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November 2013

Baghdad

Baghdad

Iraq: Country Profile

Iraq: Country Profile

Multiple bombs exploded across the city of Baghdad, Iraq on November 19, 2013. This capital city, in central Iraq, along the Tigris River, has an estimated population over five million people. Iraq as a whole has an estimated population over 31,000,000 people that identify as Arab 75%-80%, Kurdish 15%-20%, Turkoman, Assyrian, or other 5%.

Formerly part of the Ottoman Empire, Iraq was occupied by Britain during the course of World War I. In 1920, it was declared a League of Nations mandate under UK administration; Iraq attained its independence as a kingdom in 1932. Territorial disputes with Iran led to an inconclusive and costly eight-year war (1980-88). In August 1990, Iraq seized Kuwait but was expelled by US-led, UN coalition forces during the Gulf War of January-February 1991.

After a period of noncompliance by Iraq of UN Security Council resolutions, the US-led invasion in March 2003 ousted the Saddam Husayn regime. US forces remained in Iraq under a UNSC mandate through 2009 and under a bilateral security agreement thereafter, helping to provide security and to train and mentor Iraqi security forces. In January 2009, Iraq held elections for provincial councils in all governorates except for the three governorates comprising the Kurdistan Regional Government and Kirkuk Governorate. Iraq held a national legislative election in March 2010. US military operations there ended in mid-December 2011.

Iraq has a climate that is mostly desert, with mild-cool winters and dry, hot, cloudless summers. The northern mountainous regions along Iranian and Turkish borders experience cold winters with occasionally heavy snows that melt in early spring. The terrain is mostly broad plains and reedy marshes along Iranian border in south with large flooded areas; it is mountainous along the borders with Iran and Turkey. Iraq's natural resources include: petroleum, natural gas, phosphates, and sulfur.

CIA World Factbook; The Columbia Gazetteer, 11/2013; 11/2013

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