• Iraq

    From 1920 To Current Date

The territory of the modern state of Iraq was defined in 1920 as Mandatory Iraq. It is centered on Lower Mesopotamia (corresponding to historical Babylonia, later also known as ʿIrāq-iʿArab) but also includes part of Upper Mesopotamia and of the Syrian Desert and the Arabian Desert.

As part of the larger Fertile Crescent, Mesopotamia saw the earliest emergence of civilization in the NeolithicAge and formed a significant part of the Ancient Near East throughout the Bronze Age and the Iron Age (Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian and Assyrian).After the fall of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, Mesopotamia fell under Persian and then Greek rule. By the 3rd century, when it was once again under Persian (Sassanid) control, Arabs increasingly displaced the earlier population, and the Arabic name al-ʿIrāq dates to about this time.The Sassanid Empire was destroyed by the Islamic conquests and displaced by the Rashidun Caliphate in the 7th century. Baghdad became the center of the “Islamic Golden Age” under the Abbasid Caliphate during the 9th century. Iraq became fully under the control of the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century, intermittently falling under Iranian Safavidcontrol.

Ottoman rule ended with World War I, and Iraq came to be administered by the British Empire as Mandatory Iraq until the establishment of the Kingdom of Iraq in 1933. A republic was established in 1958 following a coup d’état. Saddam Hussein controlled it from 1979 to 2003, into which period falls the Iran–Iraq War and the Gulf War. Saddam Hussein was deposed following the 2003 US-led invasion of the country. Over the following years, Iraq came to the brink of civil war, and the situation deteriorated after the withdrawal of U.S. troops in 2011. Currently, Iraq is effectively divided, whereby the central & southern parts are controlled by the CentralGovernment, and the Kurdistan Regional Government controls the north.

In prehistoric times, the region was home to Neanderthal cultures such as has been found at the Shanidar Cave. The northern branch of the Gutian/Hurrians inhabited the region around 2400 BC, whom along with the Medes, the Kurds trace their origins to. Assyrian kings ruled the region from the 21st century BC.Large cities were built by the Assyrians, including Ashur, Nineveh (Mosul), and Arrapkha (Kirkuk). One of the major Assyrian cities, and the current capital city of the Kurdistan Region, Erbil (Arba-Ilu), was noted for its distinctive cult of Ishtar, and its Assyrian inhabitants called the city “the Lady of Ishtar”.

The Kurdistan Region has seen a long list of invaders and conquerors: Ancient Persians, Alexander the Great, Muslim Arabs in the 7th Century, the Mongols in the 13th Century, medieval Persians and Ottoman in the 16th Century, the British in the 20th century, and more recently Saddam Hussein and his Baathist state of Iraq.

In recent history, with the formation of modern states, the Kurds were promised a Kurdistan according to the treaty of Sevres. However, the treaty of Lausanne, which superseded the previous treaty, divided Kurdish inhabited lands across Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Armenia. This led to various revolts and conflict with the Iraqi government. Famously, the first Iraqi – Kurdish conflict came about due to the Kurds demanding an independence from Iraq.

After the first Iraqi – Kurdish conflict, regional autonomy was given to the Kurds in 1970 with the creation of the Kurdish Autonomous Region following the agreement of an Autonomy Accord between the government of Iraq and leaders of the Iraqi Kurdish community. This autonomy was short lived, and was dissolved in 1974.

After the Gulf War in 1990-1991 and the enforcement by the Americans of a no-fly zone in Iraqi Kurdistan region, the Iraqi Kurds gained its long sought after autonomy. In 1992, an alliance of political parties, the Iraqi Kurdistan Front, held parliamentary and presidential elections. As a result, the Iraqi Kurdistan Front established the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), a new autonomous Government of Kurdistan in Iraq. Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) are the two main parties in the Region.

  • Kurdistan Region

    From 1970 To Current Date

Since the 2003 invasion of Iraq the Region has become a major player in the Middle East and has seen its influence in Iraq increase, due to its strategic importance and abundance in oil reserves.