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Thursday, 27 August 2015


Iraq was once known by the Greek name Mesopotamia which means 'Land between the rivers' and has been home to continuous successive civilizations since the 6th millennium BC. The region between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers is often referred to as the cradle of civilization and the birthplace of writing.

At different periods in its history, Iraq was the center of the indigenous Akkadian, Sumerian, Assyrian, and Babylonian empires.

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 the following year.

The Kingdom of Iraq gained independence from Britain in 1932 and on July 14, 1958, the monarchy was overthrown and the Republic of Iraq was created. Faisal II, the last king of Iraq, was overthrown by a military coup d'état led by Abd al-Karim Qasim.

From 1968 to 2003, Iraq was run by the Ba'ath Party. Saddam Hussein was the President from 1979 until the disbandment of the Ba'ath Party.

In 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait. Many countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, France, Italy, Pakistan, and others fought to free Kuwait.

In the early hours of the March 20, 2003 morning, an invasion led by American, British, Australian, Danish and Polish forces commenced against Iraq to disarm them of weapons of mass destruction deployment and remove Saddam Hussein from power. It was claimed by a Palestinian official that the American president George W Bush told him that he was instructed by God to end the tyranny in Iraq.

By Photo: Photograph by Cpl Paul Jarvis/MOD, OGL, Wikipedia Commons

Iraqi Muslims accused President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair of waging a crusade against Islam comparable to the Middle Ages.

Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party was removed from power and multi-party parliamentary elections were held in 2005.

Iraq took 289 days to form a government after its 2010 elections — setting a new record for the longest that any country has been without a government as a result of conflict.

There were many U.S., British and multi-national troops in the country until December 18, 2011 when the Iraq War ended. Tensions between religious groups (Shia and Sunni Muslims, as well as attacks on Christians) lead to a great deal of instability and the Iraqi insurgency intensified as fighters from the Syrian Civil War spilled into the country.

Suicide bombings in Iraq killed 60 times as many civilians as it did soldiers.

In 2013, more than 800,000 international tourists visited Iraq, despite the fact that it was still a war zone.

The town of Tikrit in Iraq erected a monument of the shoe thrown at George W. Bush. The footwear was hurled by journalist Muntadhir al-Zaidi during a press conference in Baghdad. Though Al-Zaidi was jailed for his actions, his angry gesture touched a defiant nerve throughout the Arab and Muslim world.

The design of the current Iraqi flag was confirmed by the Iraqi Parliament on January 22, 2008. It includes the three equal horizontal red, white, and black stripes of the Arab Liberation flag. This basic tricolor has been in use since 1963, with several changes to the green symbols in the central white stripe; the most recent version bears the takbīr rendered in green.

Iraq is the world's number four in petroleum production and the world's number two in petroleum reserves.

Iraq is the only country that ends with a Q.

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