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Iraq
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{{Other uses|Iraq (disambiguation)}}{{pp-semi-indef}}{{pp-move-indef}}{{Coord|33|N|44|E|display=title}}







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>{{native nameکۆماری عێراق|italics=off}}}}| common_name = Iraq| image_flag = Flag of Iraq.svg| image_coat = Coat_of_arms_of_Iraq.svg | image_map = Iraq (orthographic projection).svg| image_map2 = Iraq - Location Map (2013) - IRQ - UNOCHA.svgaritalics=off}}"Takbir" {{small>(transliteration)"God is the Greatest"}}Mawtini"()(File:United States Navy Band - Mawtini.ogg)| capital = Baghdad33N26type:city}}| largest_city = capitalModern Standard Arabic>Kurdish}}| religion = Islam| demonym = IraqiFederation>Federal parliamentary republicPresident of Iraq>President| leader_name1 = Fuad MasumPrime Minister of Iraq>Prime Minister| leader_name2 = Haider al-AbadiCouncil of Representatives of Iraq>Council of Representatives| area_rank = 58th | area_magnitude = 1 E11| area_km2 = 437,072| area_sq_mi = 169,234 | percent_water = 1.1Iraq}}{{UN_Population|ref}}| population_estimate_rank = 36thYear}}| population_census =| population_census_year =| population_density_km2 = 82.7| population_density_sq_mi = 183.9 | population_density_rank = 125thPUBLISHER=INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND, | GDP_PPP_rank = 34th| GDP_PPP_year = 2018| GDP_PPP_per_capita = $17,394| GDP_PPP_per_capita_rank = 71st| GDP_nominal_year = 2018| GDP_nominal = $202.922 billion| GDP_nominal_rank = 47th| GDP_nominal_per_capita = $5,091| GDP_nominal_per_capita_rank = 88thIndependence {{nobold>from the United Kingdom}}Kingdom of Iraq>Kingdom14 July Revolution>Republic declared| established_date3 = 14 July 1958Constitution of Iraq>Current constitution| established_date4 = 15 October 2005| Gini_year = 2012| Gini_change = | Gini = 29.5 PUBLISHER=DATA.WORLDBANK.ORG, 2016-08-17, | Gini_rank =| HDI_year = 2014| HDI_change = increase| HDI = 0.654 DATE=2015 PUBLISHER=UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME, 9, | HDI_rank = 121st| currency = Iraqi dinar| currency_code = IQD| country_code = IRQArabia Standard Time>AST| utc_offset = +3| drives_on = rightTelephone numbers in Iraq>+964| cctld = .iq| footnote_a = Constitution of Iraq, Article 4 (1st).}}Iraq ({{IPAc-en|ɪ|ˈ|r|æ|k}}, {{IPAc-en|audio=En-us-Iraq.ogg|ɪ|ˈ|r|ɑː|k}} or {{IPAc-en|aɪ|ˈ|r|æ|k}}; {{transl|ar|al-‘Irāq}}; {{transl|ku|Eraq}}), officially known as the Republic of Iraq ( {{transl|ar|{{Audio|Ar-JumhÅ«riyyat al-‘Irāq.oga|JumhÅ«rÄ«yyat al-‘Irāq|help=no}}}}; {{transl|ku|Komari Eraq}}), is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest and Syria to the west. The capital, and largest city, is Baghdad. The main ethnic groups are Arabs and Kurds; others include Assyrians, Turkmen, Shabakis, Yazidis, Armenians, Mandeans, Circassians and Kawliya.Article 125 of the Iraqi Constitutionweblink Around 95% of the country's {{#expr:{{replace|{{UN_Population|Iraq}}|,||}}/1e6 round 0}} million citizens are Muslims, with Christianity, Yarsan, Yezidism and Mandeanism also present. The official languages of Iraq are Arabic and Kurdish.Iraq has a coastline measuring {{convert|58|km|mi|0|abbr=in}} on the northern Persian Gulf and encompasses the Mesopotamian Alluvial Plain, the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range and the eastern part of the Syrian Desert.WEB,weblink Declaration of Principles for a Long-Term Relationship of Cooperation and Friendship Between the Republic of Iraq and the United States of America, 2007-11-26, Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run south through Iraq and into the Shatt al-Arab near the Persian Gulf. These rivers provide Iraq with significant amounts of fertile land.The region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, historically known as Mesopotamia, is often referred to as the cradle of civilisation. It was here that mankind first began to read, write, create laws and live in cities under an organised government—notably Uruk, from which "Iraq" is derived. The area has been home to successive civilisations since the 6th millennium BC. Iraq was the centre of the Akkadian, Sumerian, Assyrian and Babylonian empires. It was also part of the Median, Achaemenid, Hellenistic, Parthian, Sassanid, Roman, Rashidun, Umayyad, Abbasid, Ayyubid, Mongol, Safavid, Afsharid and Ottoman empires.WEB,weblink Top 10 Battles for the Control of Iraq, Livescience.com, 2009-03-23, Iraq's modern borders were mostly demarcated in 1920 by the League of Nations when the Ottoman Empire was divided by the Treaty of Sèvres. Iraq was placed under the authority of the United Kingdom as the British Mandate of Mesopotamia. A monarchy was established in 1921, and the Kingdom of Iraq gained independence from the UK in 1932. In 1958, the monarchy was overthrown and the Iraqi Republic created. Iraq was controlled by the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party from 1968 until 2003. After an invasion by the United States and its allies in 2003, Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party was removed from power, and multi-party parliamentary elections were held in 2005. The US presence in Iraq ended in 2011,NEWS,weblink Deadly Iraq war ends with exit of last U.S. troops, Basu, Moni, 2011-12-18, CNN.com, 18 December 2011, but the Iraqi insurgency continued and intensified as fighters from the Syrian Civil War spilled into the country. Out of the insurgency came a highly destructive group calling itself ISIL, which took large parts of the north and west. It has since been largely defeated. Disputes over the sovereignty of Iraqi Kurdistan continue. A referendum about the full sovereignty of Iraqi Kurdistan was held on 25 September 2017.Iraq is a founding member of the UN as well as of the Arab League, OIC, Non-Aligned Movement and the IMF. It is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of 19 governorates (provinces) and one autonomous region (Iraqi Kurdistan). The country's official religion is Islam. Culturally, Iraq has a very rich heritage and celebrates the achievements of its past in pre-Islamic times and is known for its poets. Its painters and sculptors are among the best in the Arab world, some of them being world-class as well as producing fine handicrafts, including rugs and carpets.

Name

{{anchor|Etymology}}The Arabic name {{transl|ar|DIN|al-ʿIrāq}} has been in use since before the 6th century. There are several suggested origins for the name. One dates to the Sumerian city of Uruk (Biblical Hebrew Erech) and is thus ultimately of Sumerian origin, as Uruk was the Akkadian name for the Sumerian city of , containing the Sumerian word for "city", UR.WEB,weblink Online Etymology Dictionary, Etymonline.com, 1979-12-10, 2009-03-23, WEB, Halloran, John A., Sumerian Lexicon,weblink 2000, The name of the very ancient city of URUK- City of Gilgamesh is made up from the UR-city and UK- thought to mean existence (a-ku, a-Ki & a-ko. The Aramaic and Arabic root of IRQ and URQ denotes rivers or tributaries at the same times referring to condensation (of water)., An Arabic folk etymology for the name is "deeply rooted, well-watered; fertile"."often said to be from Arabic `araqa, covering notions such as "perspiring, deeply rooted, well-watered," which may reflect the impression the lush river-land made on desert Arabs. etymonline.com; see also "BOOK, Rassam, Suha, Christianity in Iraq: Its Origins and Development to the Present Day, 2005-10-31, Gracewing Publishing, 978-0-85244-633-1, 9, During the medieval period, there was a region called ʿIrāq ʿArabī ("Arabian Iraq") for Lower Mesopotamia and ʿIrāq ʿajamī ("Foreign Iraq"),WEB,weblink Iraq, Britannica Online Encyclopedia, for the region now situated in Central and Western Iran.WEB, ʿERĀQ-E ʿAJAM(Ī),weblink Encyclopaedia Iranica, 2016-08-17, The term historically included the plain south of the Hamrin Mountains and did not include the northernmost and westernmost parts of the modern territory of Iraq.BOOK, Magnus Thorkell Bernhardsson, Reclaiming a Plundered Past: Archaeology And Nation Building in Modern Iraq,weblink 2005, University of Texas Press, 978-0-292-70947-8, 97, The term Iraq did not encompass the regions north of the region of Tikrit on the Tigris and near Hīt on the Euphrates., Prior to the middle of the 19th century, the term Eyraca Arabic was commonly used to describe Iraq.BOOK, Salmon, Thomas, A New Geographical and Historical Grammar, 1767, Sands, Murray, and Cochran,weblink The term Sawad was also used in early Islamic times for the region of the alluvial plain of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, contrasting it with the arid Arabian desert. As an Arabic word, means "hem", "shore", "bank", or "edge", so that the name by folk etymology came to be interpreted as "the escarpment", viz. at the south and east of the Jazira Plateau, which forms the northern and western edge of the "al-Iraq arabi" area.JOURNAL, Boesch, Hans H., El-'Iraq, Economic Geography, 1 October 1939, 15, 4, 329, 10.2307/141771, 141771, The Arabic pronunciation is {{IPA-ar|ʕiˈrɑːq|}}. In English, it is either {{IPAc-en|ɪ|ˈ|r|ɑː|k}} (the only pronunciation listed in the Oxford English Dictionary and the first one in Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary) or {{IPAc-en|ɪ|ˈ|r|æ|k}} (listed first by MQD), the weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20080314173050weblink">American Heritage Dictionary, and the Random House Dictionary. The pronunciation {{IPAc-en|aɪ|ˈ|r|æ|k}} is frequently heard in US media.In accordance with the 2005 Constitution, the official name of the state is the "Republic of Iraq" (Jumhūrīyyat al-‘Irāq).

History

Pre-historic era

Between 65,000 BC and 35,000 BC northern Iraq was home to a Neanderthal culture, archaeological remains of which have been discovered at Shanidar CaveEdwards, Owen (March 2010). "The Skeletons of Shanidar Cave". Smithsonian. Retrieved 17 October 2014.This same region is also the location of a number of pre-Neolithic cemeteries, dating from approximately 11,000 BC.Ralph S. Solecki, Rose L. Solecki, and Anagnostis P. Agelarakis (2004). The Proto-Neolithic Cemetery in Shanidar Cave. Texas A&M University Press. pp. 3–5. {{ISBN|9781585442720}}.Since approximately 10,000 BC, Iraq (alongside Asia Minor and The Levant) was one of centres of a Caucasoid Neolithic culture (known as Pre-Pottery Neolithic A) where agriculture and cattle breeding appeared for the first time in the world. The following Neolithic period (PPNB) is represented by rectangular houses. At the time of the pre-pottery Neolithic, people used vessels made of stone, gypsum and burnt lime (Vaisselle blanche). Finds of obsidian tools from Anatolia are evidences of early trade relations.Further important sites of human advancement were Jarmo (circa 7100 BC), the Halaf culture and Ubaid period (between 6500 BC and 3800 BC).Carter, Robert A. and Philip, Graham Beyond the Ubaid: Transformation and Integration in the Late Prehistoric Societies of the Middle East (Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization, Number 63) The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago (2010) {{ISBN|978-1-885923-66-0}} p.2, atweblink "Radiometric data suggest that the whole Southern Mesopotamian Ubaid period, including Ubaid 0 and 5, is of immense duration, spanning nearly three millennia from about 6500 to 3800 B.C". These periods show ever-increasing levels of advancement in agriculture, tool-making and architecture.

Ancient Iraq

{{one source|section|date=June 2014}}File:Cylinder Seal, Old Babylonian, formerly in the Charterhouse Collection 09.jpg|thumb|upright=1.45|right|Cylinder Seal, Old Babylonian Period, c.1800 BC, hematite. The king makes an animal offering to Shamash. This seal was probably made in a workshop at SipparSipparThe historical period in Iraq truly begins during the Uruk period (4000 BC to 3100 BC), with the founding of a number of Sumerian cities, and the use of Pictographs, Cylinder seals and mass-produced goods.Crawford 2004, p. 75The "Cradle of Civilization" is thus a common term for the area comprising modern Iraq as it was home to the earliest known civilisation, the Sumerian civilisation, which arose in the fertile Tigris-Euphrates river valley of southern Iraq in the Chalcolithic (Ubaid period).It was here, in the late 4th millennium BC, that the world's first writing system and recorded history itself were born. The Sumerians were also the first to harness the wheel and create City States, and whose writings record the first evidence of Mathematics, Astronomy, Astrology, Written Law, Medicine and Organised religion.The language of the Sumerians is a language isolate. The major city states of the early Sumerian period were; Eridu, Bad-tibira, Larsa, Sippar, Shuruppak, Uruk, Kish, Ur, Nippur, Lagash, Girsu, Umma, Hamazi, Adab, Mari, Isin, Kutha, Der and Akshak.The cities to the north like Ashur, Arbela (modern Irbil) and Arrapkha (modern Kirkuk) were also extant in what was to be called Assyria from the 25th century BC; however, at this early stage, they were Sumerian ruled administrative centres.File:P1150890 Louvre stèle de victoire Akkad AO2678 rwk.jpg|thumb|Victory stele of Naram-Sin of AkkadNaram-Sin of Akkad

Bronze Age

In the 26th century BC, Eannatum of Lagash created what was perhaps the first empire in history, though this was short-lived. Later, Lugal-Zage-Si, the priest-king of Umma, overthrew the primacy of the Lagash dynasty in the area, then conquered Uruk, making it his capital, and claimed an empire extending from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean.Roux, Georges (1993), "Ancient Iraq" (Penguin) It was during this period that the Epic of Gilgamesh originates, which includes the tale of The Great Flood.From the 29th century BC, Akkadian Semitic names began to appear on king lists and administrative documents of various city states. It remains unknown as to the origin of Akkad, where it was precisely situated and how it rose to prominence. Its people spoke Akkadian, an East Semitic language.NEWS,weblink Akkad, Ancient History Encyclopedia, 2017-08-18, During the 3rd millennium BC, a cultural symbiosis developed between the Sumerians and the Akkadians, which included widespread bilingualism. The influences between Sumerian and Akkadian are evident in all areas, including lexical borrowing on a massive scale—and syntactic, morphological, and phonological convergence. This mutual influence has prompted scholars to refer to Sumerian and Akkadian of the 3rd millennium BC as a Sprachbund.Deutscher, Guy (2007). Syntactic Change in Akkadian: The Evolution of Sentential Complementation. Oxford University Press US. pp. 20–21. {{ISBN|978-0-19-953222-3}}. From this period, the civilisation in Iraq came to be known as Sumero-Akkadian.File:Bill of sale Louvre AO3765.jpg|thumb|Bill of sale of a male slave and a building in ShuruppakShuruppakBetween the 29th and 24th centuries BC, a number of kingdoms and city states within Iraq began to have Akkadian speaking dynasties; including Assyria, Ekallatum, Isin and Larsa.However, the Sumerians remained generally dominant until the rise of the Akkadian Empire (2335–2124 BC), based in the city of Akkad in central Iraq. Sargon of Akkad, originally a Rabshakeh to a Sumerian king, founded the empire, he conquered all of the city states of southern and central Iraq, and subjugated the kings of Assyria, thus uniting the Sumerians and Akkadians in one state. He then set about expanding his empire, conquering Gutium, Elam and had victories that did not result into a full conquest against the Amorites and Eblaites of Ancient Syria.After the collapse of the Akkadian Empire in the late 22nd century BC, the Gutians occupied the south for a few decades, while Assyria reasserted its independence in the north. This was followed by a Sumerian renaissance in the form of the Neo-Sumerian Empire. The Sumerians under king Shulgi conquered almost all of Iraq except the northern reaches of Assyria, and asserted themselves over the Gutians, Elamites and Amorites, destroying the first and holding off the others.An Elamite invasion in 2004 BC brought the Sumerian revival to an end. By the mid 21st century BC, the Akkadian speaking kingdom of Assyria had risen to dominance in northern Iraq. Assyria expanded territorially into the north eastern Levant, central Iraq, and eastern Anatolia, forming the Old Assyrian Empire (circa 2035–1750 BC) under kings such as Puzur-Ashur I, Sargon I, Ilushuma and Erishum I, the latter of whom produced the most detailed set of law yet written{{Citation needed|date=August 2017}}. The south broke up into a number of Akkadian speaking states, Isin, Larsa and Eshnunna being the major ones.During the 20th century BC, the Canaanite speaking Amorites began to migrate into southern Mesopotamia. Eventually, they began to set up small petty kingdoms in the south, as well as usurping the thrones of extant city states such as Isin, Larsa and Eshnunna.File:F0182 Louvre Code Hammourabi Bas-relief Sb8 rwk.jpg|thumb|Hammurabi, depicted as receiving his royal insignia from Shamash. Relief on the upper part of the stele of Hammurabi's code of laws.]]One of these small Amorite kingdoms founded in 1894 BC contained the then small administrative town of Babylon within its borders. It remained insignificant for over a century, overshadowed by older and more powerful states, such as Assyria, Elam, Isin, Ehnunna and Larsa.In 1792 BC, an Amorite ruler named Hammurabi came to power in this state, and immediately set about building Babylon from a minor town into a major city, declaring himself its king. Hammurabi conquered the whole of southern and central Iraq, as well as Elam to the east and Mari to the west, then engaged in a protracted war with the Assyrian king Ishme-Dagan for domination of the region, creating the short-lived Babylonian Empire. He eventually prevailed over the successor of Ishme-Dagan and subjected Assyria and its Anatolian colonies. By the middle of the eighteenth century BC, the Sumerians had lost their cultural identity and ceased to exist as a distinct people.BOOK, Wolkstein, Diane, Kramer, Samuel Noah, Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth: Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer, 1983, Harper&Row Publishers, New York City, New York, 0-06-090854-8, 118-119, harv, BOOK, Kramer, Samuel Noah, The Sumerians: Their History, Culture, and Character, 1963, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois, 0-226-45238-7, 71-72, harv, Genetic and cultural analysis indicates that the Marsh Arabs of southern Iraq are probably their most direct modern descendants.WEB, N, Al-Zahery, M, Pala, V, Battaglia, V, Grugni, MA, Hamod, B, Hooshiar Kashani, A, Olivieri, A, Torroni, AS, Santachiara-Benerecetti, O, Semino, 4 October 2011, In search of the genetic footprints of Sumerians: a survey of Y-chromosome and mtDNA variation in the Marsh Arabs of Iraq.,weblink ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, US National Library of Medicine, 10.1186/1471-2148-11-288, harv, BOOK, Ghareeb, Edmund, Dougherty, Beth, 2004, Historical Dictionary of Iraq,weblink Historical Dictionaries of Asia, Oceania, and the Middle East, 44, Lanham, Maryland, Scarecrow Press, 9780810865686, 156, harv, BOOK, Kubba, Sam, The Iraqi Marshlands and the Marsh Arabs: The Ma'dan, Their Culture and the Environment, 2011, Itahca Press, Reading, England, 978-0-86372-333-9, 6,weblink harv, It is from the period of Hammurabi that southern Iraq came to be known as Babylonia, while the north had already coalesced into Assyria hundreds of years before. However, his empire was short-lived, and rapidly collapsed after his death, with both Assyria and southern Iraq, in the form of the Sealand Dynasty, falling back into native Akkadian hands. The foreign Amorites clung on to power in a once more weak and small Babylonia until it was sacked by the Indo-European speaking Hittite Empire based in Anatolia in 1595 BC. After this, another foreign people, the Language Isolate speaking Kassites, originating in the Zagros Mountains of Ancient Iran, seized control of Babylonia, where they were to rule for almost 600 years, by far the longest dynasty ever to rule in Babylon.Iraq was from this point divided into three polities: Assyria in the north, Kassite Babylonia in the south central region, and the Sealand Dynasty in the far south. The Sealand Dynasty was finally conquered by Kassite Babylonia circa 1380 BC.The Middle Assyrian Empire (1365–1020 BC) saw Assyria rise to be the most powerful nation in the known world. Beginning with the campaigns of Ashur-uballit I, Assyria destroyed the rival Hurrian-Mitanni Empire, annexed huge swathes of the Hittite Empire for itself, annexed northern Babylonia from the Kassites, forced the Egyptian Empire from the region, and defeated the Elamites, Phrygians, Canaanites, Phoenicians, Cilicians, Gutians, Dilmunites and Arameans. At its height, the Middle Assyrian Empire stretched from The Caucasus to Dilmun (modern Bahrain), and from the Mediterranean coasts of Phoenicia to the Zagros Mountains of Iran. In 1235 BC, Tukulti-Ninurta I of Assyria took the throne of Babylon, thus becoming the very first native Mesopotamian to rule the state.File:Jehu-Obelisk-cropped.jpg|thumb|Jehu, king of Israel, bows before Shalmaneser III of AssyriaAssyriaDuring the Bronze Age collapse (1200–900 BC), Babylonia was in a state of chaos, dominated for long periods by Assyria and Elam. The Kassites were driven from power by Assyria and Elam, allowing native south Mesopotamian kings to rule Babylonia for the first time, although often subject to Assyrian or Elamite rulers. However, these East Semitic Akkadian kings, were unable to prevent new waves of West Semitic migrants entering southern Iraq, and during the 11th century BC Arameans and Suteans entered Babylonia from The Levant, and these were followed in the late 10th to early 9th century BC by the migrant Chaldeans who were closely related to the earlier Arameans.

Iron Age

After a period of comparative decline in Assyria, it once more began to expand with the Neo Assyrian Empire (935–605 BC). This was to be the largest empire the region had yet seen, and under rulers such as Adad-Nirari II, Ashurnasirpal, Shalmaneser III, Semiramis, Tiglath-pileser III, Sargon II, Sennacherib, Esarhaddon and Ashurbanipal, Iraq became the centre of an empire stretching from Persia, Parthia and Elam in the east, to Cyprus and Antioch in the west, and from The Caucasus in the north to Egypt, Nubia and Arabia in the south.The Arabs and the Chaldeans are first mentioned in written history (circa 850 BC) in the annals of Shalmaneser III.It was during this period that an Akkadian influenced form of Eastern Aramaic was adopted by the Assyrians as the lingua franca of their vast empire, and Mesopotamian Aramaic began to supplant Akkadian as the spoken language of the general populace of both Assyria and Babylonia. The descendant dialects of this tongue survive amongst the Mandaeans of southern Iraq and Assyrians of northern Iraq to this day.File:Loewenjagd -645-635 Niniveh.JPG|thumb|Relief showing a lion hunt, from the north palace of NinevehNinevehIn the late 7th century BC, the Assyrian Empire tore itself apart with a series of brutal civil wars, weakening itself to such a degree that a coalition of its former subjects; the Babylonians, Chaldeans, Medes, Persians, Parthians, Scythians and Cimmerians, were able to attack Assyria, finally bringing its empire down by 605 BC.Georges Roux – Ancient Iraq

Babylonian and Persian periods

The short-lived Neo-Babylonian Empire (620–539 BC) succeeded that of Assyria. It failed to attain the size, power or longevity of its predecessor; however, it came to dominate The Levant, Canaan, Arabia, Israel and Judah, and to defeat Egypt. Initially, Babylon was ruled by yet another foreign dynasty, that of the Chaldeans, who had migrated to the region in the late 10th or early 9th century BC. Its greatest king, Nebuchadnezzar II, rivalled another non native ruler, the ethnically unrelated Amorite king Hammurabi, as the greatest king of Babylon. However, by 556 BC, the Chaldeans had been deposed from power by the Assyrian born Nabonidus and his son and regent Belshazzar.In the 6th century BC, Cyrus the Great of neighbouring Persia defeated the Neo-Babylonian Empire at the Battle of Opis and Iraq was subsumed into the Achaemenid Empire for nearly two centuries. The Achaemenids made Babylon their main capital. The Chaldeans and Chaldea disappeared at around this time, though both Assyria and Babylonia endured and thrived under Achaemenid rule (see Achaemenid Assyria). Little changed under the Persians, having spent three centuries under Assyrian rule, their kings saw themselves as successors to Ashurbanipal, and they retained Assyrian Imperial Aramaic as the language of empire, together with the Assyrian imperial infrastructure, and an Assyrian style of art and architecture.{{Citation needed|date=August 2017}}File:Diadochen1.png|thumb|The Greek-ruled Seleucid Empire (in yellow) with capital in SeleuciaSeleuciaIn the late 4th century BC, Alexander the Great conquered the region, putting it under Hellenistic Seleucid rule for over two centuries.WEB,weblink Seleucia on the Tigris, Umich.edu, 1927-12-29, 2011-06-19, The Seleucids introduced the Indo-Anatolian and Greek term Syria to the region. This name had for many centuries been the Indo-European word for Assyria and specifically and only meant Assyria; however, the Seleucids also applied it to The Levant (Aramea, causing both the Assyria and the Assyrians of Iraq and the Arameans and The Levant to be called Syria and Syrians/Syriacs in the Greco-Roman world.Rollinger, Robert (2006). "The terms "Assyria" and "Syria" again" (PDF). Journal of Near Eastern Studies 65 (4): 284–287. doi:10.1086/511103.File:Hatra ruins.jpg|thumb|Flourished in the 2nd century, the strongly fortified Parthian city of Hatra shows a unique blend of both Classical and (Iranian architecture|Persian]] architecture and art.WEB,weblink The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites, Iraq., WEB,weblink HATRA – Encyclopaedia Iranica, electricpulp.com, )The Parthians (247 BC – 224 AD) from Persia conquered the region during the reign of Mithridates I of Parthia (r. 171–138 BC). From Syria, the Romans invaded western parts of the region several times, briefly founding Assyria Provincia in Assyria. Christianity began to take hold in Iraq (particularly in Assyria) between the 1st and 3rd centuries, and Assyria became a centre of Syriac Christianity, the Church of the East and Syriac literature. A number of indigenous independent Neo-Assyrian states evolved in the north during the Parthian era, such as Adiabene, Assur, Osroene and Hatra.The Sassanids of Persia under Ardashir I destroyed the Parthian Empire and conquered the region in 224 AD. During the 240s and 250's AD, the Sassanids gradually conquered the small Neo Assyrian states, culminating with Assur in 256 AD. The region was thus a province of the Sassanid Empire for over four centuries (see also; Asōristān), and became the frontier and battle ground between the Sassanid Empire and Byzantine Empire, with both empires weakening each other, paving the way for the Arab-Muslim conquest of Persia in the mid-7th century.

Middle Ages

File:Abbasids850.png|thumb|upright=1.35|The Abbasid CaliphateAbbasid CaliphateThe Arab Islamic conquest in the mid-7th century AD established Islam in Iraq and saw a large influx of Arabs. Under the Rashidun Caliphate, the prophet Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law, Ali, moved his capital to Kufa when he became the fourth caliph. The Umayyad Caliphate ruled the province of Iraq from Damascus in the 7th century. (However, eventually there was a separate, independent Caliphate of Córdoba in Iberia.)The Abbasid Caliphate built the city of Baghdad in the 8th century as its capital, and the city became the leading metropolis of the Arab and Muslim world for five centuries. Baghdad was the largest multicultural city of the Middle Ages, peaking at a population of more than a million,WEB,weblink Largest Cities Through History, Geography.about.com, 2011-04-06, 2011-06-19, and was the centre of learning during the Islamic Golden Age. The Mongols destroyed the city and burned its library during the siege of Baghdad in the 13th century.WEB,weblink The Islamic World to 1600: The Arts, Learning, and Knowledge (Conclusion), Acs.ucalgary.ca, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20090815080358weblink">weblink August 15, 2009, In 1257, Hulagu Khan amassed an unusually large army, a significant portion of the Mongol Empire's forces, for the purpose of conquering Baghdad. When they arrived at the Islamic capital, Hulagu Khan demanded its surrender, but the last Abbasid Caliph Al-Musta'sim refused. This angered Hulagu, and, consistent with Mongol strategy of discouraging resistance, he besieged Baghdad, sacked the city and massacred many of the inhabitants.WEB,weblink's_Trip_Three.html, Battuta's Travels: Part Three – Persia and Iraq, Sfusd.k12.ca.us, 2010-04-21,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20080423014420weblink">weblink April 23, 2008, yes, Estimates of the number of dead range from 200,000 to a million.WEB, Frazier, Ian,weblink Annals of history: Invaders: Destroying Baghdad, The New Yorker, 2005-04-25, 4, 2013-01-25, File:Bagdad1258.jpg|thumb|The sack of Baghdad by the Mongols.]]The Mongols destroyed the Abbasid Caliphate and Baghdad's House of Wisdom, which contained countless precious and historical documents. The city has never regained its previous pre-eminence as a major centre of culture and influence. Some historians believe that the Mongol invasion destroyed much of the irrigation infrastructure that had sustained Mesopotamia for millennia. Other historians point to soil salination as the culprit in the decline in agriculture.WEB,weblink Irrigation Systems, Ancient, Waterencyclopedia.com, 2009-01-11, 2010-04-21, The mid-14th-century Black Death ravaged much of the Islamic world.WEB,weblink The Islamic World to 1600: The Mongol Invasions (The Black Death), The University of Calgary, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20090131180742weblink">weblink January 31, 2009, The best estimate for the Middle East is a death rate of roughly one-third.WEB, Kathryn Jean Lopez,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20120216075334weblink">weblink 2012-02-16, yes, Q&A with John Kelly on The Great Mortality on National Review Online, Nationalreview.com, 14 September 2005, 9 November 2016, In 1401, a warlord of Mongol descent, Tamerlane (Timur Lenk), invaded Iraq. After the capture of Baghdad, 20,000 of its citizens were massacred.WEB,weblink Tamerlane – Timur the Lame Biography, Asianhistory.about.com, 2010-02-15, 2010-04-21, Timur ordered that every soldier should return with at least two severed human heads to show him (many warriors were so scared they killed prisoners captured earlier in the campaign just to ensure they had heads to present to Timur).WEB,weblink 14th century annihilation of Iraq, Mert Sahinoglu, 2011-06-19, Timur also conducted massacres of the indigenous Assyrian Christian population, hitherto still the majority population in northern Mesopotamia, and it was during this time that the ancient Assyrian city of Assur was finally abandoned.^ Nestorians, or Ancient Church of the East at Encyclopædia Britannica

Ottoman Iraq

File:Cedid Atlas (Middle East) 1803.jpg|thumb|upright=1.6|The 1803 Cedid Atlas, showing the area today known as Iraq divided between "Al Jazira" (pink), "Kurdistan" (blue), "Iraq" (green), and "Al ShamAl ShamDuring the late 14th and early 15th centuries, the Black Sheep Turkmen ruled the area now known as Iraq. In 1466, the White Sheep Turkmen defeated the Black Sheep and took control. From the earliest 16th century, in 1508, as with all territories of the former White Sheep Turkmen, Iraq fell into the hands of the Iranian Safavids. Owing to the century long Turco-Iranian rivalry between the Safavids and the neighbouring Ottoman Turks, Iraq would be contested between the two for more than a hundred years during the frequent Ottoman-Persian Wars.With the Treaty of Zuhab in 1639, most of the territory of present-day Iraq eventually came under the control of Ottoman Empire as the eyalet of Baghdad as a result of wars with the neighbouring rival, Safavid Iran. Throughout most of the period of Ottoman rule (1533–1918), the territory of present-day Iraq was a battle zone between the rival regional empires and tribal alliances.By the 17th century, the frequent conflicts with the Safavids had sapped the strength of the Ottoman Empire and had weakened its control over its provinces. The nomadic population swelled with the influx of bedouins from Najd, in the Arabian Peninsula. Bedouin raids on settled areas became impossible to curb.WEB,weblink Iraq – The Ottoman Period, 1534–1918, Countrystudies.us, 2011-06-19, File:Layard Nineveh.jpg|thumb|English archaeologist Austen Henry Layard in the ancient Assyrian city of NinevehNinevehDuring the years 1747–1831, Iraq was ruled by a Mamluk dynasty of GeorgianBOOK, Reidar Visser, Basra, the Failed Gulf State: Separatism And Nationalism in Southern Iraq,weblink 2005, LIT Verlag Münster, 978-3-8258-8799-5, 19, 2016-08-17, origin who succeeded in obtaining autonomy from the Ottoman Porte, suppressed tribal revolts, curbed the power of the Janissaries, restored order and introduced a programme of modernisation of economy and military. In 1831, the Ottomans managed to overthrow the Mamluk regime and imposed their direct control over Iraq. The population of Iraq, estimated at 30 million in 800 AD, was only 5 million at the start of the 20th century.WEB,weblink Population crises and cycles in history A review of the book Population Crises and Population cycles by Claire Russell and W.M.S. Russell., 0-9504066-5-1, valerieyule.com.au, 2016-08-17, During World War I, the Ottomans sided with Germany and the Central Powers. In the Mesopotamian campaign against the Central Powers, British forces invaded the country and initially suffered a major defeat at the hands of the Turkish army during the Siege of Kut (1915–1916). However, subsequent to this the British began to gain the upper hand, and were further aided by the support of local Arabs and Assyrians. In 1916, the British and French made a plan for the post-war division of Western Asia under the Sykes-Picot Agreement.p.8 {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20160317073736weblink |date=2016-03-17 }} British forces regrouped and captured Baghdad in 1917, and defeated the Ottomans. An armistice was signed in 1918.During World War I, the Ottomans were defeated and driven from much of the area by the United Kingdom during the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. The British lost 92,000 soldiers in the Mesopotamian campaign. Ottoman losses are unknown but the British captured a total of 45,000 prisoners of war. By the end of 1918, the British had deployed 410,000 men in the area, of which 112,000 were combat troops.{{citation needed|date=June 2014}}

British administration and independent Kingdom

(File:BritsLookingOnBaghdad1941.jpg|thumb|British troops in Baghdad, June 1941.)On 11 November 1920, Iraq became a League of Nations mandate under British control with the name "State of Iraq". The British established the Hashemite king, Faisal I of Iraq, who had been forced out of Syria by the French, as their client ruler. Likewise, British authorities selected Sunni Arab elites from the region for appointments to government and ministry offices.{{Specify|date=April 2007}}BOOK, Tripp, Charles, A History of Iraq,weblink 2002, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-52900-6, 2016-08-17, {{page needed|date=February 2013}}Faced with spiraling costs and influenced by the public protestations of the war hero T. E. LawrenceBOOK, Jeremy, Wilson, Jeremy Wilson, Lawrence of Arabia: The Authorised Biography of T. E. Lawrence, 1998, Sutton, Stroud, 0750918772,weblink The exploits of T.E. Lawrence as British liaison officer in the Arab Revolt, recounted in his work Seven Pillars of Wisdom, made him one of the most famous Englishmen of his generation. This biography explores his life and career including his correspondence with writers, artists and politicians., in The Times, Britain replaced Arnold Wilson in October 1920 with a new Civil Commissioner, Sir Percy Cox.WEB,weblink Oxford DNB article: Cox, Sir Percy Zachariah, Cox managed to quell a rebellion, yet was also responsible for implementing the fateful policy of close co-operation with Iraq's Sunni minority.BOOK, Liam Anderson, Gareth Stansfield, The Future of Iraq: Dictatorship, Democracy, Or Division?,weblink 2005, Palgrave Macmillan, 978-1-4039-7144-9, 6, Sunni control over the levels of power and the distribution of the spoils of office has had predictable consequences- a simmering resentment on the part of the Shi'a..., The institution of slavery was abolished in the 1920s.Britain granted independence to the Kingdom of Iraq in 1932,Ongsotto et.al. Asian History Module-based Learning Ii' 2003 Ed. p69. weblink on the urging of King Faisal, though the British retained military bases, local militia in the form of Assyrian Levies, and transit rights for their forces. King Ghazi ruled as a figurehead after King Faisal's death in 1933, while undermined by attempted military coups, until his death in 1939. Ghazi was followed by his underage son, Faisal II. 'Abd al-Ilah served as Regent during Faisal's minority.On 1 April 1941, Rashid Ali al-Gaylani and members of the Golden Square staged a coup d'état and overthrew the government of 'Abd al-Ilah. During the subsequent Anglo-Iraqi War, the United Kingdom (which still maintained air bases in Iraq) invaded Iraq for fear that the Rashid Ali government might cut oil supplies to Western nations because of his links to the Axis powers. The war started on 2 May, and the British, together with loyal Assyrian Levies,Lyman, p.23 defeated the forces of Al-Gaylani, forcing an armistice on 31 May.A military occupation followed the restoration of the pre-coup government of the Hashemite monarchy. The occupation ended on 26 October 1947, although Britain was to retain military bases in Iraq until 1954, after which the Assyrian militias were disbanded. The rulers during the occupation and the remainder of the Hashemite monarchy were Nuri as-Said, the autocratic Prime Minister, who also ruled from 1930 to 1932, and 'Abd al-Ilah, the former Regent who now served as an adviser to King Faisal II.

Republic and Ba'athist Iraq

File:1958 revolution in Iraq.jpg|thumb|The 14 July Revolution14 July RevolutionIn 1958, a coup d'état known as the 14 July Revolution was led by the Brigadier General Abd al-Karim Qasim. This revolt was strongly anti-imperial and anti-monarchical in nature and had strong socialist elements. Numerous people were killed in the coup, including King Faysal II, Prince Abd al-Ilah, and Nuri al-Sa'id.BOOK, Cleveland, William, A History of the Modern Middle East, 2016, Westview Press, Boulder, CO, Qasim controlled Iraq through military rule and in 1958 he began a process of forcibly reducing the surplus amounts of land owned by a few citizens and having the state redistribute the land. He was overthrown by Colonel Abdul Salam Arif in a February 1963 coup. After the latter's death in 1966, he was succeeded by his brother, Abdul Rahman Arif, who was overthrown by the Ba'ath Party in 1968. Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr became the first Ba'ath President of Iraq but then the movement gradually came under the control of Saddam Hussein, who acceded to the presidency and control of the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC), then Iraq's supreme executive body, in July 1979.In 1979, the Iranian Revolution took place. Following months of cross-border raids between the two countries, Saddam declared war on Iran in September 1980, initiating the Iran–Iraq War (or First Persian Gulf War). Taking advantage of the post-revolution chaos in Iran, Iraq captured some territories in southwest of Iran, but Iran recaptured all of the lost territories within two years, and for the next six years Iran was on the offensive.BOOK, Karsh, Efraim, The Iran–Iraq War, 1980–1988, 2002, Osprey Publishing, Oxford, Oxfordshire, 978-1841763712, {{page needed|date=July 2014}} The war, which ended in stalemate in 1988, had cost the lives of between half a million and 1.5 million people.NEWS, Hardy, Roger,weblink The Iran–Iraq war: 25 years on, BBC News, 2005-09-22, 2011-06-19, In 1981, Israeli aircraft bombed an Iraqi nuclear materials testing reactor at Osirak and was widely criticised at the United Nations.S-RES-487(1981) Security Council Resolution 487 (1981)". United Nations. Retrieved 19 June 2011., WEB,weblink Archived copy, 2011-06-19, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110621231947weblink">weblink 2011-06-21, Jonathan Steele (7 June 2002). "The Bush doctrine makes nonsense of the UN charter". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 November 2010,weblink During the 8-year war with Iran, Saddam Hussein extensively used chemical weapons against Iranians.Tyler, Patrick E. "Officers Say U.S. Aided Iraq in War Despite Use of Gas" New York Times August 18, 2002. In the final stages of the Iran–Iraq War, the Ba'athist Iraqi regime led the Al-Anfal Campaign, a genocidalWEB,weblink The Anfal Campaign Against the Kurds A Middle East Watch Report, Human Rights Watch, 2006-08-14, 2013-01-25, campaign that targeted Iraqi Kurds,BOOK, Black, George, Genocide in Iraq: The Anfal Campaign against the Kurds / Western Asia Watch, 1993,weblink 2007-02-10, Human Rights Watch, New York • Washington • Los Angeles • London, 1-56432-108-8, July 1993, BOOK, Hiltermann, Joost R., Bureaucracy of Repression: The Iraqi Government in Its Own Words / Western Asia Watch, 1994,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20061028211739weblink">weblink 2006-10-28, 2007-02-10, Human Rights Watch, 1-56432-127-4, February 1994, yes, WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20090101055802weblink">weblink 2009-01-01, Charges against Saddam dropped as genocide trial resumes, Agence France-Presse, January 8, 2007, yes, and led to the killing of 50,000–100,000 civilians.BOOK, Hiltermann, J. R., A Poisonous Affair: America, Iraq, and the Gassing of Halabja, 2007, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-87686-5, 134–135,weblink 2016-08-17, Chemical weapons were also used against Iraqi Shia civilians during the 1991 uprisings in Iraq.In August 1990, Iraq invaded and annexed Kuwait. This subsequently led to military intervention by United States-led forces in the First Gulf War. The coalition forces proceeded with a bombing campaign targeting military targetsBOOK, Rick Atkinson, Crusade: The Untold Story of the Persian Gulf War,weblink 1993, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 978-0-395-71083-8, 284–285, 2016-08-17, WEB,weblink The Ameriya Shelter – St. Valentine's Day Massacre, Uruknet.de, 2011-06-19,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110716220215weblink">weblink 2011-07-16, WEB,weblink 'Smarter' bombs still hit civilians, Christian Science Monitor, 2002-10-22, 2011-06-19, and then launched a 100-hour-long ground assault against Iraqi forces in Southern Iraq and those occupying Kuwait.File:Saddam rumsfeld.jpg|thumb|Saddam Hussein meets Donald Rumsfeld during the Iran-Iraq WarIran-Iraq WarIraq's armed forces were devastated during the war. Shortly after it ended in 1991, Shia and Kurdish Iraqis led several uprisings against Saddam Hussein's regime, but these were successfully repressed using the Iraqi security forces and chemical weapons. It is estimated that as many as 100,000 people, including many civilians were killed.NEWS, Ian Black,weblink 'Chemical Ali' on trial for brutal crushing of Shia uprising, The Guardian, 2007-08-22, 2011-06-19, London, During the uprisings the US, UK, France and Turkey, claiming authority under UNSCR 688, established the Iraqi no-fly zones to protect Kurdish and Shiite populations from attacks by the Saddam regime's fixed-wing aircraft (but not helicopters).Iraq was ordered to destroy its chemical and biological weapons and the UN attempted to compel Saddam's government to disarm and agree to a ceasefire by imposing additional sanctions on the country in addition to the initial sanctions imposed following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. The Iraqi Government's failure to disarm and agree to a ceasefire resulted in sanctions which remained in place until 2003. The effects of the sanctions on the civilian population of Iraq have been disputed.Iraq surveys show 'humanitarian emergency' UNICEF Newsline August 12, 1999JOURNAL, Rubin, Michael, Sanctions on Iraq: A Valid Anti-American Grievance?, Middle East Review of International Affairs, 5, 4,weblink 100–115, December 2001, Michael Rubin, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20121028003924weblink">weblink 2012-10-28, Whereas it was widely believed that the sanctions caused a major rise in child mortality, recent research has shown that commonly cited data were fabricated by the Iraqi government and that "there was no major rise in child mortality in Iraq after 1990 and during the period of the sanctions."WEB,weblink Truth and death in Iraq under sanctions, Michael, Spagat, September 2010, Significance (journal), Significance, JOURNAL, Dyson, Tim, Cetorelli, Valeria, 2017-07-01, Changing views on child mortality and economic sanctions in Iraq: a history of lies, damned lies and statistics,weblink BMJ Global Health, en, 2, 2, e000311, 10.1136/bmjgh-2017-000311, 2059-7908, WEB,weblink Saddam Hussein said sanctions killed 500,000 children. That was ‘a spectacular lie.’, Washington Post, 2017-08-04, An oil for food program was established in 1996 to ease the effects of sanctions.Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the George W. Bush administration began planning the overthrow of Saddam's government and in October 2002, the US Congress passed the Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq. In November 2002, the UN Security Council passed UNSCR 1441 and in March 2003 the US and its allies invaded Iraq.

2003–2007

File:SaddamStatue.jpg|thumb|upright|right|float|The April 2003 toppling of Saddam Hussein's statue in Firdos Square in Baghdad shortly after the Iraq WarIraq WarOn 20 March 2003, a United States-organized coalition invaded Iraq, under the pretext that Iraq had failed to abandon its weapons of mass destruction program in violation of UN Resolution 687. This claim was based on documents provided by the CIA and the British governmentWEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100305071446weblink">weblink 2010-03-05, Bush's "16 Words" on Iraq & Uranium: He May Have Been Wrong But He Wasn't Lying, FactCheck.org, July 26, 2004, yes, and were later found to be unreliable.NEWS,weblink There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, 2008-04-28, Borger, Julian, 2004-10-07, Guardian Media Group, guardian.co.uk, London, NEWS, John Simpson: 'The Iraq memories I can't rid myself of',weblink BBC News, 19 March 2013, 2013-03-19, Following the invasion, the United States established the Coalition Provisional Authority to govern Iraq. In May 2003 L. Paul Bremer, the chief executive of the CPA, issued orders to exclude Baath Party members from the new Iraqi government (CPA Order 1) and to disband the Iraqi Army (CPA Order 2).JOURNAL, Pfiffner, James, US Blunders in Iraq: De-Baathification and Disbanding the Army, Intelligence and National Security, February 2010, 25, 1, 76–85, 10.1080/02684521003588120,weblink 16 December 2013, The decision dissolved the largely Sunni Iraqi ArmyNEWS, Fateful Choice on Iraq Army Bypassed Debate,weblink New York Times, 2008-03-17, Michael R., Gordon, and excluded many of the country's former government officials from participating in the country's governance, including 40,000 school teachers who had joined the Baath Party simply to keep their jobs," US Blunders in Iraq" "Intelligence and National Security Vol. 25, No. 1, 76–85, February 2010" helping to bring about a chaotic post-invasion environment.NEWS, Can the joy last?,weblink The Economist, 2011-09-03, An insurgency against the US-led coalition-rule of Iraq began in summer 2003 within elements of the former Iraqi secret police and army, who formed guerilla units. In fall 2003, self-entitled 'jihadist' groups began targeting coalition forces. Various Sunni militias were created in 2003, for example Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The insurgency included intense inter-ethnic violence between Sunnis and Shias.NEWS, U.S. cracks down on Iraq death squads,weblink CNN, 24 July 2006, The Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse scandal came to light, late 2003 in reports by Amnesty International and Associated Press.File:US Navy 031016-N-3236B-043 A marine patrols the streets of Al Faw, Iraq.jpg|thumb|US Marines patrol the streets of Al FawAl FawThe Mahdi Army—a Shia militia created in the summer of 2003 by Muqtada al-Sadr—began to fight Coalition forces in April 2004.NEWS, Who are Iraq's Mehdi Army?,weblink BBC News, 2013-03-04, 2007-05-30, Patrick, Jackson, 2004 saw Sunni and Shia militants fighting against each other and against the new Iraqi Interim Government installed in June 2004, and against Coalition forces, as well as the First Battle of Fallujah in April and Second Battle of Fallujah in November. The Sunni militia Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad became Al-Qaeda in Iraq in October 2004 and targeted Coalition forces as well as civilians, mainly Shia Muslims, further exacerbating ethnic tensions.NEWS, Al Qaeda's hand in tipping Iraq toward civil war,weblink Christian Science Monitor / Al-Quds Al-Arabi, 2006-03-20, In January 2005, the first elections since the invasion took place and in October a new Constitution was approved, which was followed by parliamentary elections in December. However, insurgent attacks were common and increased to 34,131 in 2005 from 26,496 in 2004.Thomas Ricks (2006) Fiasco: 414During 2006, fighting continued and reached its highest levels of violence, more war crimes scandals were made public, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi the leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq was killed by US forces and Iraq's former dictator Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death for crimes against humanity and hanged.NEWS,weblink Saddam death 'ends dark chapter', BBC News, 2006-12-30, 2007-08-18, NEWS,weblink Saddam Hussein's Two Co-Defendants Hanged in Iraq, Bloomberg L.P., 2007-01-15, 2007-08-18, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070930043806weblink">weblink 2007-09-30, WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070323194534weblink">weblink 2007-03-23, Saddam's Former Deputy Hanged in Iraq, Qassim Abdul-Zahra, 2007-03-20, Abcnews.go.com, 2009-03-23, yes, In late 2006, the US government's Iraq Study Group recommended that the US begin focusing on training Iraqi military personnel and in January 2007 US President George W. Bush announced a "Surge" in the number of US troops deployed to the country.WEB, Ferguson, Barbara, Petraeus Says Iraq Troop Surge Working, Arab News, 11 September 2007,weblink 26 December 2009, In May 2007, Iraq's Parliament called on the United States to set a timetable for withdrawalIraq Bill Demands U.S. Troop Withdraw Associated Press, Fox News, 10 May 2007 and US coalition partners such as the UK and Denmark began withdrawing their forces from the country.BBC NEWS 21 February 2007, Blair announces Iraq troops cutAl-Jazeera ENGLISH, 22 February 2007, Blair announces Iraq troop pullout The war in Iraq has resulted in between 151,000 and 1.2 million Iraqis being killed."151,000 civilians killed since Iraq invasion". The Guardian. 10 January 2008."Civilian deaths may top 1 million, poll data indicate". Los Angeles Times. 14 September 2007.

2008–present

{{Seealso|Iraqi Civil War (2014–present)|American-led intervention in Iraq (2014–present)|2017 Iraqi–Kurdish conflict}}In 2008, fighting continued and Iraq's newly trained armed forces launched attacks against militants. The Iraqi government signed the US–Iraq Status of Forces Agreement, which required US forces to withdraw from Iraqi cities by 30 June 2009 and to withdraw completely from Iraq by 31 December 2011.US troops handed over security duties to Iraqi forces in June 2009, though they continued to work with Iraqi forces after the pullout.NEWS, US soldiers leave Iraq's cities,weblink BBC, 2009-06-30, 2009-06-30, On the morning of 18 December 2011, the final contingent of US troops to be withdrawn ceremonially exited over the border to Kuwait. Crime and violence initially spiked in the months following the US withdrawal from cities in mid-2009NEWS, After years of war, Iraqis hit by frenzy of crime,weblink Associated Press, NEWS, Violence Grows in Iraq as American troops withdraw,weblink FOX, 2009-05-09, but despite the initial increase in violence, in November 2009, Iraqi Interior Ministry officials reported that the civilian death toll in Iraq fell to its lowest level since the 2003 invasion.NEWS, Iraqi civilian deaths drop to lowest level of war,weblink Reuters, 2009-11-30, (File:Islamic State Militant Activity In Iraq Syria and Lebanon VOA.png|thumb|Military situation in 2015)Following the withdrawal of US troops in 2011, the insurgency continued and Iraq suffered from political instability. In February 2011, the Arab Spring protests spread to Iraq;NEWS, Egyptian revolution sparks protest movement in democratic Iraq, Liz, Sly,weblink The Washington Post, 12 February 2011, 12 February 2011, but the initial protests did not topple the government. The Iraqi National Movement, reportedly representing the majority of Iraqi Sunnis, boycotted Parliament for several weeks in late 2011 and early 2012, claiming that the Shiite-dominated government was striving to sideline Sunnis.In 2012 and 2013, levels of violence increased and armed groups inside Iraq were increasingly galvanised by the Syrian Civil War. Both Sunnis and Shias crossed the border to fight in Syria.WEB, Salem, Paul, INSIGHT: Iraq's Tensions Heightened by Syria Conflict,weblink Middle East Voices (Voice of America), 3 November 2012, 29 November 2012, In December 2012, Sunni Arabs protested against the government, whom they claimed marginalised them.NEWS, Iraq Sunni protests in Anbar against Nouri al-Maliki,weblink 22 March 2013, BBC News, 28 December 2012, NEWS, Protests engulf west Iraq as Anbar rises against Maliki,weblink 22 March 2013, BBC News, 2 January 2013, During 2013, Sunni militant groups stepped up attacks targeting the Iraq's Shia population in an attempt to undermine confidence in the Nouri al-Maliki-led government.NEWS, Suicide bomber kills 32 at Baghdad funeral march,weblink Associated Press, Fox News, 22 April 2012, 27 January 2012, In 2014, Sunni insurgents belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group seized control of large swathes of land including several major Iraqi cities, like Tikrit, Fallujah and Mosul creating hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons amid reports of atrocities by ISIL fighters.NEWS, Iraq crisis: Battle grips vital Baiji oil refinery,weblink 18 June 2014, BBC, File:Airstrike in Mosul.jpg|thumb|US-led anti-ISIL coalition has conducted air strikes in support of the Mosul offensive, 11 July 2017]]After an inconclusive election in April 2014, Nouri al-Maliki served as caretaker-Prime-Minister.WEB, Spencer Ackerman and agencies,weblink Kerry slaps down Maliki after he accuses Iraqi president of violating constitution, The Guardian, 11 August 2014, 15 November 2014, On 11 August, Iraq's highest court ruled that PM Maliki's bloc is biggest in parliament, meaning Maliki could stay Prime Minister. By 13 August, however, the Iraqi president had tasked Haider al-Abadi with forming a new government, and the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and some Iraqi politicians expressed their wish for a new leadership in Iraq, for example from Haider al-Abadi.WEB, Salama, Vivian,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140813212654weblink">weblink 2014-08-13, Tensions high in Iraq as support for new PM grows, Stripes, 13 August 2014, 15 November 2014, On 14 August, Maliki stepped down as PM to support Mr al-Abadi and to "safeguard the high interests of the country". The US government welcomed this as "another major step forward" in uniting Iraq.WEB,weblink White House hails al-Maliki departure as 'major step forward', The Times, 15 August 2014, 15 November 2014, WEB,weblink Iraq's new prime minister-designate vows to fight corruption, terrorism, Fox News, 2014-08-18, On 9 September 2014, Haider al-Abadi had formed a new government and became the new prime minister.{{Citation needed|date=November 2014}} Intermittent conflict between Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish factions has led to increasing debate about the splitting of Iraq into three autonomous regions, including Sunni Kurdistan in the northeast, a Sunnistan in the west and a Shiastan in the southeast.The Revenge of Geography, p 353, Robert D. Kaplan – 2012In response to rapid territorial gains made by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) during the first half of 2014, and its universally-condemned executions and reported human rights abuses, many states began to intervene against it in the Iraqi Civil War (2014–present). Since the airstrikes started, ISIL has been losing ground in both Iraq and Syria.NEWS, 1 June 2016,weblink Al Jazeera, Report: ISIL losing in Iraq, Syria; gaining in Libya, 26 September 2016, Tens of thousands of civilians have been killed in Iraq in ISIL-linked violence.WEB,weblink Nearly 19,000 civilians killed in Iraq in 21-month period, report says, CNN, 19 January 2016, no,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20161022084819weblink">weblink 22 October 2016, "The world’s lack of outrage over tens of thousands of civilian deaths in Mosul is shameful". The Independent. 21 July 2017. The genocide of Yazidis by ISIL has led to the expulsion, flight and effective exile of the Yazidis from their ancestral lands in Northern Iraq.WEB,weblink The UN has blamed "Islamic State" in the genocide of the Yazidis, 19 March 2015, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, The 2016 Karrada bombing killed nearly 400 civilians and injured hundreds more."In Iraq, terrorism's victims go unnamed". CNN. January 12, 2017. On 17 March 2017, a US-led coalition airstrike in Mosul killed more than 200 civilians."US admits it conducted Mosul air strike 'at location' where '200' civilians died {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20170401144628weblink |date=1 April 2017 }}". The Independent. 26 March 2017. Since 2015, ISIL lost territory in Iraq, including Tikrit in March and April 2015,WEB,weblink Iraq: Parts of Tikrit taken back from ISIS, Alkhshali, Hamdi, Karadsheh, Jomana, 31 March 2015, CNN, Baiji in October 2015,WEB,weblink US praises role of Iranian-backed Shiite militias in Baiji operation, The Long War Journal, Sinjar in November 2015,NEWS, Arango, Tim,weblink Sinjar Victory Bolsters Kurds, but Could Further Alienate U.S. From Iraq, New York Times, 13 November 2015, Ramadi in December 2015,WEB,weblink Iraq Claims a Key Victory Over ISIS in Ramadi, Seizes Government Complex, NBC News, Fallujah in June 2016WEB, Iraqi commander: Fallujah 'fully liberated' from ISIS,weblink Fox News, Fox News Network, and Mosul in July 2017. By December 2017, ISIL had no remaining territory in Iraq, following the 2017 Western Iraq campaign.WEB,weblink Iraq holds victory parade after defeating Islamic State, Ahmed Aboulenein, Reuters, 10 December 2017, 11 December 2017, In September 2017, a referendum was held regarding Kurdish independence in Iraq. 92% of Iraqi Kurds voted in favor of independence.NEWS,weblink 92% of Iraqi Kurds back independence from Baghdad, election commission says - France 24, 2017-09-27, France 24, 2017-11-14, en-US, The referendum was regarded as illegal by the federal government in Baghdad.NEWS,weblink Iraq court rules no region can secede after Kurdish independence bid, 2017-11-06, Reuters,

Geography

(File:Iraq.A2003060.0750.500m.jpg|thumb|Satellite map of Iraq.)File:Iraq map of Köppen climate classification.svg|thumb|Iraq Köppen climate classificationKöppen climate classification{{unreferenced section|date=June 2014}}Iraq lies between latitudes 29° and 38° N, and longitudes 39° and 49° E (a small area lies west of 39°). Spanning {{convert|437072|km2|mi2|0|abbr=on}}, it is the 58th-largest country in the world. It is comparable in size to the US state of California, and somewhat larger than Paraguay.Iraq mainly consists of desert, but near the two major rivers (Euphrates and Tigris) are fertile alluvial plains, as the rivers carry about {{convert|60000000|m3|cuyd|0|abbr=on}} of silt annually to the delta. The north of the country is mostly composed of mountains; the highest point being at {{convert|3611|m|ft|0|abbr=on}} point, unnamed on the map opposite, but known locally as Cheekah Dar (black tent). Iraq has a small coastline measuring {{convert|58|km|mi|0|abbr=on}} along the Persian Gulf. Close to the coast and along the Shatt al-Arab (known as arvandrūd: اروندرود among Iranians) there used to be marshlands, but many were drained in the 1990s.

Climate

Most of Iraq has a hot arid climate with subtropical influence. Summer temperatures average above {{convert|40|°C}} for most of the country and frequently exceed {{convert|48|°C|1}}. Winter temperatures infrequently exceed {{convert|21|°C|1}} with maxima roughly {{convert|15|to|19|°C|°F|1}} and night-time lows {{convert|2|to|5|°C|°F|1}}. Typically, precipitation is low; most places receive less than {{convert|250|mm|in|1|abbr=on}} annually, with maximum rainfall occurring during the winter months. Rainfall during the summer is extremely rare, except in the far north of the country. The northern mountainous regions have cold winters with occasional heavy snows, sometimes causing extensive flooding.

Government and politics

File:Baghdad Convention Center inside.jpg|thumb|Baghdad Convention Center, the current meeting place of the Council of Representatives of IraqCouncil of Representatives of IraqThe federal government of Iraq is defined under the current Constitution as a democratic, federal parliamentary Islamic republic. The federal government is composed of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, as well as numerous independent commissions. Aside from the federal government, there are regions (made of one or more governorates), governorates, and districts within Iraq with jurisdiction over various matters as defined by law.The National Alliance is the main Shia parliamentary bloc, and was established as a result of a merger of Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's State of Law Coalition and the Iraqi National Alliance. The Iraqi National Movement is led by Iyad Allawi, a secular Shia widely supported by Sunnis. The party has a more consistent anti-sectarian perspective than most of its rivals. The Kurdistan List is dominated by two parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party led by Masood Barzani and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan headed by Jalal Talabani. Both parties are secular and enjoy close ties with the West.NEWS, Guide to political groups in Iraq,weblink BBC News, 11 November 2010, In 2010, according to the Failed States Index, Iraq was the world's seventh most politically unstable country.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100628005435weblink">weblink 2010-06-28, Failed States Index Scores 2010, fundforpeace.org, yes, WEB,weblink The Failed States Index 2010, fundforpeace.org, The concentration of power in the hands of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and growing pressure on the opposition led to growing concern about the future of political rights in Iraq.WEB, Freedom in the World 2013,weblink Freedom House, 21, 2013, 2016-08-17, Nevertheless, progress was made and the country had risen to 11th place by 2013.WEB,weblink The Failed States Index 2013, fundforpeace.org, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150206052056weblink">weblink 2015-02-06, In August 2014, al-Maliki's reign came to an end. He announced on 14 August 2014 that he would stand aside so that Haider Al-Abadi, who had been nominated just days earlier by newly installed President Fuad Masum, could take over. Until that point, al-Maliki had clung to power even asking the federal court to veto the president's nomination describing it as a violation of the constitution.NEWS, Iraq's Incumbent PM Nouri Al-Maliki Grows More Isolated As He Clings To Power,weblink 13 August 2014, 14 August 2014, Huffington Post, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140813210044weblink">weblink 13 August 2014, Transparency International ranks Iraq's government as the eighth-most-corrupt government in the world. Government payroll have increased from 1 million employees under Saddam Hussein to around 7 million employees in 2016. In combination with decreased oil prices, the government budget deficit is near 25% of GDP as of 2016.NEWS,weblink Abadi agonistes, The Economist, 0013-0613, 2016-04-21, File:Pre-referendum, pro-Kurdistan, pro-independence rally in Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq 25.jpg|thumb|Pro-independence rally in Iraqi KurdistanIraqi KurdistanSince the establishment of the no–fly zones following the Gulf War of 1990–1991, the Kurds established their own autonomous region.

Law

In October 2005, the new Constitution of Iraq was approved in a referendum with a 78% overall majority, although the percentage of support varying widely between the country's territories.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20060218133809weblink">weblink 2006-02-18, Iraq's Constitution Adopted by Voters, Wagner, Thomas, ABC News, 2005-10-25, 2013-01-25, yes, The new constitution was backed by the Shia and Kurdish communities, but was rejected by Arab Sunnis. Under the terms of the constitution, the country conducted fresh nationwide parliamentary elections on 15 December 2005. All three major ethnic groups in Iraq voted along ethnic lines, as did Assyrian and Turcoman minorities.Law no. 188 of the year 1959 (Personal Status Law)WEB, Iraq Personal Status Law of 1959 (ABA Translation),weblink American Bar Association, 2016-08-17, made polygamy extremely difficult, granted child custody to the mother in case of divorce, prohibited repudiation and marriage under the age of 16.WEB, Women In Personal Status Laws: Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria,weblink SHS Papers in Women's Studies/ Gender Research, No. 4, UNESCO, July 2005, Article 1 of Civil Code also identifies Islamic law as a formal source of law.WEB,weblink Iraq, Republic of, Law.emory.edu, 1983-03-16, 2013-02-18, Iraq had no Sharia courts but civil courts used Sharia for issues of personal status including marriage and divorce. In 1995 Iraq introduced Sharia punishment for certain types of criminal offences.BOOK, Fox, Jonathan, A World Survey of Religion and the State,weblink 2008, Cambridge University Press, 978-1-139-47259-3, 238, 2016-08-17, The code is based on French civil law as well as Sunni and Jafari (Shi'ite) interpretations of Sharia.WEB,weblink Religion, Law, and Iraq's Personal Status Code, Islamopedia Online, 2016-08-17, In 2004, the CPA chief executive L. Paul Bremer said he would veto any constitutional draft stating that sharia is the principal basis of law.WEB, Bremer will reject Islam as source for law,weblink NBC News, 21 February 2013, The declaration enraged many local Shia clerics,WEB, Shia fume over Bremer sharia threat,weblink Al Jazeera English, 21 February 2013, and by 2005 the United States had relented, allowing a role for sharia in the constitution to help end a stalemate on the draft constitution.NEWS, US relents on Islamic law to reach Iraq deal,weblink The Guardian, 21 August 2005, London, Rory, Carroll, Julian, Borger, 2005-08-22, The Iraqi Penal Code is the statutory law of Iraq.

Military

(File:BMP-1 Iraq 3.jpg|thumb|right|An Iraqi Army BMP-1 on the move.)File:Iraq war map.png|thumb|The current military situation, 24 October 2017:{{legend|#db8ca6|Controlled by Iraqi government}}{{legend|#b4b2ae|Controlled by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)}}{{legend|#d7e074|Controlled by Iraqi Kurds}}]]Iraqi security forces are composed of forces serving under the Ministry of Interior (which controls the Police and Popular Mobilization Forces) and the Ministry of Defense, as well as the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Bureau, reporting directly to the Prime Minister of Iraq, which oversees the Iraqi Special Operations Forces. Ministry of Defense forces include the Iraqi Army, the Iraqi Air Force and the Iraqi Navy. The Peshmerga are a separate armed force loyal to the Kurdistan Regional Government. The regional government and the central government disagree as to whether they are under Baghdad's authority and to what extent.WEB,weblink Annex H 2010 Updates, Home.comcast.net, January 2010, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20121026045154weblink">weblink 2012-10-26, The Iraqi Army is an objective counter-insurgency force that as of November 2009 includes 14 divisions, each division consisting of 4 brigades.Swanson, Daniel M. (April 3, 2008) Coalition team assists in building combat force {{webarchive |url=https://web.archive.org/web/20091123014704weblink |date=November 23, 2009 }}, U.S. Department of Defense. It is described as the most important element of the counter-insurgency fight.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20060718161447weblink">weblink 2006-07-18, The New Iraqi Security Forces, Web.archive.org, 2006-04-20, 2013-01-25, yes, Light infantry brigades are equipped with small arms, machine guns, RPGs, body armour and light armoured vehicles. Mechanized infantry brigades are equipped with T-54/55 main battle tanks and BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles. As of mid-2008, logistical problems included a maintenance crisis and ongoing supply problems.JOURNAL,weblink Fostering Iraqi Army Logistics Success, Army Logistician, 40, 4, July–August 2008, Magee, Thomas M., The Iraqi Air Force is designed to support ground forces with surveillance, reconnaissance and troop lift. Two reconnaissance squadrons use light aircraft, three helicopter squadrons are used to move troops and one air transportation squadron uses C-130 transport aircraft to move troops, equipment, and supplies. It currently has 3,000 personnel. It is planned to increase to 18,000 personnel, with 550 aircraft by 2018.The Iraqi Navy is a small force with 1,500 sailors and officers, including 800 Marines, designed to protect shoreline and inland waterways from insurgent infiltration. The navy is also responsible for the security of offshore oil platforms. The navy will have coastal patrol squadrons, assault boat squadrons and a marine battalion. The force will consist of 2,000 to 2,500 sailors by year 2010.WEB, Iraq Weekly Status Report March 21, 2007,weblink Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs US Department of State, 2016-08-17,

Foreign relations

File:Haider al-Abadi and Donald Trump in the Oval Office, March 2017.jpg|thumb|US President Donald Trump with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-AbadiHaider al-Abadi{{expand section|date=June 2012}}On 17 November 2008, the US and Iraq agreed to a Status of Forces Agreement,WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20090825022056weblink">weblink 2009-08-25, US-Iraq SOFA, 2008-12-18, yes, as part of the broader Strategic Framework Agreement.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100414161624weblink">weblink 2010-04-14, Strategic Framework Agreement, 2015-11-16, PDF, 8, yes, This agreement states "the Government of Iraq requests" US forces to temporarily remain in Iraq to "maintain security and stability" and that Iraq has jurisdiction over military contractors, and US personnel when not on US bases or on–duty.On 12 February 2009, Iraq officially became the 186th State Party to the Chemical Weapons Convention. Under the provisions of this treaty, Iraq is considered a party with declared stockpiles of chemical weapons. Because of their late accession, Iraq is the only State Party exempt from the existing timeline for destruction of their chemical weapons. Specific criteria is in development to address the unique nature of Iraqi accession.WEB,weblink Iraq Joins the Chemical Weapons Convention, The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons -Opcw.org, 2011-06-19, Iran–Iraq relations have flourished since 2005 by the exchange of high level visits: Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki made frequent visits to Iran, along with Jalal Talabani visiting numerous times, to help boost bilateral co-operation in all fields.{{Citation needed|date=February 2016}} A conflict occurred in December 2009, when Iraq accused Iran of seizing an oil well on the border.NEWS,weblink Iran, Iraq seek diplomatic end to border dispute, Muhanad Mohammed, Reuters, December 19, 2012, August 18, 2012, Relationships with Turkey are tense, largely because of the Kurdistan Regional Government, as clashes between Turkey and the PKK continue.WEB,weblink TURKEY:Relations with Iraq become explosive, Ipsnews.net, October 30, 2007, In October 2011, the Turkish parliament renewed a law that gives Turkish forces the ability to pursue rebels over the border in Iraq."NEWS,weblink 2011-10-19, 24 soldiers killed in attack in Turkey, CNN,

Human rights

{{Seealso|Human rights in ISIL-controlled territory|Mass executions in ISIL occupied Mosul}}Relations between Iraq and its Kurdish population have been sour in recent history, especially with Saddam Hussein's genocidal campaign against them in the 1980s. After uprisings during the early 90s, many Kurds fled their homeland and no-fly zones were established in northern Iraq to prevent more conflicts. Despite historically poor relations, some progress has been made, and Iraq elected its first Kurdish president, Jalal Talabani, in 2005. Furthermore, Kurdish is now an official language of Iraq alongside Arabic according to Article 4 of the constitution.{{sfn|Iraqi Constitution|loc=Article 4}}LGBT rights in Iraq remain limited. Although decriminalised, homosexuality remains stigmatised in Iraqi society.NEWS,weblink Here are the 10 countries where homosexuality may be punished by death, February 24, 2014, The Washington Post, Targeting people because of their gender identity or sexual orientation is not uncommon and is usually carried out in the name of family honour. People who dress in emo style are mistakenly associated with homosexuality and may suffer the same fate.NEWS, Graff, Peter,weblink Fear as death squads hunt Iraq's gays and emos, Reuters, 2012-03-12, 2013-01-25, Investigations by the BBC and other western media in 2008 and 2009, including interviews of homosexual and transgender Iraqis, showed that violence against LGBT people had significantly increased since Saddam Hussein was toppled.NEWS, Byrne, Ashley, Ashley Byrne,weblink Saddam's rule 'better' for gay Iraqis, BBC News, 2009-07-06, 2013-01-25, NEWS,weblink As a gay man born in Iraq, I know that western intervention is to blame for the murder of LGBT Iraqis, 2017-07-05, 2017-10-01, The Independent, Amrou, Al-Kadhi, NEWS, Gay Life After Saddam,weblink BBC, NEWS,weblink Don't Ask, Do Kill: Gays Persecuted in Iraq, Samuels, Lennox, 2008-08-25, Newsweek, NEWS,weblink Iraq's queer underground railroad, The Guardian, Tatchell, Peter,

Administrative divisions

(File:Iraq, administrative divisions - Nmbrs - colored.svg|right|300px)Iraq is composed of nineteen governorates (or provinces) (Arabic: muhafadhat (singular muhafadhah); Kurdish: پارێزگا Pârizgah). The governorates are subdivided into districts (or qadhas), which are further divided into sub-districts (or nawāḥī). Iraqi Kurdistan (Erbil, Dohuk, Sulaymaniyah and Halabja) is the only legally defined region within Iraq, with its own government and quasi-official army Peshmerga.{hide}columns-list|colwidth=30em|
  1. Dohuk
  2. Nineveh
  3. Erbil
  4. Kirkuk
  5. Sulaymaniyah
  6. Saladin
  7. Al Anbar
  8. Baghdad
  9. Diyala
  10. Karbala
  11. Babil
  12. Wasit
  13. Najaf
  14. Al-Qādisiyyah
  15. Maysan
  16. Muthanna
  17. Dhi Qar
  18. Basra
  19. Halabja (not shown)
{edih}

Economy

(File:Iraq GDP per capita 1950-2008.png|thumb|right|GNP per capita in Iraq from 1950 to 2008.|alt=Graph of Iraqi GNP, showing highest GNP in 1980)(File:2006Iraqi exports.PNG|thumb|Global distribution of Iraqi exports in 2006.)Iraq's economy is dominated by the oil sector, which has traditionally provided about 95% of foreign exchange earnings. The lack of development in other sectors has resulted in 18%–30% unemployed and a depressed per capita GDP of $4,000.WEB,weblink Iraq, CIA Factbook, Public sector employment accounted for nearly 60% of full-time employment in 2011.WEB, Unemployment Threatens Democracy in Iraq,weblink USAID Iraq, January 2011, yes,weblink 2013-05-11, The oil export industry, which dominates the Iraqi economy, generates very little employment. Currently only a modest percentage of women (the highest estimate for 2011 was 22%) participate in the labour force.Prior to US occupation, Iraq's centrally planned economy prohibited foreign ownership of Iraqi businesses, ran most large industries as state-owned enterprises, and imposed large tariffs to keep out foreign goods.WEB,weblink Iraq's economy: Past, present, future, Reliefweb.int, 2003-06-03, 2013-01-07, After the 2003 Invasion of Iraq, the Coalition Provisional Authority quickly began issuing many binding orders privatising Iraq's economy and opening it up to foreign investment.(File:Iraqi Kurdish villagers in field near Turkish border.jpg|thumb|Agriculture is the main occupation of the people.)On November 20, 2004, the Paris Club of creditor nations agreed to write off 80% ($33 billion) of Iraq's $42 billion debt to Club members. Iraq's total external debt was around $120 billion at the time of the 2003 invasion, and had grown another $5 billion by 2004. The debt relief will be implemented in three stages: two of 30% each and one of 20%.NEWS,weblinkweblink 2004-11-21, G7, Paris Club Agree on Iraq Debt Relief, Web.archive.org, 2004-11-21, 2011-06-19, yes, In February 2011, Citigroup included Iraq in a group of countries which it described as 'Global Growth Generators', that it argued will enjoy significant economic growth in the future.WEB, Joe Weisenthal,weblink FORGET THE BRICs: Citi's Willem Buiter Presents The 11 "3G" Countries That Will Win The Future, Business Insider, 2011-02-22, 2013-01-25, The official currency in Iraq is the Iraqi dinar. The Coalition Provisional Authority issued new dinar coins and notes, with the notes printed by De La Rue using modern anti-forgery techniques.WEB, Coalition Provisional Authority,weblink Iraq Currency Exchange, 2007-05-28,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070515093736weblink">weblink 2007-05-15, yes, Jim Cramer's October 20, 2009 endorsement of the Iraqi Dinar on CNBC has further piqued interest in the investment.Odio, Sam. weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100724214847weblink">Jim Cramer on the Iraqi Dinar. dinarprofits.comFive years after the invasion, an estimated 2.4 million people were internally displaced (with a further two million refugees outside Iraq), four million Iraqis were considered food-insecure (a quarter of children were chronically malnourished) and only a third of Iraqi children had access to safe drinking water.WEB,weblink Humanitarian action in Iraq: putting the pieces together, Sarah Bailey and Rachel Atkinson, Overseas Development Institute, 2012-11-19, 2013-01-25, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20120515071043weblink">weblink 2012-05-15, According to the Overseas Development Institute, international NGOs face challenges in carrying out their mission, leaving their assistance "piecemeal and largely conducted undercover, hindered by insecurity, a lack of coordinated funding, limited operational capacity and patchy information". International NGOs have been targeted and during the first 5 years, 94 aid workers were killed, 248 injured, 24 arrested or detained and 89 kidnapped or abducted.

Oil and energy

File:Tankers at the Iraqi Al Basra Oil Terminal in the Northern Arabian Gulf.jpg|thumb|Tankers at the Basra Oil TerminalBasra Oil TerminalWith its {{convert|143.1|Goilbbl|m3}} of proved oil reserves, Iraq ranks third in the world behind Venezuela and Saudi Arabia in the amount of oil reserves.WEB,weblink World Proved Reserves of Oil and Natural Gas, Most Recent Estimates, Energy Information Administration, 2009-03-03, 2013-01-25, NEWS,weblink CNN, Iraqi oil reserves estimated at 143B barrels, 2010-10-04, Oil production levels reached 3.4 million barrels per day by December 2012.WEB,weblink Iraq's flood of 'cheap oil' could rock world markets, The Washington Times, 2013-02-03, 2013-02-07, Only about 2,000 oil wells have been drilled in Iraq, compared with about 1 million wells in Texas alone.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20101109035129weblink">weblink 2010-11-09, U.S. Electricity Imports from and Electricity Exports to Canada and Mexico Data for 2008, Web.archive.org, 2010-07-26, 2013-01-25, yes, Iraq was one of the founding members of OPEC.WEB,weblink Iraq facts and figures, OPEC, 2013-02-07, WEB,weblink OPEC Announces it Will Absorb The Increase in Iraq's, Iraqidinar123, 2014-01-29, During the 1970s Iraq produced up to 3.5 million barrels per day, but sanctions imposed against Iraq after its invasion of Kuwait in 1990 crippled the country's oil sector. The sanctions prohibited Iraq from exporting oil until 1996 and Iraq's output declined by 85% in the years following the First Gulf War. The sanctions were lifted in 2003 after the US-led invasion removed Saddam Hussein from power, but development of Iraq's oil resources has been hampered by the ongoing conflict.{{As of|2010}}, despite improved security and billions of dollars in oil revenue, Iraq still generates about half the electricity that customers demand, leading to protests during the hot summer months.WEB,weblink Iraqi Minister Resigns Over Electricity Shortages, 2010-07-23, 2010-06-22, The Iraq oil law, a proposed piece of legislation submitted to the Iraqi Council of Representatives in 2007, has failed to gain approval due to disagreements among Iraq's various political blocs.Lionel Beehner and Greg Bruno, Backgrounder: Why Iraqis Cannot Agree on an Oil Law, Council on Foreign Relations (last updated February 22, 2008).Ahmed Rasheed, Iraq oil law deal festers as crisis drags on, Reuters (January 26, 2012).According to a US Study from May 2007, between {{convert|100000|oilbbl/d|m3/d}} and {{convert|300000|oilbbl/d|m3/d}} of Iraq's declared oil production over the past four years could have been siphoned off through corruption or smuggling.NEWS,weblink Billions in Oil Missing in Iraq, US Study Says, New York Times, Glanz, James, 2007-05-12, In 2008, Al Jazeera reported $13 billion of Iraqi oil revenues in US care was improperly accounted for, of which $2.6 billion is totally unaccounted for.WEB, AlJazeeraEnglish,weblink Inside Story – Iraq's missing billions, YouTube, 2010-07-29, 2011-06-19, Some reports that the government has reduced corruption in public procurement of oil; however, reliable reports of bribery and kickbacks to government officials continue to persist.WEB, Iraq Country Profile,weblink Business Anti-Corruption Portal, In June 2008, the Iraqi Oil Ministry announced plans to go ahead with small one- or two-year no-bid contracts to Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total and BP—once partners in the Iraq Petroleum Company—along with Chevron and smaller firms to service Iraq's largest fields.NEWS,weblink Deals With Iraq Are Set to Bring Oil Giants Back, Andrew E., Kramer, The New York Times, 2008-06-19, These plans were cancelled in September because negotiations had stalled for so long that the work could not be completed within the time frame, according to Iraqi oil minister Hussain al-Shahristani. Several United States senators had also criticised the deal, arguing it was hindering efforts to pass the hydrocarbon law.NEWS,weblink Iraq Cancels Six No-Bid Oil Contracts, Andrew E., Kramer, The New York Times, 2008-09-10, On 30 June and 11 December 2009, the Iraqi ministry of oil awarded service contracts to international oil companies for some of Iraq's many oil fields.WEB,weblink Oil firms awarded Iraq contracts, English.aljazeera.net, 2009-12-11, 2011-06-19, WEB,weblink "BP group wins Iraq oil contract", Al Jazeera English, June 30, 2009, English.aljazeera.net, 2009-06-30, 2011-06-19, Oil fields contracted include the "super-giant" Majnoon Field, Halfaya Field, West Qurna Field and Rumaila Field. BP and China National Petroleum Corporation won a deal to develop Rumaila, the largest Iraqi oil field.Wong, Edward (June 28, 2011) "China Opens Oil Field in Iraq". The New York Times.Iraq123 News (October 01, 2013) "Development is Main Dependent on Export of Iraq". Iraq123 News.On 14 March 2014, the International Energy Agency said Iraq's oil output jumped by half a million barrels a day in February to average 3.6 million barrels a day. The country hadn't pumped that much oil since 1979, when Saddam Hussein rose to power.The Wall Street Journal(March 14, 2014) "Iraq's Oil Output Surges to Highest Level in Over 30 Years". The Wall Street Journal. However, on 14 July 2014, as sectarian strife had taken hold, Kurdistan Regional Government forces seized control of the Bai Hassan and Kirkuk oilfields in the north of the country, taking them from Iraq's control. Baghdad condemned the seizure and threatened "dire consequences" if the fields were not returned.NEWS, Tensions mount between Baghdad and Kurdish region as Kurds seize oil fields,weblink 11 July 2014, Washington Post, The UN estimates that oil accounts for 99% of Iraq's revenue.NEWS, 1072-7825, Calamur, Krishnadev, Oil Was Supposed to Rebuild Iraq, The Atlantic, 2018-03-20, 2018-03-19,weblink

Water supply and sanitation

File:20160104-Lake in Samawa desert Iraq 0356.jpg|thumb|A reservoir in the SamawaSamawaWater supply and sanitation in Iraq is characterized by poor water and service quality. Three decades of war, combined with limited environmental awareness, have destroyed Iraq's water resources management system. Access to potable water differs significantly among governorates and between urban and rural areas.91% of the entire population has access to potable water. But in rural areas, only 77% of the population has access to improved drinking water sources compared to 98% in urban areas.WEB,weblink Water in Iraq Factsheet, 2018-02-03, March 2013, UN Iraq Joint Analysis and Policy Unit, Large amounts of water are wasted during production.

Infrastructure

File:Mosul Dam USACE NWD.jpg|thumb|Mosul DamMosul DamAlthough many infrastructure projects are underway, Iraq remains in deep housing crisis, with the war-ravaged country likely to complete only 5 percent of the 2.5 million homes it needs to build by 2016 to keep up with demand, the Minister for Construction and Housing said in September 2013.NEWS,weblink Reuters, Matt, Smith, Iraq faces chronic housing shortage, needs foreign investment -minister, 2013-09-16,

Demographics

{{see also|Demographics of Iraq}}{{Historical populationsURL=HTTPS://BOOKS.GOOGLE.COM/BOOKS?ID=F2TGKO7G43OC&PG=PA17PUBLISHER=OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESSPAGE=17PUBLISHER=CENTRAL ORGANIZATION FOR STATISTICSPUBLISHER=CENTRAL ORGANIZATION FOR STATISTICS, 2016-08-17, |title = Historical populations in millions|percentages = pagr2.04.86.312.016.322.031.637.2}}The {{UN_Population|Year}} estimate of the total Iraqi population is {{UN_Population|Iraq}}.{{UN_Population|ref}} Iraq's population was estimated to be 2 million in 1878. In 2013 Iraq's population reached 35 million amid a post-war population boom.WEB,weblink Iraqi population reaches about 35 million, Aswat Al Iraq, 2013-04-27, 2013-07-01, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150114203319weblink">weblink January 14, 2015,

Ethnic groups

Arabs form 75%–80% of the population. 15% of Iraq's population are Kurds. Assyrians, Iraqi Turkmen/Turkoman and other much smaller minorities, such as Mandeans, Armenians, Circassians, Iranians, Shabakis, Yazidis and Kawliya, make up the remainder 5%–10% of the population.Assyria. UNPO (2008-03-25). Retrieved on 2013-12-08. Around 20,000 Marsh Arabs live in southern Iraq.NEWS,weblink BBC News – Iraq's 'devastated' Marsh Arabs, March 3, 2003, 2008-05-01, Heather, Sharp, Iraq has a community of 2,500 Chechens.WEB,weblink Chechens in the Middle East: Between Original and Host Cultures, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, 2002-09-18, 2010-04-21, In southern Iraq, there is a community of Iraqis of African descent, a legacy of the slavery practised in the Islamic Caliphate beginning before the Zanj Rebellion of the 9th century, and Basra's role as a key port.NEWS, Williams, Timothy, In Iraq's African Enclave, Color Is Plainly Seen,weblink The New York Times, 2009-12-02, It is the most populous country in the Arabian Plate.BOOK, McCoy, John, Geo-data: the world geographical encyclopedia, 2003, 281,

Languages

File:Children puppy sulaimania.jpg|thumb|Kurdish children in SulaymaniyahSulaymaniyahArabic is the majority language; Kurdish is spoken by approximately 10–15% of the population; and Turkmen/Turkoman,{{sfn|Iraqi Constitution|loc=Article 4}} the Neo-Aramaic language of the Assyrians and others, by 5%. Other smaller minority languages include Mandaic, Shabaki, Armenian, Circassian and Persian. Arabic, Kurdish, Persian, and Turkmen/Turkoman are written with versions of the Arabic script, the Neo-Aramaic languages in the Syriac script and Armenian is written in the Armenian script.Prior to the invasion in 2003, Arabic was the sole official language. Since the new Constitution of Iraq approved in June 2004, both Arabic and Kurdish are official languages,{{sfn|Iraqi Constitution|loc=Article 4, 1st section}} while Assyrian Neo-Aramaic and Turkmen/Turkoman language (referred to as respectively "Syriac" and "Turkmen" in the constitution) are recognised regional languages.{{sfn|Iraqi Constitution|loc=Article 4, 4th section}} In addition, any region or province may declare other languages official if a majority of the population approves in a general referendum.{{sfn|Iraqi Constitution|loc=Article 4, 5th section}}According to the Iraqi constitution: The Arabic language and the Kurdish language are the two official languages of Iraq. The right of Iraqis to educate their children in their mother tongue, such as Turkmen, Assyrian, and Armenian shall be guaranteed in government educational institutions in accordance with educational guidelines, or in any other language in private educational institutions.Iraqi Constitution {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20161128152712weblink |date=2016-11-28 }}. iraqinationality.gov.iq

Urban areas

{{Largest cities of Iraq}}

Religion

{{Bar box| title=Religion in Iraq, 201weblink| titlebar=#ddd| float=right| bars={{Bar percent|Shia Islam|lime|64.5}}{{Bar percent|Sunni Islam|green|31.5}}{{Bar percent|Gnosticism/Yazdânism|brown|2.0}}{{Bar percent|Christianity|red|1.2}}{{Bar percent|Other religion|orange|0.8}}}}File:ImamAliMosqueNajafIraq.JPG|thumb|left|Imam Ali MosqueImam Ali MosqueMuslim (official) 99% (Shia 55-60%, Sunni 40%), Christian {{Authority control}}

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