The Iraq Portal

A view of Baghdad, Iraq
A view of Baghdad, Iraq

Flag of Iraq
Coat of Arms of Iraq
Iraq's location on a map of the Middle East and the world.

Iraq, officially the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, the Persian Gulf and 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. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Iraqi Arabs, Kurds, Turkmens, Assyrians, Armenians, Yazidis, Mandaeans, Persians and Shabakis with similarly diverse geography and wildlife. The vast majority of the country's 44 million residents are Muslims – the notable other faiths are Christianity, Yazidism, Mandaeism, Yarsanism and Zoroastrianism. The official languages of Iraq are Arabic and Kurdish; others also recognised in specific regions are Neo-Aramaic, Turkish and Armenian.

Modern Iraq dates back to 1920, when the British Mandate for Mesopotamia, joining three Ottoman vilayets, was created under the authority of the League of Nations. A British-backed Kingdom was established in 1921 under Faisal I of Iraq. The Hashemite 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. In 1980, Iraq invaded Iran, sparking a protracted war which would last for almost eight years, and end in a stalemate with devastating losses for both countries. 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.

Iraq is considered an emerging middle power with a strategic location and a founding member of the United Nations, the OPEC as well as of the Arab League, OIC, Non-Aligned Movement and the IMF. From 1920 to 2005 Iraq experienced spells of significant economic and military growth and briefer instability including wars. Since the inception of the current multipartite system in 2005, the country has seen further growth and steadier international investment, and a major decline in factional domestic attacks. However, recurrent failures to form a working government by members of parliament have been accompanied by politically motivated violence against government institutions. (Full article...)

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The Iraqi Armed Forces (Arabic: القوات المسلحة العراقية romanized: Al-Quwwat Al-Musallahah Al-Iraqiyyah) (Kurdish: هێزە چەکدارەکانی عێراق) are the military forces of the Republic of Iraq. They consist of the Iraqi Army, the Iraqi Air Force, and the Iraqi Navy. Along with these three primary service branches, there exists the Iraqi Special Operations Forces. The President of Iraq acts as the supreme commander of the military as outlined by the national constitution.

The armed forces of Iraq have a long and very active history. They were initially formed in the early 1920s. Six military coup d'états were mounted by the Army between 1936 and 1941. The armed forces first saw combat in the Anglo-Iraqi War of 1941. They fought against Israel in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, in the 1967 Six-Day War, and in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Two wars with the Kurds were fought from 1961 to 1970 and in 1974 and 1975. A much larger conflict was the Iran–Iraq War, initiated by the Iraqis in 1980, which continued until 1988. Thereafter Iraq began the invasion of Kuwait, which led to the Persian Gulf War of 1991, which led in turn to confrontations over the Iraqi no-fly zones during the 1990s, and finally the Iraq War of 2003. Two strong categories for Iraq have been logistics and combat engineering. Iraqi soldiers have also usually fought hard in difficult situations. (Full article...)

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Date palm orchards in Babylon Province, Iraq.png

Date palm orchards in Babylon

Did you know...

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  • ...that the oldest known writing system, known as cuneiform, was developed in southern Iraq during the Sumerian civilization.
  • ...that the oldest laws were written in Iraq by the Sumerian King Ur-Nammu.
  • ...that Iraq is second only to Saudi Arabia in oil reserves.
  • ...that the national soccer team of Iraq won the AFC Asian Cup in 2007.
  • ...the wheel was invented in the southern Iraqi city of Ur.
  • ...that Iraq is the largest producer of dates with more than 400 types and more than 22 million date palms.
  • ...that Iraq’s national dish is Masgouf (impaled fish) and its national cookie is Kleicha (meaning circle or wheel), both of which can be traced back to antiquity.
  • ...in the 1940s and 1950s, Iraq had 4/5 of the world's Arecaceae population, these numbers have drastically decreased in the last few decades.

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الفنان رضا العبد الله.jpg

Rida Al Abdulla (Arabic: رضا العبد الله; also spelled Rida Al Abdallah, Reda Al Abdullah; born 5 July 1966) is an Iraqi singer and actor. He gained attention across the Arab world for his singles "Bo'dak Habibi", "Qasawa", "Dhalim", "Min Trid Abousak", "Al Asabe3", "Melih Wa Zad", "Ya Hali" and many other hits including "Weinkom Ya Arab" ("Where are the Arabs"), which was a protest song against the war 2006 Lebanon-Israeli war.

His album "Yom Wa Sana" was released in July 2009 and it includes 14 songs. (Full article...)

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