares its independence
Israel declares its independence as the British mandate expires. Palestinians will reject the UN Partition plan and with the aid of neighboring Arab nations, will declare war against Israel.
Iran’s parliament votes to nationalize Iran’s oil fields.
Mohammed Mosaddeq elected Prime Minister
Mohammed Mosaddeq, who had led the movement in the parliament for the nationalization of Iran’s oil, is elected prime minister.
British and American intelligence agencies help orchestrate a coup removing Iranian prime minister, Mohammed Mosaddeq from office, and restoring the Shah of Iran to power.
Representatives from five oil producing nations (Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela) meet in Baghdad to discuss production and pricing strategies. They found OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. By 1973 another eight countries will join (Algeria, Ecuador, Gabon, Indonesia, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates).
Ayatollah Khomeini arrested
The Ayatollah Khomeini is arrested of his opposition to the Shah’s modernization campaign.He will spend the fifteen years in exile in Turkey, Iraq, and France.
Six Day War
With the armies of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan gathering at is border, Israel launches an air strike initiating the Six Day War. Israel will defeat the Arab nations and seize the West Bank, Sinai Peninsula, Gaza Strip, and Golan Heights.
Jewish Holy Day Attack
Egypt and Syria attack Israel on Yom Kippur, a Jewish holy day. The United States pledges to provide the tanks and planes needed to rebuild the hard-hit Israeli army.
Arab member of OPEC announce an embargo on oil sales to the United States in retaliation for American support of Israel during the Yom Kippur War. Oil prices jump 400% from $3 to $12 per barrel during the six-month embargo.
President Jimmy Carter brings Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to Camp David where they adopt the Camp David Accords returning the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt and laying out a framework for future talks.
Shah of Iran flees the country
Faced with a growing revolutionary movement, the Shah of Iran flees the country. Within the week the exiled spiritual leader of the revolutionary movement, the Ayatollah Khomeini will return to Iran.
American Embassy stormed
Iranian students storm the American embassy in Tehran and take 66 persons captive. Most women and African Americans will be released, but 51 American citizens will be held for 444 days.
Soviet Troops deployed
Soviet troops are deployed in Afghanistan to support the pro-Soviet communist government that is facing a growing Islamic nationalist movement.
Operation Eagle Claw
President Carter orders an American military operation to rescue the American hostages in Iran. It was a public, humiliating debacle.
The exiled Shah of Iran dies in Egypt.
Oil prices climb
Oil prices climb to $35 per barrel as the Iran-Iraq War leads to reduced production in both countries.
52 American Hostage released
The fifty-two American hostages still held by Iran are released.
Egyptian President Sadat is killed
Egyptian President Sadat is killed by Arab extremists opposed to the Camp David Accords signed by Sadat in 1978.
The last Soviet troops are withdrawn
The last Soviet troops are withdrawn from Afghanistan after a failed ten-year effort to prop up a pro-Soviet communist government.
Oslo Accords signed
Israel’s Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat sign the Oslo Accords in Washington, D.C. In the accords Israel recognizes the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and the PLO acknowledges Israel’s sovereignty. The two leaders further agree to a framework for future discussion surrounding the gradual withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank and the extension of supervised autonomy to the Palestinians.
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is shot and killed
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is shot and killed by an Israeli hardliner who opposes the agreement reached in the Oslo Accords to turn over portions of the West Bank to the Palestinians.
The Taliban take Kabul and control of the country
The Taliban, a military-political organization of Pashtun Sunnis, primarily from the southern regions of Afghanistan, take Kabul and control of the country, torn by civil war since the withdrawal of the Soviets in 1989.
Two commercial airliners are hijacked and crashed
Two commercial airliners are hijacked and crashed into New York City’s World Trade Towers. A third hijacked airliner is crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. A fourth crashes in a field in Pennsylvania after its passengers rush the hijackers forcing the jet to the ground. Almost 3000 people are killed in the attacks coordinated by Al Qaeda, a radical Islamic organization based in Afghanistan.
American air strikes on Kabul
American air strikes on Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, and Taliban strongholds in Jalalabad and Kandahar mark the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom. US ground forces will also join the Northern Alliance to drive the Taliban was from Kabul by mid November.
Congress passes the Patriot Act with little dissent
Congress passes the Patriot Act with little dissent. The act expands the search and electronic surveillance powers of federal agencies while investigating persons suspected of terrorism.
Hamid Karzai is selected to head an interim government in Afghanistan
Hamid Karzai, a former mujahedeen and disillusioned Taliban supporter, is selected to head an interim government in Afghanistan. On 9 October 2004 he will be elected president of Afghanistan under the nation’s new constitution adopted the previous January.
President George W. Bush Union Address
In his State of the Union Address, President George W. Bush labels Iraq, Iran, and North Korea the “axis of evil.”
President George W. Bush Second Union Address
In his State of the Union Address, President George W. Bush repeats his accusation against Iraq and its president Saddam Hussein and reaffirms his commitment to a foreign policy course labeled the Bush Doctrine: preemptive action is justified when launched in order to protect national security.
Operation Iraqi Freedom
US planes strike targets in Baghdad launching Operation Iraqi Freedom. American, British, Australian, and Polish troop commence the land invasion on 20 March.
On the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, beneath a banner proclaiming “Mission Accomplished,” President George W. Bush declares that “major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.”15
Saddam Hussein is captured near Tikrit
Former Iraq president Saddam Hussein is captured near Tikrit, ending his seven-month evasion of coalition forces.
Afghanistan adopts a new constitution
Afghanistan adopts a new constitution.
President George W. Bush announces that he will send an additional 20,000 troops to Iraq as part of a shift in American military strategy. Under this new strategy, labeled “the surge,” American troops will pacify and protect individual neighborhoods rather than combat sectarian violence through mobile patrols.
More troops to be sent
President Barack Obama announces that an additional 30,000 American troops will be sent to Afghanistan bringing US and NATO troop totals to more than 140,000.
Osama Bin Laden Killed
Osama Bin Laden is killed by American Special Forces in a surprise raid against his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.