Contending For Iraq

RISE AND FALL OF REVOLTS AGAINST SADDAM HUSSEIN. Baathist Party Strayed from Original Ideals To Gain Absolute Control Over Iraqi Society. Saddam Hussein is striking decisive blows to the internal revolts challenging his grip on power. But efforts to maintain Baathist party rule are likely to face long-term Shiite and Kurdish resistance. Here, a closer look at the key factions in the country's power struggle. DEEP DIVISIONS IN IRAQ

Feb. 28, 1991: President Bush halts rapid advance of coalition forces. Anti-Saddam protests erupt in Basra and spread through Shiite-dominated southern Iraq.

March 6: Kurdish rebels in the north say thousands of guerrillas are engaging government forces.

March 8: Republican Guard troops loyal to Saddam regain control of Basra after fierce fighting.

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March 12: Iraqi opposition groups meeting in Beirut announce plans to replace Saddam.

March 15: Republican Guard units storm holy city of Karbala. Thousands of refugees flee toward Kuwait.

March 16: Saddam appeals for support, promises democratic reforms once revolt is crushed.

March 20: Kurdish rebels take over major oil producing city of Kirkuk and claim control of Kurdish region.

March 27: Riots break out in the border town of Safwan, as Iraqi refugees mob Saudi food aid trucks.

March 28: Baghdad launches offensive against Kurdish rebels.

April 1: Loyalists crush Kurdish rebellion in Erbil, Dahuk, and Kirkuk.

April 2: Turkish soldiers block borders against at least 220,000 Kurdish refugees fleeing Iraq.

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