Iraq. About 20,000 civilians were killed in violence
during the first nine months of the year, but as of July,
the number of deaths dropped significantly, especially in
Baghdad and the province of Anbar in western Iraq. The
background was that the United States strengthened its
forces there by 30,000 in January soldiers at the same time
as the number of Iraqi troops also increased by about
20,000. Many of the newly arrived soldiers were stationed on
new small military garrisons scattered throughout the
capital. In the countryside, village or neighborhood guards
were paid to invite resistance to Sunni Jihadists. In Anbar,
the security situation was so good that US President George
W. Bush on September 3 was able to make a lightning visit
there. Shiite Muslim extremists in the so-called Mahdi army
also stepped down in the violence in and south of Baghdad
since the group leader Muqtada al-Sadr had ordered a
ceasefire in August.
In other parts of the country, there was still concern.
From Basra in the south, which used to be a multicultural
center of commerce, Christians and Sunni Muslims fled while
Shiite militia groups fought each other in the battle for
the area's oil deposits. The British soldiers who were
stationed there were engaged during the spring or entrenched
themselves near the airport. Northern Iraq suffered several
devastating explosions. The worst happened on August 14,
when 400 confessors of the Jesuit faith were killed in two
villages near the city of Sinjal in the northwestern part of
the country. In October and November, the situation was
tense in the three Kurdish-controlled provinces in the far
north due to threats from Turkey about an invasion.
CountryAAH, the coalition government under the moderate Shi'ite Nouri
al-Maliki was severely crowded from two directions. Shia
Muslim ministers loyal to al-Sadr boycotted government work
for a period, in protest of al-Maliki's support for the US
presence in the country, and al-Sadrlojala MPs also
boycotted the work in parliament. The same did the Sunni
Muslim members of the National Unity Front, but for them the
reason was instead al-Maliki's close relations with Iran.
During the late summer and autumn al-Maliki managed to
stabilize the situation and regain the support of its former
partners in Parliament.
Former President Saddam Hussein's half-brother Barzan
Ibrahim al-Tikriti and former Judge Awad Hamad al-Bandar,
who, along with Saddam in 2006, were sentenced to death by
the War Criminal Tribunal in Baghdad, were hanged on January
15. Former Vice President Taha Yasin Ramadan was sentenced
to death on February 12 for a massacre of Shiite Muslims in
1982 and hanged on March 20. In another case, concerning the
so-called al-Anfal campaign against the country's Kurds in
1988, General Ali Hasan al-Majid, "Chemical Ali", was
sentenced to death. Two co-defendants, former Defense
Minister Sultan Hashim al-Tai and former head of Republican
Guard Hussein Rashid al-Tikriti, received the same
punishment. The three were also charged with abuses against
Shia Muslims in 1991.
By the end of the year, over 4 million Iraqis were
estimated to be fleeing their homes, almost 3 million of
them in the country and most others in Syria and Jordan.
UNHCR described the refugee crisis as the worst in the
region since the establishment of the State of Israel in
1948. Many of I's neighboring countries, such as Kuwait, had
closed the borders for refugees and Syria in September
introduced visa requirements for Iraqis. Most of I's
provincial governors also introduced barriers to internal
refugees. According to a report by the World Health
Organization in April, at least 70 percent of Iraqis lacked
access to toilet and 70 percent lacked access to clean
water. Despite the difficulties, 4 million children were
vaccinated against polio and 3 million against measles
during the year.
On 29 June, the UN Security Council decided to terminate
the UN-Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission
(UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission)
weapons mission in Iraq. This since the country had signed
several agreements on non-proliferation of weapons of mass
destruction. The Council also decided to suspend the IAEA
Atomic Energy Agency's control of Iraq.
Iraq won the Asian Football Championship on July 29 by
defeating Saudi Arabia by 1-0 in the final.
Iraq - Baghdad
Baʹgdad, Baghdād, capital of Iraq; 8. 8 million residents (2015).
Baghdad is located on a treeless, sun-drenched plain (67 m above sea level) in
the Euphrates and Tigris valleys. The river Tigris flows right through the city.
The name is probably of Persian origin and means 'goddess'.
Baghdad has three universities and a number of colleges. Most important is
Baghdad State University (founded in 1958), the country's largest educational
institution with over 10,000 students. There are numerous historical and natural
Baghdad is Iraq's industrial, financial and intellectual center and a hub for
railways and other communications. In addition to the oil industry, about 70% of
the country's industry is located in Baghdad. textile, food and construction
industries as well as small industries and crafts. A large move in from the
countryside has led to rapid population growth and increasing decline.
During the Kuwait War and the US-led invasion of 2003, Baghdad suffered
extensive bombings resulting in severe damage to industries and infrastructure.
Architecture and cityscape
Baghdad was founded in 762 by the Caliph al-Mansur and was built as a
completely round, fortified city, 2,000 m in diameter. The city was named
Madinat as-Salam, the city of peace or peace, with symbolic, cosmic
significance as the navel of the world. In the center of the city was the
caliph's palace with a green dome roof crowned by a gilded rider figure. Next to
the palace was the great mosque. Through the city, two intersecting main streets
opened into four gates in the heavily fortified city wall. Soon the settlement
began to grow towards Tigris. From the reign of the Caliph Harun ar-Rashid
(786-809), palaces and mosques were also built on the eastern shore of the
river. Three bridges connected the two parts of the city with each other. The
Seljuks conquered Baghdad in 1055.
The medieval Baghdad was destroyed in 1258 by the Mongols. The remains of the
medieval buildings are today buried under the modern city, and only a few
buildings from the Middle Ages and later centuries remain. Archaeological
excavations have not been possible. Preserved include Mustansiriyya madrasan
from 1233, formerly theological school, now a cultural building after a
restoration carried out in the 1990s, and Khan al-Mirjan from 1359 with unique
plan and vaulting system on two floors against a long, 14 m high central hall.
The famous Talisman gate with relief sculptures from the Seljuq era (1221) was
destroyed in 1918. The brick architecture from the 1500s to the 1600s shows a
strong Iranian influence, as in the al-Kazimiyya mosque and the Imam tombs, now
in a suburb of Baghdad. Baghdad's modern cityscape is characterized by Western
influence and technology.
Baghdad quickly became one of the foremost cultural and commercial centers of
its time and had its heyday during the 800-1000s. Its population then (certainly
exaggerated) is estimated at one million. It consisted of a large number of
ethnic and religious groups, between which contradictions often arose,
reinforced by political and economic crises. In 1258, Baghdad was conquered and
destroyed by the Mongols, but then rebuilt and served as the capital of various
dynasties. During the 16th and 16th centuries, Persians and Ottomans fought for
the city, but in 1638 it was conquered by the latter and remained in Ottoman
possession until the First World War. In 1917, the British entered the city,
which became the capital of the Kingdom in 1920, from the 1958 Republic of Iraq.