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Middle East

2003 – Invasion of Iraq

20 March

The 2003 invasion of Iraq lasted from 20 March to 1 May 2003 and signalled the start of the Iraq War, which was dubbed Operation Iraqi Freedom by the United States (prior to 19 March, the mission in Iraq was called Operation Enduring Freedom, a carry over from the War in Afghanistan). The invasion consisted of 21 days of major combat operations, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and deposed the Ba’athist government of Saddam Hussein. The invasion phase consisted primarily of a conventionally fought war which concluded with the capture of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad by American forces.

160,000 troops were sent by the Coalition into Iraq, during the initial invasion phase, which lasted from 19 March to 9 April 2003. About 130,000 were sent from the USA alone, with about 28,000 British Soldiers, Australia (2,000), and Poland (194). 36 other countries were involved in its aftermath. In preparation for the invasion, 100,000 U.S. troops were assembled in Kuwait by 18 February. The coalition forces also received support from Kurdish irregulars in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Continue reading “2003 – Invasion of Iraq”

2010 – Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, is officially opened

4 January

Burj Khalifa, known as Burj Dubai before its inauguration, is a mega-tall skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is the tallest artificial structure in the world, standing at 829.8 m (2,722 ft). Continue reading “2010 – Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, is officially opened”

1916 – WWI: Battle of Magdhaba – Allied forces defeat Turkish forces in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula

23 December

The Battle of Magdhaba took place on this day in 1916 during the Defence of Egypt section of the Sinai and Palestine Campaign in the First World War. The attack by the Anzac Mounted Division took place against an entrenched Ottoman Army garrison to the south and east of Bir Lahfan in the Sinai desert, some 18–25 miles (29–40 km) inland from the Mediterranean coast. This Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) victory against the Ottoman Empire garrison also secured the town of El Arish after the Ottoman garrison withdrew. Continue reading “1916 – WWI: Battle of Magdhaba – Allied forces defeat Turkish forces in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula”

962 – Arab–Byzantine wars: Under the future Emperor Nicephorus Phocas, Byzantine troops storm the city of Aleppo

23 December

Nicephorus II Phocas (c. 912 – 10–11 December 969) was Byzantine Emperor from 963 to 969. His brilliant military exploits contributed to the resurgence of the Byzantine Empire during the 10th century. Continue reading “962 – Arab–Byzantine wars: Under the future Emperor Nicephorus Phocas, Byzantine troops storm the city of Aleppo”

730 – Battle of Marj Ardabil

9 December

The Battle of Marj Ardabil was a battle fought on the plains surrounding the city of Ardabil in northwestern Iran in 730. A Khazar army led by Barjik, the son of the Khazar khagan, invaded the Umayyad provinces of Jibal and Adharybaydjian in retaliation for Caliphate attacks on Khazaria during the course of the decades-long Khazar-Arab War of the early 8th century. Continue reading “730 – Battle of Marj Ardabil”

1922 – Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon enter the tomb of Tutankhamun

26 November

Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon become the first people to enter the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun in over 3000 years. Continue reading “1922 – Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon enter the tomb of Tutankhamun”

1917 – The Balfour Declaration

2 November

The Balfour Declaration was a letter from the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Walter Rothschild,, a leader of the British Jewish community, for transmission to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland. Continue reading “1917 – The Balfour Declaration”

1973 – Arab-Israeli War begins on Yom Kippur

6 October – On this day

The Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War, or October War also known as the 1973 Arab–Israeli War, began on this day in 1973 when a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria attacked Israel. Continue reading “1973 – Arab-Israeli War begins on Yom Kippur”

1180 – Manuel I Komnenos ‘the Great’ dies

24 September – On this day

Manuel I Komnenos (or Comnenus) (28 November 1118 – 24 September 1180) was a Byzantine Emperor of the 12th century who reigned over a crucial turning point in the history of Byzantium. Continue reading “1180 – Manuel I Komnenos ‘the Great’ dies”

1982 – The Sabra and Shatila massacre begins

16 September – On this day

The Sabra and Shatila massacre was the killing of between 762 and 3,500 civilians, mostly Palestinians and Lebanese Shiites, in the Sabra neighborhood and the adjacent Shatila refugee camp in Beirut,Lebanon. Continue reading “1982 – The Sabra and Shatila massacre begins”

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