Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn Fast Facts

A U.S. Army 3rd Division 3-7 Infantry Specialist John Earle from Weymouth, Massachusetts, mans a frontline position with his platoon March 29, 2003 near the Iraqi city of Karbala. The 3rd Infantry Division's push northward toward Baghdad has been delayed 4-6 days due to foul weather and guerilla raids that have taken a toll on the flow of supply lines to frontline troops.

(CNN)Here's a look at the Iraq War which was known as Operation Iraqi Freedom until September 2010, when it was renamed Operation New Dawn. In December 2011, the last US troops in Iraq crossed the border into Kuwait, marking the end of the almost-nine year war.


October 16, 2002 - US President George W. Bush signs a congressional resolution authorizing him to go to war to disarm Iraq if Iraqi President Saddam Hussein refuses to give up weapons of mass destruction in compliance with United Nations Security Council resolutions.
    November 8, 2002 - The UN Security Council adopts Resolution 1441, giving Iraq a final chance to comply with its "disarmament obligations" and outlining strict new weapons inspections with the goal of completing the disarmament process. The resolution threatens "serious consequences" as a result of Iraq's "continued violations of its obligations."
    February 5, 2003 - US Secretary of State Colin Powell makes the case to the UN that Hussein poses an imminent threat.
    February 14, 2003 - UN Chief Weapons Inspector Hans Blix reports to the UN Security Council that his team has found no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
    March 17, 2003 - Bush issues an ultimatum to Hussein and his family - leave Iraq within 48 hours or face military action.
    March 19, 2003 - Bush announces US and coalition forces have begun military action against Iraq.
    March 20, 2003 - Hussein speaks on Iraqi TV, calling the coalition's attacks "shameful crimes against Iraq and humanity."
    March 23, 2003 - Pfc. Jessica Lynch and other members of the 507th Maintenance Company are ambushed and captured outside Nasiriyah, Iraq.
    April 1, 2003 - Lynch is rescued from a hospital by US forces.
    April 9, 2003 - Coalition forces take Baghdad. A large statue of Hussein is toppled in Firdos Square. The White House declares "the regime is gone."
    May 1, 2003 - Speaking on the USS Abraham Lincoln, Bush declares "major combat operations" over, although some fighting continues.
    May 22, 2003 - The UN Security Council approves a resolution acknowledging the US and Great Britain's right to occupy Iraq.
    July 22, 2003 - Hussein's sons, Uday and Qusay, are killed by US forces.
    December 13, 2003 - Hussein is captured in a "spider hole" in Tikrit. This is not confirmed until December 14 by the US Defense Department.
    June 28, 2004 - The handover of sovereignty to the interim Iraqi government takes place two days before the June 30 deadline previously announced by the US-led coalition.
    June 30, 2004 - The coalition turns over legal control of Hussein and 11 other former top Iraqi officials to the interim Iraqi government. The United States retains physical custody of the men.
    July 1, 2004 - Hussein makes his first appearance in court. He is charged with a variety of crimes, including the invasion of Kuwait and the gassing of the Kurds.
    September 6, 2004 - The number of US troops killed in Iraq reaches 1,000.