History of Iraq (2003���2011)
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Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq), is a country i ...

Iraq
is the state that currently partially encompasses the territory of the civilization of ancient
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in th ...

Mesopotamia
. This civilization came into being between the
Tigris The Tigris () is the easternmost of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates. The river flows south from the mountains of the Armenian Highlands through the Syrian Desert, Syrian and Arabian Deserts, and empti ...

Tigris
and
Euphrates The Euphrates () is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Tigris–Euphrates river system, Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia (the "Land Between the Rivers"). O ...
rivers. These rivers flow into the Persian Gulf, through the State of
Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq), is a country i ...

Iraq
. The
Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq The Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq ( ar, المملكة العراقية الهاشمية, translit=al-Mamlakah al-ʿIrāqiyyah ʾal-Hāshimyyah) was a state located in the Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The ...
, also known as
Mandatory Iraq The Kingdom of Iraq under British Administration, or Mandatory Iraq ( ar, الانتداب البريطاني على العراق '), was created in 1921, following the 1920 Iraqi Revolt against the proposed British Mandate of Mesopotamia, an ...
in its early phase, was established by the
Anglo-Iraqi treaty of 1922 The Anglo-Iraqi Treaty of October 1922 was an agreement signed by the government of Great Britain and the government of Iraq. The treaty was designed to allow for local self-government while giving the British control of foreign and military aff ...
resulting from the
1920 Iraqi revolt The Iraqi revolt against the British, also known as the 1920 Iraqi Revolt or Great Iraqi Revolution, started in Baghdad in the summer of 1920 with mass demonstrations by Iraqi people, Iraqis, including protests by embittered officers from the ol ...
against British rule. It is centered in
Lower Mesopotamia Lower Mesopotamia is a historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geographical Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officiall ...

Lower Mesopotamia
(corresponding to historical
Babylonia Babylonia () was an and based in central-southern which was part of Ancient Persia (present-day and ). A small -ruled state emerged in 1894 BCE, which contained the minor administrative town of . It was merely a small provincial town dur ...
) but also includes part of
Upper Mesopotamia Upper Mesopotamia is the name used for the Upland and lowland, uplands and great outwash plain of northwestern Iraq, northeastern Syria and southeastern Turkey, in the northern Middle East. Since the early Muslim conquests of the mid-7th century, ...
(corresponding to historical
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
) and of the
Syrian Desert The Syrian Desert ( ar, بادية الشام, ''Bādiyat Ash-Shām''), also known as the Syrian steppe, the Jordanian steppe, or the Badia, is a region of desert, Semi-arid climate, semi-desert and steppe covering of the Middle East, including p ...

Syrian Desert
and the
Arabian Desert The Arabian Desert ( ar, ٱلصَّحْرَاء ٱلْعَرَبِيَّة) is a vast desert upright=1.5, alt=see caption, Sand dunes in the Rub' al Khali ("Empty quarter") in the United Arab Emirates">Rub'_al_Khali.html" ;"title="Sand ...

Arabian Desert
. The history of this area has witnessed some of the world's earliest
writing Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area arou ...
,
literature Literature broadly is any collection of written Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (philosophy), entitie ...
,
sciences Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is something that is truth, true. The usual test for a statement of ...
,
mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and their changes (cal ...
,
laws Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its bounda ...
and
philosophies Philosophy, Philosophical school of thought, schools of thought and philosophical movements. Absurdism - Actual idealism - Actualism - Advaita Vedanta -` Aesthetic Realism - Aesthetics - African philosophy - Afrocentrism - Agential realism - A ...

philosophies
; hence its common epithet, the
Cradle of Civilization A cradle of civilization is any location where civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a complex society A complex society is a concept that is shared by a range of disciplines including anthropology, archaeology, history ...
. As part of the larger
Fertile Crescent The Fertile Crescent is a crescent-shaped region in the Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an establishe ...

Fertile Crescent
,
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in th ...

Mesopotamia
saw the earliest emergence of
civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a complex society A complex society is a concept that is shared by a range of disciplines including anthropology, archaeology, history and sociology to describe a stage of social formation. The concep ...

civilization
in the
Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is t ...
(the
Ubaid period The Ubaid period (c. 6500–3800 BC) is a prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by a ...
) Age and formed a significant part of the
Ancient Near East The ancient Near East was the home of early civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a complex society A complex society is a concept that is shared by a range of disciplines including anthropology, archaeology, history and s ...
throughout the
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the Three-age sys ...
and the
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's pa ...
(
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian language, Akkadian '; Sumerian language, Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", iĝir NATIVE (7x: Old Babylonian)from ''The ...

Sumer
ian,
Akkadian Akkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language, an extinct Eastern Semitic language * Akkadians, inhabitants of the Akkadian Empire * Akkadian literature, literature in this language * Akkadian cuneiform, early writing system * Akkadian ...
,
Babylonia Babylonia () was an and based in central-southern which was part of Ancient Persia (present-day and ). A small -ruled state emerged in 1894 BCE, which contained the minor administrative town of . It was merely a small provincial town dur ...
n and
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
n). After the fall of the
Neo-Babylonian Empire The Neo-Babylonian Empire, also known as the Second Babylonian Empire and historically known as the Chaldean Empire, was the last of the Mesopotamian empires to be ruled by monarchs native to Mesopotamia. Beginning with Nabopolassar's coronation as ...

Neo-Babylonian Empire
, Mesopotamia fell under
Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethnic group in Iran, not to be conflated with the Iranian peoples ** Persian language, an Iranian ...

Persian
and then
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
rule. By the 3rd century, when it was once again under Persian (
Sassanid The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (, ''Iran (word), Ērānshahr''), and also called the Neo-Persian Empire by historians, was the last Persian Empire, Persian imperial dynasty before the spread of I ...

Sassanid
) control, the earlier population was increasingly displaced by
Arabs The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technica ...
, and the Arabic name '' al-ʿIrāq'' dates to about this time. The Sassanid Empire was destroyed by the
Islamic conquests The early Muslim conquests ( ar, الفتوحات الإسلامية, ''al-Futūḥāt al-Islāmiyya''), also referred to as the Arab conquests and the early Islamic conquests began with the Islamic prophet Muhammad ) , birth_date ...
and displaced by the
Rashidun Caliphate The Rashidun Caliphate ( ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلرَّاشِدَةُ, al-Khilāfah ar-Rāšidah) was the first of the four major caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an ...
in the 7th century.
Baghdad Baghdad (; ar, بَغْدَاد ) is the capital of Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, ...
became the center of the "
Islamic Golden Age The Islamic Golden Age was a period of cultural, economic, and scientific flourishing in the history of Islam The history of Islam concerns the political, social, economic, and cultural developments of Muslim world, Islamic civilization. M ...
" under the
Abbasid Caliphate The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلْعَبَّاسِيَّةُ, ') was the third caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the tit ...

Abbasid Caliphate
during the 9th century. Baghdad's rapid growth stagnated in the 10th century due to the
Buwayhid The Buyid dynasty (also spelled Buwayhid; fa, آل بویه, Āl-e Būya), was a Shia Iranian dynasty of Daylamite origin, which mainly ruled over Iraq and central and southern Iran from 934 to 1062. Coupled with the rise of other Iranian dyna ...
and Seljuq invasions, but it remained of central importance until the
Mongol invasion The Mongol invasions and conquests took place during the 13th and 14th centuries, creating history's largest contiguous empire - The Mongol Empire, which by 1300 covered large parts of Eurasia. Historians regard the Mongol devastation as one of ...
of 1258. After this, Iraq became a province of the Turco-Mongol
Ilkhanate The Ilkhanate, also spelled Il-khanate ( fa, ایل خانان, ''Ilxānān''), known to the Mongols as ''Hülegü Ulus'' ( mn, Хүлэгийн улс, , ''Qulug-un Ulus'') was a khanate A khaganate or khanate was a political entity rul ...

Ilkhanate
and declined in importance. After the disintegration of the Ilkhanate, Iraq was ruled by the
Jalairids
Jalairids
and
Kara Koyunlu The Qara Qoyunlu or Kara Koyunlu ( fa, قره قویونلو, az, Qaraqoyunlular ), also known as the Black Sheep Turkomans, were a Persianate society, Persianate Islam, Muslim Turkoman (ethnonym), Turkoman monarchy that ruled over the terri ...
until its eventual absorption into the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
in the 16th century, intermittently falling under Iranian
Safavid Safavid Iran or Safavid Persia (), also referred to as the Safavid Empire, '. was one of the greatest Iranian peoples, Iranian empires after the 7th-century Muslim conquest of Persia, ruled from 1501 to 1736 by the Safavid dynasty. It is often ...
and
Mamluk Mamluk ( ar, مملوك, mamlūk (singular), , ''mamālīk'' (plural), translated as "one who is owned", meaning "", also as ''Mameluke'', ''mamluq'', ''mamluke'', ''mameluk'', ''mameluke'', ''mamaluke'', or ''marmeluke'') is a term most commo ...
control. Ottoman rule ended with
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, and the
British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. ...

British Empire
administered Iraq as
Mandatory Iraq The Kingdom of Iraq under British Administration, or Mandatory Iraq ( ar, الانتداب البريطاني على العراق '), was created in 1921, following the 1920 Iraqi Revolt against the proposed British Mandate of Mesopotamia, an ...
until the establishment of the
Kingdom of Iraq The Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq ( ar, المملكة العراقية الهاشمية, translit=al-Mamlakah al-ʿIrāqiyyah ʾal-Hāshimyyah) was a state located in the Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The ...
in 1933. A republic formed in 1958 following a coup d'état.
Saddam Hussein Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti (; Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a lis ...

Saddam Hussein
governed from 1968 to 2003, into which period fall the
Iran–Iraq War The Iran–Iraq War), whereas Western sources use that name to refer to the conflict between the American-led coalition and Iraq in 1991., name=, group= ( fa, جنگ ایران و عراق; ar, الحرب الإيرانية العراقية) ...
and the
Gulf War The Gulf War was a war waged by coalition forces The term "coalition" is the denotation for a group formed when two or more people, factions, states, political parties, militaries etc. agree to work together temporarily in a partnership t ...
. Saddam Hussein was deposed following the
2003 invasion of Iraq The 2003 invasion of Iraq was the first stage of the Iraq War The Iraq WarThe conflict is also known as the Second Gulf War or the Third Gulf War by those who consider the Iran–Iraq War the first Gulf War. The war was also called the ...
. Over the following years in the U.S. occupation of Iraq, Iraq disintegrated into a
civil war A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine publis ...
from 2006 to 2008, and the situation deteriorated in 2011 which later escalated into a renewed war following ISIL gains in the country in 2014. By 2015, Iraq was effectively divided, the central and southern part being controlled by the
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Departmen ...
, the northwest by the
Kurdistan Regional Government The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) ( ku, حکوومەتی هەرێمی کوردستان, ''Hikûmetî Herêmî Kurdistan''; ar, حكومة إقليم كردستان, ''Ḥukūmat ʾIqlīm Kurdistān'') is the official executive body of the ...
and the western part by the
Islamic State , caption = , active = {{Collapsible list , title = 1999–present , 1 = 1999: Established under the name of Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad , 2 = October 2004: Joined al-Qaeda , 3 = 13 October 2006: Declaration of an Islamic ...
. IS was expelled from Iraq in 2017, but a low-intensity ISIL insurgency continues mostly in the rural parts of northern western parts of the country, due to Iraq's long border with Syria.


Prehistory

During 1957–1961
Shanidar Cave Shanidar Cave ( ku, Zewî Çemî Şaneder ,ئەشکەوتی شانەدەر, ) is an archaeological site located on Bradost (mountain), Bradost Mountain, within the Zagros Mountains, in the Erbil Governorate of Kurdistan Region in northern Iraq. I ...
was excavated by
Ralph Solecki Ralph Stefan Solecki (October 15, 1917 – March 20, 2019) was an American archaeologist Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is often considered a bran ...

Ralph Solecki
and his team from
Columbia University Columbia University (also known as Columbia, and officially as Columbia University in the City of New York) is a Private university, private Ivy League research university in New York City. Established in 1754 as King's College on the grounds of ...

Columbia University
, and nine skeletons of
Neanderthal Neanderthals (, also Neandertals, ''Homo neanderthalensis'' or ''Homo sapiens neanderthalensis'') are an extinct species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an org ...
man of varying ages and states of preservation and completeness (labelled Shanidar I–IX) were discovered dating from 60,000–80,000 years BP. A tenth individual was recently discovered by M. Zeder during examination of a faunal assemblage from the site at the Smithsonian Institution. The remains seemed to Zeder to suggest that Neanderthals had
funeral ceremonies
funeral ceremonies
,
burying their dead
burying their dead
with flowers (although the flowers are now thought to be a modern contaminant), and that they took care of injured and elderly individuals. Mesopotamia is the site of the earliest developments of the
Neolithic Revolution The Neolithic Revolution, or the (First) Agricultural Revolution, was the wide-scale transition of many human culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior Social behavior is behavior Behavior (Ameri ...
from around 10,000 BC. It has been identified as having "inspired some of the most important developments in human history including the invention of the wheel, the planting of the first cereal crops and the development of cursive script, Mathematics, Astronomy and Agriculture."


Ancient Mesopotamia


Bronze Age

Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian language, Akkadian '; Sumerian language, Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", iĝir NATIVE (7x: Old Babylonian)from ''The ...

Sumer
emerged as the civilization of Lower Mesopotamia out of the prehistoric
Ubaid period The Ubaid period (c. 6500–3800 BC) is a prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by a ...
(mid-6th millennium BC) in the Early Bronze Age (
Uruk period The Uruk period (ca. 4000 to 3100 BC; also known as Protoliterate period) existed from the protohistoric Protohistory is a period between prehistory and history during which a culture or civilization has not yet developed writing, but other cult ...
) Classical Sumer ends with the rise of the
Akkadian Empire The Akkadian Empire () was the first ancient empire of Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of ...
in the 24th century BC. Following the
Gutian period The Gutian dynasty, also Kuti or Kutians (Sumerian language, Sumerian: , gu-ti-umKI) was a dynasty that came to power in Mesopotamia ''c.'' 2199—2119 BC (middle chronology, middle), or possibly ''c.'' 2135—2055 BC (short chronology, short), aft ...
, the Ur III kingdom was once again able to unite large parts of southern and central Mesopotamia under a single ruler in the 21st century. It may have eventually disintegrated due to
Amorite The Amorites (; Sumerian language, Sumerian 𒈥𒌅 ''MAR.TU''; Akkadian language, Akkadian ''Amurrūm'' or ''Tidnum''; Egyptian language, Egyptian ''Amar''; he, אמורי ''ʼĔmōrī''; grc, Ἀμορραῖοι) were an ancient Semitic lan ...

Amorite
incursions. The Amorite dynasty of
Isin Isin (, modern Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countrie ...
persisted until c. 1600 BC, when southern Mesopotamia was united under
Kassite The Kassites () were people of the ancient Near East The ancient Near East was the home of early civilization A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society that is characterized by urban development, social stratificatio ...
Babylonia Babylonia () was an and based in central-southern which was part of Ancient Persia (present-day and ). A small -ruled state emerged in 1894 BCE, which contained the minor administrative town of . It was merely a small provincial town dur ...
n rule. The north of Mesopotamia had become the Akkadian language, Akkadian-speaking state of
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
by the late 25th century BC. Along with the rest of Mesopotamia it was ruled by Akkadian kings from the late 24th to mid 22nd centuries BC, after which it once again became independent.George Roux – Ancient Iraq
Babylonia Babylonia () was an and based in central-southern which was part of Ancient Persia (present-day and ). A small -ruled state emerged in 1894 BCE, which contained the minor administrative town of . It was merely a small provincial town dur ...
was a state in Lower Mesopotamia with Babylon as its capital. It was founded as an independent state by an Amorite king named Sumuabum in 1894 BC.Georges Roux – Ancient Iraq Akkadian gradually replaced Sumerian as the spoken language of Mesopotamia somewhere around the turn of the 3rd and the 2nd millennium BC,[Woods C. 2006 “Bilingualism, Scribal Learning, and the Death of Sumerian”. In S.L. Sanders (ed) ''Margins of Writing, Origins of Culture'': 91–120 Chicag

/ref> but Sumerian continued to be used as a written or ceremonial language in Mesopotamia well into the period of classical antiquity. Babylonia emerged from the Amorite dynasties (c. 1900 BC) when Hammurabi (c. 1792–1750 BC), unified the territories of the former Monarchy, kingdoms of Sumer and Akkad. During the early centuries of what is called the "Amorite period", the most powerful city-states were Isin and Larsa, although Shamshi-Adad I came close to uniting the more northern regions around Assur and Mari, Syria, Mari. One of these Amorite dynasties was established in the city-state of Babylon, which would ultimately take over the others and form the first Babylonian empire, during what is also called the First Babylonian dynasty, Old Babylonian Period.
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
was an Akkadian language, Akkadian (East Semitic) kingdom in Upper Mesopotamia, that came to rule regional empires a number of times through history. It was named for its original capital, the ancient city of Assur (Akkadian language, Akkadian '). Of the early history of the kingdom of Assyria, little is positively known. In the Assyrian King List, the earliest king recorded was Tudiya. He was a contemporary of Ibrium of Ebla who appears to have lived in the late 25th or early 24th century BC, according to the king list. The foundation of the first true urbanised Assyrian monarchy was traditionally ascribed to Ushpia a contemporary of Ishbi-Erra of
Isin Isin (, modern Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countrie ...
and Naplanum of Larsa. c. 2030 BC. Assyria had a period of empire from the 19th to 18th centuries BC. From the 14th to 11th centuries BC Assyria once more became a major power with the rise of the Middle Assyrian Empire.


Iron Age

Map of Assyria.png, Neo-Assyrian Empire Neo-Babylonian Empire under Nabonidus map.png, Neo-Babylonian Empire The Neo-Assyrian Empire (911–609 BC) was the dominant political force in the Ancient Near East during the Iron Age, eclipsing
Babylonia Babylonia () was an and based in central-southern which was part of Ancient Persia (present-day and ). A small -ruled state emerged in 1894 BCE, which contained the minor administrative town of . It was merely a small provincial town dur ...
, Ancient Egypt, Egypt, Urartu and Elam. During this period, Aramaic language, Aramaic was also made an official language of the empire, alongside the Akkadian language. The
Neo-Babylonian Empire The Neo-Babylonian Empire, also known as the Second Babylonian Empire and historically known as the Chaldean Empire, was the last of the Mesopotamian empires to be ruled by monarchs native to Mesopotamia. Beginning with Nabopolassar's coronation as ...

Neo-Babylonian Empire
(626–539 BC) marks the final period of the history of the Ancient Near East preceding Persian Empire, Persian conquest. A year after the death of the last strong Assyrian ruler, Assurbanipal, in 627 BC, the Assyrian empire spiralled into a series of brutal civil wars. Babylonia rebelled under Nabopolassar, a member of the Chaldean tribe which had migrated from the Levant to south eastern Babylonia in the early 9th century BC. In alliance with the Medes, Persian people, Persians, Scythians and Cimmerians, they sacked the city of Nineveh in 612 BC, and the seat of empire was transferred to Babylonia for the first time since the death of Hammurabi in the mid 18th century BC. This period witnessed a general improvement in economic life and agricultural production, and a great flourishing of architectural projects, the arts and science. The Neo-Babylonian period ended with the reign of Nabonidus in 539 BC. To the east, the Persians had been growing in strength, and eventually Cyrus the Great established his dominion over Babylon.


Classical Antiquity


Achaemenid and Seleucid rule

Mesopotamia was conquered by the Achaemenid Empire, Achaemenid Persians under Cyrus the Great in 539 BC, and remained under Persian rule for two centuries. The Persian Empire fell to Alexander the Great, Alexander of Macedon in 331 BC and came under Hellenistic Greece, Greek rule as part of the Seleucid Empire. Babylon declined after the founding of Seleucia on the Tigris, the new Seleucid Empire capital. The Seleucid Empire at the height of its power stretched from the Aegean in the west to Indo-Greeks, India in the east. It was a major center of Hellenistic period, Hellenistic culture that maintained the preeminence of Ancient Greece, Greek customs where a Greek political elite dominated, mostly in the urban areas. The Greek population of the cities who formed the dominant elite were reinforced by immigration from Ancient Greece, Greece. Much of the eastern part of the empire was conquered by the Parthian Empire, Parthians under Mithridates I of Parthia in the mid-2nd century BC.


Parthian and Roman rule

At the beginning of the 2nd century AD, the Roman Empire, Romans, led by emperor Trajan, invaded Parthia and conquered Mesopotamia, making it an imperial province. It was returned to the Parthians shortly after by Trajan's successor, Hadrian. Early Christianity, Christianity reached Mesopotamia in the 1st century AD, and Roman Syria in particular became the center of East Syrian Rite, Eastern Rite Christianity and the Syriac Christianity, Syriac literary tradition. Mandeism is also believed to have either originated there around this time or entered as Mandaeans sought refuge from Palestine. Sumerian-Akkadian religious tradition disappeared during this period, as did the last remnants of cuneiform literacy, although temples were still being dedicated to the Assyrian national god Ashur (god), Ashur in his home city as late as the 4th century.


Sassanid Empire

In the 3rd century AD, the Parthians were in turn succeeded by the Sassanid dynasty, which ruled Mesopotamia until the 7th-century Islamic invasion. The Sassanids conquered the independent states of Adiabene, Osroene, Hatra and finally Assur during the 3rd century. In the mid-6th century the Persian Empire under the Sassanid dynasty was divided by Khosrow I into four quarters, of which the western one, called ''Khvārvarān'', included most of modern Iraq, and subdivided to provinces of ''Mishān'', Asuristān (
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
), Adiabene and Lower Media. The term Iraq is widely used in the medieval Arabic sources for the area in the center and south of the modern republic as a geographic rather than a political term, implying no greater precision of boundaries than the term "Mesopotamia" or, indeed, many of the names of modern states before the 20th century. There was a substantial influx of Arabs in the Sassanid period.
Upper Mesopotamia Upper Mesopotamia is the name used for the Upland and lowland, uplands and great outwash plain of northwestern Iraq, northeastern Syria and southeastern Turkey, in the northern Middle East. Since the early Muslim conquests of the mid-7th century, ...
came to be known as ''Al-Jazirah'' in Arabic (meaning "The Island" in reference to the "island" between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers), and Lower Mesopotamia came to be known as ''name of Iraq, ʿIrāq-i ʿArab'', meaning "the escarpment of the Arabs" (viz. to the south and east of "the island". Until 602, the desert frontier of the Persian Empire had been guarded by the Arab Lakhmid kings of Al-Hirah. In that year, Shahanshah Khosrow II Aparviz (Persian خسرو پرويز) abolished the Lakhmid kingdom and laid the frontier open to nomad incursions. Farther north, the western quarter was bounded by the Byzantine Empire. The frontier more or less followed the modern Syria-Iraq border and continued northward, passing between Nusaybin, Nisibis (modern Nusaybin) as the Sassanian frontier fortress and Dara and Amida (Mesopotamia), Amida (modern Diyarbakır) held by the Byzantine Empire, Byzantines.


Middle Ages


Arab conquest

The first organized conflict between local Arab tribes and Persian forces seems to have been in 634, when the Arabs were defeated at the Battle of the Bridge. There was a force of some 5,000 Muslims under Abū `Ubayd ath-Thaqafī, which was routed by the Persians. This was followed by Khalid ibn al-Walid's successful campaign which saw all of Iraq come under Arab rule within a year, with the exception of the Persian Empire's capital, Ctesiphon. Around 636, a larger Arab Muslim force under Sa`d ibn Abī Waqqās defeated the main Persian army at the Battle of al-Qādisiyyah and moved on to capture the Persian capital of Ctesiphon. By the end of 638, the Muslims had conquered all of the Western Sassanid provinces (including modern Iraq), and the last Sassanid Emperor, Yazdegerd III, had fled to central and then northern Persia, where he was killed in 651. The Islamic expansions constituted the largest of the Semitic expansions in history. These new arrivals did not disperse and settle throughout the country; instead they established two new garrison cities, at al-Kūfah, near ancient Babylon, and at Basrah in the south, while the north remained largely Assyrian and Arab Christian in character.


Abbasid Caliphate

The city of Baghdad was built in the 8th century and became the capital of the
Abbasid Caliphate The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلْعَبَّاسِيَّةُ, ') was the third caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the tit ...

Abbasid Caliphate
. Baghdad soon became the primary cultural center of the Muslim world during the centuries of the incipient "
Islamic Golden Age The Islamic Golden Age was a period of cultural, economic, and scientific flourishing in the history of Islam The history of Islam concerns the political, social, economic, and cultural developments of Muslim world, Islamic civilization. M ...
" of the 8th to 9th centuries. In the 9th century, the Abbasid Caliphate entered a period of decline. During the late 9th to early 11th centuries, a period known as the "Iranian Intermezzo", parts of (the modern territory of) Iraq were governed by a number of minor Iranian emirates, including the Tahirid dynasty, Tahirids, Saffarid dynasty, Saffarids, Samanid Empire, Samanids, Buyid dynasty, Buyids and Sallarid dynasty, Sallarids. Tughril, the founder of the Seljuk Empire, captured Baghdad in 1055. In spite of having lost all governance, the Abbasid caliphs nevertheless maintained a highly ritualized court in Baghdad and remained influential in religious matters, maintaining the orthodoxy of their Sunni sect in opposition to the Ismaili and Shia sects of Islam.


Mongol invasion

In the later 11th century, Iraq fell under the rule of the Khwarazmian dynasty. Both Turkic secular rule and Abassid caliphate came to an end with the Mongol invasions of the 13th century. The Mongols under Genghis Khan had Mongol conquest of Khwarezmia, conquered Khwarezmia by 1221, but Iraq proper gained a respite due to the death of Genghis Khan in 1227 and the subsequent power struggles. Möngke Khan from 1251 began a renewed expansion of the Mongol Empire, and when caliph al-Mustasim refused to submit to the Mongols, Battle of Baghdad (1258), Baghdad was besieged and captured by Hulagu Khan in 1258. With the destruction of the Abbasid Caliphate, Hulagu had an open route to Syria and moved against the other Muslim powers in the region.Morgan. ''The Mongols''. pp. 132–135.


Turco-Mongol rule

Iraq now became a province on the southwestern fringes of the
Ilkhanate The Ilkhanate, also spelled Il-khanate ( fa, ایل خانان, ''Ilxānān''), known to the Mongols as ''Hülegü Ulus'' ( mn, Хүлэгийн улс, , ''Qulug-un Ulus'') was a khanate A khaganate or khanate was a political entity rul ...

Ilkhanate
and Baghdad would never regain its former importance. The Jalayirids were a Mongol Jalayir dynasty which ruled over
Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq), is a country i ...

Iraq
and western Persia after the breakup of the Ilkhanate in the 1330s. The Jalayirid sultanate lasted about fifty years, until disrupted by Timur, Tamerlane's conquests and the revolts of the "Black Sheep Turks" or Qara Qoyunlu Oghuz Turks, Turkmen. After Tamerlane's death in 1405, there was a brief attempt to re-establish the sultanate in southern Iraq and Khūzestān Province, Khuzistan. The Jalayirids were finally eliminated by
Kara Koyunlu The Qara Qoyunlu or Kara Koyunlu ( fa, قره قویونلو, az, Qaraqoyunlular ), also known as the Black Sheep Turkomans, were a Persianate society, Persianate Islam, Muslim Turkoman (ethnonym), Turkoman monarchy that ruled over the terri ...
in 1432.


Ottoman and Mamluk rule

During the late 14th and early 15th centuries, the Black Sheep Turkmen ruled the area now known as Iraq. In 1466, the White Sheep Turkmen defeated the Black Sheep and took control. Later, the White Sheep were defeated by the Safavid dynasty, Safavids, who took control over Mesopotamia for some time. In the 16th century, most of the territory of present-day Iraq came under the control of
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
as the pashalik of Baghdad. Throughout most of the period of Ottoman rule (1533–1918) the territory of present-day Iraq was a battle zone between the rival regional empires and tribal alliances. Iraq was divided into three vilayets: * Mosul Province, Ottoman Empire, Mosul Province * Baghdad Province, Ottoman Empire, Baghdad Province * Basra Province, Ottoman Empire, Basra Province The Safavid dynasty of Iran briefly asserted their hegemony over Iraq in the periods of 1508–1533 and 1622–1638. During the years 1747–1831 Iraq was ruled by the Mamluk officers of Georgia (country), Georgian origin who succeeded in obtaining autonomy from the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
, suppressed tribal revolts, curbed the power of the Janissaries, restored order and introduced a program of modernization of economy and military. In 1831, the Ottomans managed to overthrow the Mamluk regime and again imposed their direct control over Iraq.


20th century


British mandate

Ottoman rule over Iraq lasted until
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, when the Ottomans sided with Germany and the Central Powers. In the Mesopotamian campaign against the Central Powers, United Kingdom, British forces invaded the country and suffered a defeat at the hands of the Turkish army during the Siege of Kut (1915–16). However the British finally won in the Mesopotamian campaign, Mesopotamian Campaign with the capture of Baghdad in March 1917. During the war the British employed the help of a number of Assyrian, Armenian and Arab tribes against the Ottomans, who in turn employed the Kurds as allies. After the war the Ottoman Empire was divided up, and the British Mandate of Mesopotamia was established by League of Nations mandate. Britain imposed a Hashemite, Hāshimite monarchy on Iraq and defined the territorial limits of Iraq without taking into account the politics of the different ethnic and religious groups in the country, in particular those of the Kurds and the Christian Assyrian people, Assyrians to the north. During the British occupation, the Kurds fought for independence, and the British employed Assyrian Levies to help quell these insurrections. Iraq also became an oligarchy government at this time. Although the monarch Faisal I of Iraq was legitimized and proclaimed King by a plebiscite in 1921, independence was achieved in 1932, when the British Mandate officially ended.


Independent Kingdom of Iraq

Establishment of Arab Sunni domination in Iraq was followed by Simele massacre, Assyrian, 1935 Yazidi revolt, Yazidi and 1935–1936 Iraqi Shia revolts, Shi'a unrests, which were all brutally suppressed. In 1936, the 1936 Iraqi coup d'état, first military coup took place in the Kingdom of Iraq, as Bakr Sidqi succeeded in replacing the acting Prime Minister with his associate. Multiple coups followed in a period of political instability, peaking in 1941. During World War II, Iraqi regime of Regent 'Abd al-Ilah was 1941 Iraqi coup d'état, overthrown in 1941 by the Golden Square (Iraq), Golden Square officers, headed by Rashid Ali. The short lived pro-Nazi government of Iraq was defeated in May 1941 by the allied forces (with local Assyrian and Kurdish help) in Anglo-Iraqi War. Iraq was later used as a base for allied attacks on Vichy-French held Mandate of Syria and support for the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran. In 1945, Iraq joined the United Nations and became a founding member of the Arab League. At the same time, the Kurdish leader Mustafa Barzani led a rebellion against the central government in Baghdad. After the failure of the uprising, Barzani and his followers fled to the Soviet Union. In 1948, massive violent protests known as the Al-Wathbah uprising broke out across Baghdad with partial communist support, having demands against the government's treaty with Britain. Protests continued into spring and were interrupted in May when martial law was enforced as Iraq entered the failed 1948 Arab–Israeli War along with other Arab League members. In February 1958, King Hussein of Jordan and `Abd al-Ilāh proposed a Arab Federation, union of Hāshimite monarchies to counter the recently formed Egyptian-Syrian union. The prime minister Nuri as-Said wanted Kuwait to be part of the proposed Arab-Hāshimite Union. Shaykh `Abd-Allāh as-Salīm, the ruler of Kuwait, was invited to Baghdad to discuss Kuwait's future. This policy brought the government of Iraq into direct conflict with Britain, which did not want to grant independence to Kuwait. At that point, the monarchy found itself completely isolated. Nuri as-Said was able to contain the rising discontent only by resorting to even greater political oppression.


Republic of Iraq

Inspired by Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, officers from the Nineteenth Brigade, 3rd Division (Iraq), 3rd Division known as "The Four Colonials", under the leadership of Brigadier Abdul-Karim Qassem, Abd al-Karīm Qāsim (known as ''"az-Za`īm"'', 'the leader') and Colonel Abdul Salam Arif 14 July Revolution, overthrew the Hashemite monarchy on July 14, 1958. The new government proclaimed Iraq to be a republic and rejected the idea of a union with Jordan. Iraq's activity in the Baghdad Pact ceased. In 1961, Kuwait gained independence from Britain and Iraq claimed sovereignty over Kuwait. A period of considerable instability followed. The same year, Mustafa Barzani, who had been invited to return to Iraq by Qasim three years earlier, began engaging Iraqi government forces and establishing Kurdish control in the north in what was the beginning of the First Kurdish Iraqi War.


Ba'athist Iraq

Qāsim was assassinated in February 1963, when the Ba'ath Party Ramadan Revolution, took power under the leadership of General Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr (prime minister) and Colonel Abdul Salam Arif (president). In June 1963, Syria, which by then had also fallen under Ba'athist rule, took part in the Iraqi military campaign against the Kurds by providing aircraft, armoured vehicles and a force of 6,000 soldiers. Several months later, `Abd as-Salam Muhammad `Arif led November 1963 Iraqi coup d'état, a successful coup against the Ba'ath government. Arif declared a ceasefire in February 1964 which provoked a split among Kurdish urban radicals on one hand and Peshmerga (Freedom fighters) forces led by Barzani on the other. On April 13, 1966, President Abdul Salam Arif died in a helicopter crash and was succeeded by his brother, General Abdul Rahman Arif. Following this unexpected death, the Iraqi government launched a last-ditch effort to defeat the Kurds. This campaign failed in May 1966, when Barzani forces thoroughly defeated the Iraqi Army at the Battle of Mount Handrin, near Rawanduz. Following the Six-Day War of 1967, the Ba'ath Party felt strong enough to 17 July Revolution, retake power in 1968. Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr became president and chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council (Iraq), Revolutionary Command Council (RCC). The Ba'ath government started a campaign to end the First Kurdish Iraqi War, Kurdish insurrection, which stalled in 1969. This can be partly attributed to the internal power struggle in Baghdad and also tensions with Iran. Moreover, the Soviet Union pressured the Iraqis to come to terms with Barzani. The war ended with more than 100,000 mortal casualties, with little achievements to both Kurdish rebels and the Iraqi government. In the aftermath of the First Kurdish Iraqi War, a peace plan was announced in March 1970 and provided for broader Kurdish autonomy. The plan also gave Kurds representation in government bodies, to be implemented in four years. Despite this, the Iraqi government embarked on an Arabization program in the oil rich regions of Kirkuk and Khanaqin in the same period. In the following years, Baghdad government overcame its internal divisions and concluded a treaty of friendship with the Soviet Union in April 1972 and ended its isolation within the Arab world. On the other hand, Kurds remained dependent on the Iranian military support and could do little to strengthen their forces. By 1974 the situation in the north escalated again into the Second Kurdish Iraqi War, to last until 1975.


Under Saddam Hussein

In July 1979, Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr, President Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr was forced to resign by
Saddam Hussein Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti (; Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a lis ...

Saddam Hussein
, who assumed the offices of both President and Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council. Saddam then purged his opponents including those from within the Baath party. Iraq's Territorial Claims to Neighboring Countries Iraq's territorial claims to neighboring countries were largely due to the plans and promises of the Entente countries in 1919–1920, when the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
was divided, to create a more extensive Arab state in Iraq and Arabian Peninsula, Jazeera, which would also include significant territories of eastern Syria, southeastern Turkey, all of Kuwait and Iran’s border areas, which are shown on this English map of 1920. Territorial disputes with Iran led to an inconclusive and costly eight-year war, the ''
Iran–Iraq War The Iran–Iraq War), whereas Western sources use that name to refer to the conflict between the American-led coalition and Iraq in 1991., name=, group= ( fa, جنگ ایران و عراق; ar, الحرب الإيرانية العراقية) ...
'' (1980–1988, termed ''Battle of al-Qādisiyyah, Qādisiyyat-Saddām'' – 'Saddam's Battle of al-Qādisiyyah, Qādisiyyah'), which devastated the economy. Iraq falsely declared victory in 1988 but actually only achieved a weary return to the ''status quo ante bellum'', meaning both sides retained their original borders. The war began when Iraq invaded Iran, launching a simultaneous invasion by air and land into Iranian territory on 22 September 1980, following a long history of Territorial dispute, border disputes, and fears of Shia insurgency among Iraq's long-suppressed Shia majority influenced by the Iranian Revolution. Iraq was also aiming to replace Iran as the dominant Persian Gulf State (polity), state. The United States support for Iraq during the Iran–Iraq war, United States supported Saddam Hussein in the war against Iran. Although Iraq hoped to take advantage of the revolutionary chaos in Iran and attacked without formal warning, they made only limited progress into Iran and within several months were repelled by the Iranians who regained virtually all lost territory by June 1982. For the next six years, Iran was on the offensive. Despite United Nations Security Council Resolutions concerning Iraq, calls for a ceasefire by the United Nations Security Council, hostilities continued until 20 August 1988. The war finally ended with a United Nations-brokered ceasefire in the form of United Nations Security Council Resolution 598, which was accepted by both sides. It took several weeks for the Iranian armed forces to evacuate Iraqi territory to honor pre-war international borders between the two nations (see 1975 Algiers Agreement). The last prisoner of war, prisoners of war were exchanged in 2003. The war came at a great cost in lives and economic damage—half a million Iraqi and Iranian soldiers, as well as civilians, are believed to have died in the war with many more injured—but it brought neither reparations nor change in borders. The conflict is often compared to
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, in that the tactics used closely mirrored those of that conflict, including large scale trench warfare, manned machine-gun posts, bayonet charges, use of barbed wire across trenches, human wave attacks across no-man's land, and extensive use of chemical weapons such as mustard gas by the Iraqi government against Iranian troops and civilians as well as Iraqi Kurds. At the time, the UN Security Council issued statements that "chemical weapons had been used in the war." However, in these UN statements, it was never made clear that it was only Iraq that was using chemical weapons, so it has been said that "the international community remained silent as Iraq used weapons of mass destruction against Iranian as well as Iraqi Kurds" and it is believed. A long-standing territorial dispute was the ostensible reason for Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. In November 1990, the UN Security Council adopted United Nations Security Council Resolution 678, Resolution 678, permitting member states to use all necessary means, authorizing military action against the Iraqi forces occupying Kuwait and demanded a complete withdrawal by January 15, 1991. When Saddam Hussein failed to comply with this demand, the
Gulf War The Gulf War was a war waged by coalition forces The term "coalition" is the denotation for a group formed when two or more people, factions, states, political parties, militaries etc. agree to work together temporarily in a partnership t ...
(Operation "Desert Storm") ensued on January 17, 1991. Estimates range from 1,500 to as many as 30,000 Iraqi soldiers killed, as well as less than a thousand civilians. In March 1991 revolts in the Shia Islam, Shia-dominated southern Iraq started involving demoralized Iraqi Army troops and the anti-government Shia parties. Another wave of insurgency broke out shortly afterwards in the Kurdish people, Kurdish populated northern Iraq (see 1991 Iraqi uprisings). Although they presented a serious threat to the Iraqi Ba'ath Party regime, Saddam Hussein managed to suppress the rebellions with massive and indiscriminate force and maintained power. They were ruthlessly crushed by the loyalist forces spearheaded by the Iraqi Republican Guard and the population was successfully terrorized. During the few weeks of unrest tens of thousands of people were killed. Many more died during the following months, while nearly two million Iraqis fled for their lives. In the aftermath, the government intensified the forced relocating of Marsh Arabs and the draining of the Tigris-Euphrates river system, Iraqi marshlands, while the Coalition established the Iraqi no-fly zones. On 6 August 1990, after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, the U.N. Security Council adopted UN Resolution 661, Resolution 661 which imposed economic sanctions on Iraq, providing for a full trade embargo, excluding medical supplies, food and other items of humanitarian necessity, these to be determined by the Security Council sanctions committee. After the end of the Gulf War and after the Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait, the sanctions were linked to removal of weapons of mass destruction by UN Resolution 687, Resolution 687. To varying degrees, the effects of government policy, the aftermath of Gulf War and the sanctions regime have been blamed for these conditions. The effects of the sanctions on the civilian population of Iraq have been disputed.Iraq surveys show 'humanitarian emergency'
UNICEF Newsline August 12, 1999
Whereas it was widely believed that the sanctions caused a major rise in child mortality, recent research has shown that commonly cited data were fabricated by the Iraqi government and that "there was no major rise in child mortality in Iraq after 1990 and during the period of the sanctions." An oil for food program was established in 1996 to ease the effects of sanctions. Iraqi cooperation with UN weapons inspection teams was questioned on several occasions during the 1990s. UNSCOM chief weapons inspector Richard Butler (diplomat), Richard Butler withdrew his team from Iraq in November 1998 because of Iraq's lack of cooperation. The team returned in December. Butler prepared a report for the UN Security Council afterwards in which he expressed dissatisfaction with the level of complianc

The same month, US President Bill Clinton authorized air strikes on government targets and military facilities. Air strikes against military facilities and alleged WMD sites continued into 2002.


Recent history (2003–present)


2003 U.S. invasion

After the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington in the United States in 2001 were linked to the group formed by the multi-millionaire Saudi Osama bin Laden, American foreign policy began to call for the removal of the Ba'ath government in Iraq. Neoconservative think-tanks in Washington had for years been urging regime change in Baghdad. On August 14, 1998, President Clinton signed Public Law 105–235, which declared that ‘‘the Government of Iraq is in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations.’’ It urged the President ‘‘to take appropriate action, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws of the United States, to bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations.’’ Several months later, Congress enacted the Iraq Liberation Act, Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 on October 31, 1998. This law stated that it "should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime." It was passed 360 - 38 by the United States House of Representatives and 99–0 by the United States Senate in 1998. The US urged the United Nations to take military action against Iraq. American president George W. Bush stated that Saddām had repeatedly violated 16 UN Security Council resolutions. The Iraqi government rejected Bush's assertions. A team of U.N. inspectors, led by Swedish diplomat Hans Blix was admitted, into the country; their final report stated that Iraqis capability in producing "weapons of mass destruction" was not significantly different from 1992 when the country dismantled the bulk of their remaining arsenals under terms of the ceasefire agreement with U.N. forces, but did not completely rule out the possibility that Saddam still had weapons of mass destruction. The United States and the United Kingdom charged that Iraq was hiding WMD and opposed the team's requests for more time to further investigate the matter. UN Security Council Resolution 1441, Resolution 1441 was passed unanimously by the UN Security Council on November 8, 2002, offering Iraq "a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations" that had been set out in several previous UN resolutions, threatening "serious consequences" if the obligations were not fulfilled. The UN Security Council did not issue a resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq. In March 2003, the United States and the United Kingdom, with military aid from other nations, invaded Iraq.


Occupation (2003–11)

In 2003, after the American and British invasion, Iraq was occupied by Coalition forces. On May 23, 2003, the UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution lifting all economic sanctions against Iraq. As the country struggled to rebuild after three wars and a decade of sanctions, it was plagued by violence between a growing Iraqi insurgency (2003–11), Iraqi insurgency and occupation forces. Saddam Hussein, who vanished in April, was captured on December 13, 2003 in ad-Dawr, Saladin Governorate. Jay Garner was appointed Interim Civil Administrator with three deputies, including Tim Cross. Garner was replaced in May 2003 by Paul Bremer, who was himself replaced by John Negroponte on April 19, 2004. Negroponte was the last US interim administrator and left Iraq in 2005. Iraqi parliamentary election, January 2005, A parliamentary election was held in January 2005, followed by the drafting and ratification of Constitution of Iraq, a constitution and Iraqi parliamentary election, December 2005, a further parliamentary election in December 2005. Terrorism emerged as a threat to Iraq's people not long after the invasion of 2003. Al Qaeda now had a presence in the country, in the form of several terrorist groups formerly led by Abu Musab Al Zarqawi. Al Zarqawi was a Jordanian militant Islamist who ran a militant training camp in Afghanistan. He became known after going to Iraq and being responsible for a series of bombings, beheadings and attacks during the Iraq war. Al Zarqawi was killed on June 7, 2006. Many foreign fighters and former Ba'ath Party officials also joined the insurgency, which was mainly aimed at attacking American forces and Iraqis who worked with them. The most dangerous insurgent area was the Sunni Triangle, a mostly Sunni-Muslim area just north of Baghdad. Reported acts of violence conducted by an uneasy tapestry of insurgents steadily increased by the end of 2006. Sunni jihadist forces including Al Qaeda in Iraq continued to target Shia civilians, notably in the 23 February 2006 attack on the Al Askari Mosque in Samarra, one of Shi'ite Islam's holiest sites leading to a
civil war A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine publis ...
between Sunni and Shia militants in Iraq. Analysis of the attack suggested that the Mujahideen Shura Council (Iraq), Mujahideen Shura Council and Al-Qaeda in Iraq were responsible, and that the motivation was to provoke further violence by outraging the Shia population. In mid-October 2006, a statement was released stating that the Mujahideen Shura Council had been disbanded and was replaced by the "Islamic State of Iraq". It was formed to resist efforts by the U.S. and Iraqi authorities to win over Sunni supporters of the insurgency. Shia militias, some of whom were associated with elements in the Iraq government, reacted with reprisal acts against the Sunni minority. A cycle of violence thus ensued whereby Sunni insurgent attacks were followed reprisals by Shiite militias, often in the form of Shi'ite death squads that sought out and killed Sunnis. Following a surge in U.S. troops in 2007 and 2008, violence in Iraq began to decrease. The U.S. ended their main military presence in 2011, however, resulting in War in Iraq (2013–2017), renewed escalation into war.


Insurgency and war (2011–2017)

The Withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq (2007–2011), departure of US troops from Iraq in 2011 triggered Iraqi insurgency (2011–2013), a renewed insurgency and by a spillover of the Syrian civil war into Iraq. By 2013, the insurgency escalated into a state renewed War in Iraq (2013–2017), war, the central government of Iraq being opposed by various factions, primarily radical Sunni forces. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Anbar campaign (2013–14), invaded Iraq in 2013–14 and seized the majority of Al Anbar Governorate, including the cities of Fallujah, Al-Qa'im (town), Al Qaim, Abu Ghraib and (in May 2015) Ramadi, leaving them in control of 90% of Anbar. Tikrit, Mosul and most of the Nineveh province, along with parts of Salahuddin, Kirkuk and Diyala provinces, were seized by insurgent forces in the Northern Iraq offensive (June 2014), June 2014 offensive. ISIL also captured Sinjar and a number of other towns in the Northern Iraq offensive (August 2014), August 2014 offensive, but were halted by the December 2014 Sinjar offensive, Sinjar offensive launched in December 2014 by Kurdish Peshmerga and People's Protection Units, YPG forces. The war ended with a government victory in December 2017. On 30 April 2016, 2015–2016 Iraqi protests, thousands of protesters entered the Green Zone in Baghdad and occupied the Council of Representatives of Iraq, Iraqi parliament building. This happened after the Iraqi parliament did not approve new government ministers. The protesters included supporters of Shia cleric Muqtada Al Sadr. Although Iraqi security forces were present, they did not attempt to stop the protesters from entering the parliament building.


Continued ISIL insurgency and protests (2017–present)

By 2018, violence in Iraq was at its lowest level in ten years. 2018–19 Iraqi protests, Protests over deteriorating economic conditions and state corruption started in July 2018 in Baghdad and other major Iraqi cities, mainly in the central and southern provinces. The latest nationwide protests, erupting in October 2019, had a death toll of at least 93 people, including police. In November 2021, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, Mustafa al-Kadhimi survived a failed assassination attempt. Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s Sadrist Movement was the biggest winner in the 2021 2021 Iraqi parliamentary election, parliamentary elections.


See also

*
Abbasid Caliphate The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلْعَبَّاسِيَّةُ, ') was the third caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the tit ...

Abbasid Caliphate
*
Akkadian Empire The Akkadian Empire () was the first ancient empire of Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of ...
*
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
*
Babylonia Babylonia () was an and based in central-southern which was part of Ancient Persia (present-day and ). A small -ruled state emerged in 1894 BCE, which contained the minor administrative town of . It was merely a small provincial town dur ...
* History of Asia * History of Baghdad * History of the Middle East * List of kings of Iraq * List of presidents of Iraq * List of prime ministers of Iraq *
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in th ...

Mesopotamia
* Politics of Iraq *
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian language, Akkadian '; Sumerian language, Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", iĝir NATIVE (7x: Old Babylonian)from ''The ...

Sumer
* Timeline of Baghdad * Timeline of Basra


References


Further reading

* Broich, John. ''Blood, Oil and the Axis: The Allied Resistance Against a Fascist State in Iraq and the Levant, 1941'' (Abrams, 2019). * de Gaury, Gerald. ''Three Kings in Baghdad: The Tragedy of Iraq's Monarchy'', (IB Taurus, 2008). * Elliot, Matthew. ''Independent Iraq: British Influence from 1941 to 1958'' (IB Tauris, 1996). * Fattah, Hala Mundhir, and Frank Caso. ''A brief history of Iraq'' (Infobase Publishing, 2009). * Franzén, Johan. “Development vs. Reform: Attempts at Modernisation during the Twilight of British Influence in Iraq, 1946–1958,” ''Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History'' 37#1 (2009), pp. 77–98 * Kriwaczek, Paul. ''Babylon: Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization''. Atlantic Books (2010). * Murray, Williamson, and Kevin M. Woods. ''The Iran-Iraq War: A military and strategic history'' (Cambridge UP, 2014). * Roux, Georges. ''Ancient Iraq''. Penguin Books (1992). * Silverfarb, Daniel. ''Britain's informal empire in the Middle East: a case study of Iraq, 1929-1941'' ( Oxford University Press, 1986). * Silverfarb, Daniel. ''The twilight of British ascendancy in the Middle East: a case study of Iraq, 1941-1950'' (1994) * Silverfarb, Daniel. "The revision of Iraq's oil concession, 1949–52." ''Middle Eastern Studies'' 32.1 (1996): 69-95. * Simons, Geoff. ''Iraq: From Sumer to Saddam'' (Springer, 2016). * Tarbush, Mohammad A. ''The role of the military in politics: A case study of Iraq to 1941'' (Routledge, 2015). *


Historiography

*


External links


Iraq: The Cradle of Civilization
*[https://web.archive.org/web/20180927085237/https://repository.library.georgetown.edu/handle/10822/552703 Historical Context of the Iran – Iraq War] from th
Dean Peter Krogh Foreign Affairs Digital Archives
{{DEFAULTSORT:History Of Iraq History of Iraq, History of the Levant, Iraq de:Irak#Geschichte