A trainee in the new Iraqi army jumping for cover as the first recruits showed off their fighting skills at a desert camp. - Gulf News Archives Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

2003 - The first recruits to the fledgling New Iraqi Army showed off their fighting skills at a desert camp where the United States-led occupiers hope to turn out 35,000 soldiers in a year. An initial batch of 750 soldiers at the Kirkush camp, near the Iranian border northeast of Baghdad, included ex-members of Saddam Hussain’s disbanded army and Kurdish Peshmerga rebels who until five months ago had been fighting one another.

Other important events

1882 - British forces occupy Cairo.

1916 - Tanks are used for the first time in war, in a British attack on German lines near the Somme in France.

1947 - Typhoon Kathleen hits Boso Peninsula and Kanto region in Japan, causing massive flooding, 1,930 people are killed.

1987 - Soviet Union and US sign an agreement to limit the chances for accidental nuclear war.

2003 - A fire at Saudi Arabia’s largest prison, Al Hair, in Riyadh kills 67 inmates.

2008 - Zimbabwe’s opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai signs a power-sharing agreement with President Robert Mugabe.

2015 - Malcolm Turnbull is sworn in as Australia’s new prime minister.