Lowest level of fatalities in organised violence in seven years

New data from the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP), Uppsala University shows that in 2018 the number of fatalities in organised violence reached the lowest level in seven years. However, the large share of internationalised ...

Image: Iraq flood

This Copernicus Sentinel-1 image combines two acquisitions over the same area of eastern Iraq, one from 14 November 2018 before heavy rains fell and one from 26 November 2018 after the storms. The image reveals the extent ...

Electricity crisis leaves Iraqis gasping for cool air

As the stultifying summer heat sends Iraqis in search of cool spots, restaurateur Ali Hussein provides sanctuary—even though it means hooking up to an expensive generator.

Iraqi farmers fight to save cattle from drought

Iraqi farmer Sayyed Sattar knows he'll soon have to let some of his buffalo go as he surveys the herd bathing in a dwindling pond close to the holy city of Najaf.

Over 400 dead from earthquake in Iran-Iraq border area (Update)

Rescuers dug with their bare hands Monday through the debris of buildings brought down by a powerful earthquake that killed more than 400 people in the once-contested mountainous border region between Iraq and Iran, with ...

Hackathons take on Islamic State in cyberspace battle

In a small room close by the Sydney Opera House, 60 people representing a vast range of communities and industries are working feverishly to come up with ways to combat the Islamic State group's online propaganda machine.

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Iraq

Iraq (i/ɪˈrɑːk/ or /ɪˈræk/; Arabic: العراق‎ al-‘Irāq); officially the Republic of Iraq (Arabic: جمهورية العراق‎ Jumhūriyyat al-‘Irāq, Kurdish: كؤماری عێراق‎‎, Komara Îraqê) is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert.

Iraq is bordered by Jordan to the west, Syria to the northwest, Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, and Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to the south. Iraq has a narrow section of coastline measuring 58 km (36 mi) on the northern Persian Gulf. The capital city, Baghdad is in the center-east of the country.

Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run through the center of Iraq, flowing from northwest to southeast. These provide Iraq with agriculturally capable land and contrast with the steppe and desert landscape that covers most of Western Asia.

Historically, Iraq was known in Europe by the Greek toponym 'Mesopotamia' (Land between the rivers). Iraq has been home to continuous successive civilizations since the 6th millennium BC. The region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers is identified as the cradle of civilization and the birthplace of writing and the wheel. At different periods in its history, Iraq was the center of the indigenous Akkadian, Sumerian, Assyrian, Babylonian, and Abbasid empires. It was also part of the Achaemenid, Hellenistic, Parthian, Sassanid, Roman, Rashidun, Umayyad, Mongol, Safavid, Afsharid, and Ottoman empires, and under British control as a League of Nations mandate.

Iraq's modern borders were 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 Britain in 1932. In 1958, the monarchy was overthrown and the Republic of Iraq was created. Iraq was controlled by the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party from 1968 until 2003. After an invasion led by American and British forces, the Ba'ath Party was removed from power and Iraq came under a military occupation by a multinational coalition. Sovereignty was transferred to the Iraqi Interim Government in June 2004. A new constitution was then approved by referendum and a new Government of Iraq was elected. Foreign troops remained in Iraq after the establishment of a new government due to an insurgency that developed shortly after the invasion, with violence peaking in mid 2007. In August 2010 the U.S. became the last member of the coalition to cease combat operations in Iraq. 30,000 US troops remain in the country; their full withdrawal is mandated by 31 December 2011.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA