Iraq, officially the Republic of Iraq,
is a country in Western Asia. It shares
borders with Kuwait, Saudi Arabia,
Jordan, Syria, Turkey
It has a very narrow section of coastline on the Persian
Gulf. There are two major flowing rivers: the Tigris and the Euphrates. These provide Iraq
with agriculturally capable land and contrast with the desert landscape that
covers most of Western Asia.
Iraq's rich history dates back to ancient Mesopotamia. The region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers is identified as the cradle of
civilization and a birthplace of writing. Throughout its long history, Iraq has
been the center of the Akkadian, Assyrian, Babylonian, and Abbasid empires, and
part of the Achaemenid, Macedonian, Parthian, Sassanid, Roman, Rashidun, Umayyad,
Mongol, Ottoman and British empires.
At the end of World War I, the League
of Nations granted the area to the United Kingdom as a mandate. It
initially formed two former Ottoman vilayets
(regions): Baghdad and Basra into a single country in August 1921.
Five years later, in 1926, the northern vilayet of Mosul was added, forming the territorial
boundaries of the modern Iraqi state.
Britain granted independence to Iraq in 1932, and invaded Iraq in 1941,
for fear that the government might cut oil supplies to Western nations, and
because of its links to the Axis powers. The occupation ended on October 26,
1947. The reinstated Hashemite monarchy lasted until 1958, followed many
military coups over next twenty years. In 1979, Saddam Hussein took power as
Iraqi President, soon after that, under American and Western support, he
started a war with Iran.
The war lasted 8 years, ended in 1988, with no clear winner.
In 1990, faced with economic
disaster following the end of the Iran–Iraq War, Saddam Hussein looked to the
oil-rich neighbor of Kuwait
as a target to invade to use its resources and money to rebuild Iraq's
economy. The UN Security Council in 1991 unanimously voted for military action
The United States, which had
enormous vested interests in the oil supplies of the Persian Gulf region, led
an international coalition into Kuwait
The Iraqi armed forces were quickly destroyed, and Hussein eventually accepted
the inevitable and ordered a withdrawal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait.
On March 20, 2003, a United
States-organized coalition invaded Iraq,
with the stated reason that Iraq
had failed to abandon its nuclear and chemical weapons development program in
violation of U.N. Resolution, though no weapons of mass destruction have been
found since the invasion. Today, Iraq
remains under USA’s