Iraq 2004 timeline
8 Nine US soldiers die when their Black Hawk crashes near Falluja.
9 An explosion near a mosque in Baquba, a city to the north of Baghdad, leaves five dead and dozens injured.
12 British Prime Minister Tony Blair acknowledges that WMD may never be found in Iraq.
15 Iraq's top religious leader Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani makes his first ever public statement on the political process, insisting that elections should be held before any transfer of power to an interim government.
The new Iraqi dinar enters circulation.
20 UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan agrees to consider sending a delegation to assist the United States with the transition to self- rule in Iraq.
28 US Secretary of State Colin Powell says it is possible that WMD will be found in Iraq. Meanwhile, US National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice says that Iraq may not have had chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons.
3 Tony Blair says his government will establish an independent committee to investigate prewar intelligence on Iraq's WMD.
6 President Bush announces the formation of a nine-member commission to investigate intelligence failures that led to the war in Iraq.
10 At least 50 people are killed and dozens injured when a car bomb is detonated at a police station in Iskandariya, 25 miles south of Baghdad. Another suicide car bombing targets an army recruiting centre killing 47 people.
23 A UN team concludes that elections will not be feasible before late 2004/early 2005 and that an alternative method should be found for the hand over of sovereignty to Iraq by 30 June.
8 The Iraqi Governing Council signs the interim constitution that includes a bill of rights and a system of checks and balances. It names Islam as a "source of legislation", grants Kurds some measure of autonomy, sets aside 25 per cent of the seats in the legislature for women and calls for nationwide elections by 31 January 2005.
A series of bomb blasts in mosques in Karbala and Baghdad claims the lives of 200 people at the climax of the Ashura festivities, one of the holy days in Shia doctrine.
19 US President George W Bush marks the first anniversary of the invasion of Iraq by calling the first day of the war a "day of deliverance" for the Iraqi people.
28 US occupation forces close Moqtada Al-Sadr's newspaper Al- Hawza, claiming it was inciting anti-American violence. Thousands of Al-Sadr's supporters flood the Baghdad streets in protest.
1 Four US private security contractors are killed in an ambush in Falluja city when Iraqi gunmen attack their vehicles. The bodies are dragged through the streets and mutilated.
4 US administrator Paul Bremer announces that an arrest warrant has been issued against Moqtada Al- Sadr for his alleged role in the April 2003 killing of rival cleric Ayatollah Sayed Abdul-Majid Al- Khoei.
Al-Sadr's followers rout Iraqi security forces in Kufa, Najaf, Nasiriya, Basra, and Baghdad, and take over government offices.
6 US troops block the entrances to Falluja and launch military raids killing at least 600 Iraqi civilians. At least 40 people die when a US helicopter launches missiles into a mosque in the city.
18 Spanish Prime Minister Jose Zapatero orders all Spanish troops out of Iraq as soon as possible.
The US military charges six soldiers after photographs of American soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners are published.
23 Bremer announces an easing of the purge of members of Saddam Hussein's ruling Baath Party. The policy change allows thousands of former Baathists to return to positions in the military and government bureaucracy.
1 The New Yorker magazine reports it has a copy of a report by Major General Antonio Taguba which concludes that Iraqi prisoners were subjected to "sadistic, blatant and wanton criminal abuses" at Abu Ghraib prison.
5 CBS News' 60 Minutes II airs more graphic photographs of abuse of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib.
7 Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Joint Chiefs Chairman General Richard Myers, and acting Army Secretary Les Brownlee testify before the Armed Services committees of the House and Senate on reports of abuse of Iraqi detainees by US soldiers.
8 A video posted on an Islamic militant Web site shows the beheading of Nicholas Berg, a US civilian whose body is found near Baghdad. 17 A suicide bomber kills the president of the Iraqi Governing Council (IGC), Ezzedine Salim, during a visit to the main headquarters of the US occupation forces in Iraq.
20 US troops raid a house and office used by Iraq Governing Council member Ahmed Chalabi.
1 The US-appointed Iraqi Governing Council dissolves itself following the announcement of the appointment of Ghazi Al-Yawar as interim president and Dr Iyad Allawi as interim prime minister.
8 The UN Security Council unanimously approves Resolution 1546 sponsored by the United States and Great Britain, to end the formal occupation of Iraq on 30 June and transfer "full sovereignty" to an interim Iraqi government. The resolution sets an early 2006 deadline for the withdrawal of the US-led multinational force and gives the Iraqi government control over its oil revenues.
19 A US aircraft fires two missiles at a house in a residential neighbourhood in Falluja allegedly used by associates of Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, killing 22 people, including three women and five children.
28 The US transfers sovereignty to Iraq two days ahead of schedule in an apparent bid to foil disruptions by insurgents. Former US governor Paul Bremer leaves the country.
The US commission investigating the attacks of 11 September 2001 reports that there is "no credible evidence" that Iraq and Al-Qaeda co- operated in the attacks.
2 Saddam Hussein appears before an Iraqi judge and is charged with crimes including the 1988 use of poison gas against Iraqi Kurds and the 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Eleven other former Baath Party officials are also arraigned.
6 Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi signs a law that allows him broad powers to impose a state of emergency.
14 A suicide car bomber blows himself up at the gates of the US- fortified Green Zone, killing 11 people and injuring dozens more.
18 A US airstrike approved by Prime Minister Allawi on suspected foreign militants in Falluja
demolishes a house and kills 14 people.
The US Senate releases a scathing report saying pre-war intelligence claiming Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction was wrong. Democratic Senator John Rockefeller calls it "the most devastating losses and intelligence failures in the history of the nation".
British Prime Minister Tony Blair accepts responsibility for flaws in the country's pre-war intelligence on Iraq's weapons programme.
1 Coordinated car bombings near four Christian churches in Baghdad and another in Mosul kill 12 people and wound 27.
7 US Marines and Iraqi government forces battle militia fighters loyal to Moqtada Al-Sadr in Najaf, reportedly killing 300 insurgents over two days. US warplanes drop a bomb on Najaf's main cemetery.
8 Iraqi officials order the arrest of former Iraqi National Congress leader Ahmed Chalabi on counterfeiting charges.
15-18 An Iraqi National Conference meets in Baghdad to nominate a 100-seat national assembly that will act as a parliament until elections can be held in January 2005.
19 Fighting between US forces and Shia insurgents in the Baghdad slum of Sadr City kills 50 Iraqis.
A Pentagon investigation concludes that the abuses at Abu Ghraib were the result of individual misconduct, lack of discipline and failure of leadership.
27 Grand Ayatollah Ali Al- Sistani's brokers an agreement between Al-Sadr and the occupation forces. Najaf and Kufa are to become "demilitarised zones", off limits to both militias and foreign military forces.
Three mortar shells land in the grounds of the main mosque in Kufa, killing 27 Iraqis and wounding 63.
30 An independent commission investigating the Abu Ghraib prison abuse says senior Pentagon officials share part of the blame for the "sadism" and "chaos" that occurred there.
7 Forty Iraqis and one US soldier die in gun battles between US troops and forces loyal to Moqtada Al-Sadr in the Sadr City neighbourhood of Baghdad.
13 In Falluja, US fighter planes kill 20 and wound 39 in strikes aimed at a suspected meeting place for operatives working with the militant leader Abu Musab Al- Zarqawi.
14 In Baghdad, a suicide car bomb kills 47 people and wounds 114 outside police headquarters.
US airstrikes south of Falluja kill 44 people and injure 27.
17 A US military court sentences Spec. Armin J Cruz to eight months in prison after he pleads guilty to abusing inmates at the Abu Ghraib prison. Cruz confessed to forcing inmates to crawl naked on the floor and making them simulate sex acts.
22 The Al-Qaeda-linked group Al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad beheads two Americans, while a third British hostage Kenneth Bigley remains in their custody.
Interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, speaking to a joint meeting of the US Congress and Senate, thanks the US for liberating his country.
At least 35 children and seven adults are killed in a series of bombings in Baghdad. 141 people are injured, including a number of US soldiers.
7 Moqtada Al-Sadr's top aide announces that Shia militiamen will hand over their weapons as part of a peace initiative in Baghdad's Sadr City and other areas.
Charles Duelfer, the chief US weapons inspector, presents a report to the Senate showing that, although Saddam Hussein wished to acquire them, Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction.
8 Kenneth Bigley is beheaded by Al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad.
12 Iraq regains its vote at the United Nations after the General Assembly concludes its failure to pay its dues is due to circumstances beyond its control.
17 Insurgents firebomb five Christian churches in Baghdad.
19 Insurgents kidnap Margaret Hassan, the British-Iraqi director of Care International in Iraq. The organisation suspends operations in the country.
Staff Sgt. Ivan (Chip) Frederick pleads guilty to five charges in connection with the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib, and is sentenced to eight years in prison.
The International Atomic Energy Agency reports that 350 tonnes of explosives are missing and probably looted from Al-Qaqaa, a former Iraqi military facility.
A study in The Lancet medical journal estimates that the war in Iraq caused nearly 100,000 Iraqi deaths that would not have occurred otherwise.
4 The medical relief agency Doctors Without Borders announces it is ending operations in Iraq because of deteriorating security.
7 Prime Minister Iyad Allawi declares emergency martial law for 60 days across most of Iraq, as American soldiers and Marines launch an assault on insurgents in Falluja.
9 Iraq's most prominent Sunni party, the Iraqi Islamic Party, withdraws from the interim Iraqi government. The Muslim Scholars Association, a group of respected Sunni clerics, calls for a boycott of the coming elections.
15 US military commanders announce that Falluja is under their control.
17 Margaret Hassan is reported to have been killed by her kidnappers.
19 Iraqi troops backed by US soldiers raid the Abu Hanifa mosque, the most revered Sunni mosque in Baghdad.
1 The Pentagon announces that, in preparation for Iraqi elections on 30 January 2005, it will increase its forces in Iraq by nearly 12,000 troops, bringing the total number of US troops to about 150,000, the highest level since the invasion of March 2003.
3 A car bomb kills 18 people outside a Shia mosque in Baghdad and heavily damages the mosque. Almost simultaneously, several dozen militants attack a Baghdad police station, killing 12 officers. All those killed are Shias.
9 Twenty-three Shia political groups form the United Iraqi Alliance in preparation for January's elections, backed by Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani.
13 A suicide bomber kills 13 people and wounds 19 at the entrance to Baghdad's Green Zone on the first anniversary of Saddam Hussein's capture by US soldiers.
15 A bomb kills seven people at a Shia shrine in Karbala.
21 A suicide bomber kills 22 US personnel, including 19 soldiers, at the American military camp in Mosul.
Compiled by Omayma Abdel-Latif