Iraq


Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the north western end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert.


Iraq is the birthplace of many of the Earth's oldest civilizations, including the Babylonians and the Assyrians. A part of the Ottoman Empire from 1534, the Treaty of Sèvres brought the area under British control in 1918. Iraq gained independence in 1932. On 14 July 1958, the long-time Hashamite monarchy was overthrown in a coup led by Abdul Kassem that paved way to radical political reforms, including the legalisation of political parties such as the Ba'ath and the Communist Party, both key players in the coup (also called the 14 July Revolution). Following the Revolution, the Soviet Union gradually became its main arms and commercial supplier.


The political situation in Iraq remains extremely unstable, even though the war was officially declared as over in December 2011. Traveling there remains extremely dangerous and strongly discouraged. All foreigners are still in danger of kidnapping, murder, and general armed violence. Tourism visas for Iraq are not granted at the moment. Sporadic violence can occur anywhere in the country, even though Iraqi Kurdistan is relatively safe.

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