10 Days to warBBC Two
BBC Two10 Days to war
Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 March 2008, 13:15 GMT
Key events: 12 March 2003
Key events from 12 March 2003 in the build up to the start of the Iraq war.


Tony Blair

The Ministry of Defence seeks independent legal advice on legality of war. At Prime Minister's Questions, Tony Blair says of the legality of war: "Resolution 1441 gives the legal basis for war," and, "I have said on many occasions that we as a country would not do anything that did not have a proper legal basis." Sceptical MPs urge the Government to release the legal advice it has been given.


The Prime Minister then outlines six tests for the Iraqi regime to prove it has disarmed. These include demands for Saddam Hussein to make a public statement admitting he has weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and for Baghdad to allow scientists to be questioned abroad before a set deadline.

UN weapons inspectors

Bill Clinton makes speech praising Blair and urging more time for Saddam Hussein to comply with Blix setting the timetable. He says Blix should set the timetable and the US should agree with it. He poses the question: "do they want that support bad enough to let Mr Blix finish his work and give enough time to do that?"


The US Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA) team - a 200-strong group who will run post-war Iraq - are undergoing intense training at the highly secretive military base in Fort Meade, just outside Washington.

Major General Tim Cross is in Whitehall meetings at DfID the Foreign Office and the Ministry of Defence following his US trip to meet with the ORHA team.

A UK Joint Intelligence Committee report warns: "Reporting since [February] suggests that senior Al Qaeda associate Abu Musab al Zarqawi has established sleeper cells in Baghdad,to be activated during a US occupation of the city."


Kofi Annan
United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan
United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan writes in Le Monde: "If they cannot agree on a common position and if some of them launch action without the support of the Council, the legitimacy of this action will be widely questioned and it will not obtain the political support required to ensure its success in the long term, once the military phase is over."

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

banner watch listen bbc sport Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific