Iraq, a nation of nearly 26-million people, faces many obstacles in the months ahead. A volatile Sunni-Shiite divide and large areas that are virtual no-go zones for both Westerners and the country's own security forces serve as a backdrop for the Jan. 30 elections and subsequent decisions on a new constitution and legislature.
Dec. 21 _ At least 19 killed, about 60 wounded in suicide bombing at U. S. base.
Oct. 1 _ Assault to retake insurgent stronghold was launched.
April 28 _ Photos of some American soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison surfaced.
March 31 _ Crowds dragged mutilated bodies of four American contractors through the city and strung two of them up from a bridge.
Nov. 8 _ U.S. forces fought their way into the city eventually taking control from the insurgents.
July 28 _ Car bomb at police station killed 70.
Feb. 11 _ Car bomb at army recruiting center killed 47.
May 17 _ Head of Governing Council assassinated in suicide car bombing.
Sept. 30 _ String of bombs killed 35 children at government-sponsored celebration.
Oct. 19 _ Local director of CARE kidnapped and later killed.
Feb. 10 _ Insurgents targeted security and police forces; truck bomb outside precinct killed 53.
Feb. 18 _ Truck bombs outside Polish base killed 10 and wounded 65 coalition members.
April 21 _ Five suicide car bombers at police stations killed 74, wounded 160.
May 8 _ Insurgents bombed oil pipeline, slashing exports by 25 percent.
April 26 _ U.S. troops rolled into Shiite holy city.
March 8 _ Governing Council signed landmark interim constitution.
May 28 _ Governing Council chose Ayad Allawi as prime minister of interim government.
June 1 _ Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer named president of incoming government.
June 28 _ U.S.-led coalition transferred sovereignty to interim Iraqi government.
Nov. 21 _ Authorities set Jan. 30, 2005, for the nation's first election since the collapse of Saddam Hussein's dictatorship.
Abductions by month (date captured):
Note: Some dates are approximate; when unknown, dates are listed by when kidnapping was reported. List as of Dec. 21, 2004.
Freed _ 180
Killed _ 63
Missing _ 67
Unconfirmed _ 6
Note: List as of Dec. 22, 2004.
Note: Confirmed as of Dec. 23, 2004.
IRAQI SECURITY FORCES ON DUTY
Note: Confirmed as of Dec. 15, 2004.
IRAQI OIL INDUSTRY
Attacks on oil and gas facilities and personnel:
Crude oil exports:
QUALITY OF LIFE INDICATORS
Estimated prewar level 0.83
+ July not available
Average amount of electric generated nationwide:
Estimated prewar level 3,199
The United States currently has 148,000 troops deployed to Iraq. More than 25,000 troops, or about 15 percent of the coalition force, come from other countries.
South Korea: 3,600
El Salvador: 380
Czech Rep.: 90
Note: List as of Dec. 22, 2004.
Will stay as lon as needed.
Will stay as long as needed.
Plans to increase to 850 troops.
+ Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania
+ South Korea
+ Czech Republic
February after elections.
Partial withdrawal after January elections.
After January elections.
300, Dec. 20.
+ New Zealand
60, Sept. 15.
423, Sept. 9.
51, July 19.
140, June 30 (still have 10)
370, May 12.
+ Dominican Republic
302, May 4.
1,300, May 4.
160, April 4.
115, Feb 4.