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US-Iran Crisis – Timeline

On this page you will find a timeline of the recent event that led up to the US-Iran Crisis of 2019-2020. The page will be updated as the situation develops.January 4, 2020: Sweden and NATO temporarily stop the training of Iraqi security forces in Iraq.

January 5, 2020: A number of key announcements on both sides are made. US President Donald Trump issues a threat to strike 52 key Iranian targets if Iran makes good on its retaliation threat. The number 52 is chosen as it represents the number of US hostages taken by Iran between November 4, 1979 and January 20, 1981). Iraq announces that its parliament has adopted a resolution to ask the US military to vacate the country. Iran announces that it would no longer respect the restrictions placed on its uranium enrichment; in effect abandoning its own side of the 2015 nuclear agreement. The US had abandoned the agreement under US President Donald Trump.

January 6, 2020: Iranian state media report that “millions of people” in a funeral procession accompany General Qassem Soleimani’s remains on the streets of Tehran. A eulogist suggests that every Iranian should put aside US$1, making a total of $80m to be used to place a bounty on President Donald Trump’s head. US House Democrats propose placing a restriction on the powers of President Donald Trump to take any new military action against Iran.

January 7, 2020: Iran’s parliament votes to classify all US soldiers as terrorists. Soleimani’s burial ceremonies scheduled to take place in his hometown of Kerman are postponed after a stampede breaks out in the procession, leading to more than 56 deaths and hundreds injured.

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December 27, 2019: A rocket attack kills a US civilian and injures several US and Iraqi soldiers in a military base near Kirkuk, Iraq. The Iran-backed Hezbollah Brigades militia is blamed by the US for the attack.

December 29, 2019: The US retaliates the rocket attack by carrying out a series of airstrikes against five Hezbollah brigades bases in Syria and Iraq. Pentagon says that the airstrikes were in retaliation for repeated targeting of bases housing US soldiers by the Hezbollah brigades.

December 31, 2019: Protesters attempt to storm the US embassy in Baghdad, angered by the US airstrikes. The embassy gates are breached at some point, as the Iraqi security forces fail to stop protesters from accessing the so-called Green Zone, the ultra-high security buffer zone where the US embassy is located.

December 31, 2019: US President Donald Trump promises action in response to the storming of its embassy in Baghdad, boasting that “this will not be another Beghazi”.

January 3, 2020: A drone strike directed from a US military base in Qatar kills top Iranian General and Commander of the Quds Brigade, Qassem Soleimani on his way from the Baghdad airport. Soleimani is the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s special force Quds, and his attack is carried out under orders of US President Donald Trump who has labelled him a terrorist and a threat to American lives in the region. Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a top leader of the Hashed al-Shaabi militia (People’s Mobilization Forces), is also killed in the strike. Iranian President Hassan Rohani promises revenge for Soleimani’s death.

January 7, 2020: The Pentagon issues a statement indicating that Iran fired ballistic missiles targeted at several locations in Iraq where US interests are located, including the al-Asad base. This is confirmed by White House spokeswoman, who also indicates that President Donald Trump has been notified and is studying the situation. No reports of casualties.

January 8, 2020: US President Trump indicates that “all is well”, even as Ayatollah Khameini calls the missile strike a “slap in the face” for the US.

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