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Formerly part of the Ottoman Empire, Iraq was occupied by Britain during the course of World War I; in 1920, it was declared a League of Nations mandate under UK administration. In stages over the next dozen years, Iraq attained its independence as a kingdom in 1932. A "republic" was proclaimed in 1958, but in actuality a series of strongmen ruled the country until 2003. The last was SADDAM Husayn. Territorial disputes with Iran led to an inconclusive and costly eight-year war (1980-88). In August 1990, Iraq seized Kuwait but was expelled by US-led, UN coalition forces during the Gulf War of January-February 1991. Following Kuwait's liberation, the UN Security Council (UNSC) required Iraq to scrap all weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles and to allow UN verification inspections. Continued Iraqi noncompliance with UNSC resolutions over a period of 12 years led to the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 and the ouster of the SADDAM Husayn regime. US forces remained in Iraq under a UNSC mandate through 2009 and under a bilateral security agreement thereafter, helping to provide security and to train and mentor Iraqi security forces. In October 2005, Iraqis approved a constitution in a national referendum and, pursuant to this document, elected a 275-member Council of Representatives (COR) in December 2005. The COR approved most cabinet ministers in May 2006, marking the transition to Iraq's first constitutional government in nearly a half century. In January 2009, Iraq held elections for provincial councils in all governorates except for the three governorates comprising the Kurdistan Regional Government and Kirkuk Governorate. Iraq held a national legislative election in March 2010 - choosing 325 legislators in an expanded COR - and, after nine months of deadlock the COR approved the new government in December 2010. Nearly nine years after the start of the Second Gulf War in Iraq, US military operations there ended in mid-December 2011.


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Communications

Telephones - main lines in use World Ranking: 60
1.794 million (2011)

Telephones - mobile cellular World Ranking: 37
25.519 million (2011)

Telephone system
General assessment
The 2003 liberation of Iraq severely disrupted telecommunications throughout Iraq including international connections; widespread government efforts to rebuild domestic and international communications through fiber optic links are in progress; the mobile cellular market has expanded rapidly and its subscribership base is expected to continue increasing rapidly
Domestic
Repairs to switches and lines destroyed during 2003 continue; additional switching capacity is improving access; mobile-cellular service is available and centered on 3 GSM networks which are being expanded beyond their regional roots, improving country-wide connectivity; wireless local loop is available in some metropolitan areas and additional licenses have been issued with the hope of overcoming the lack of fixed-line infrastructure
International
Country code - 964; satellite earth stations - 4 (2 Intelsat - 1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean, 1 Intersputnik - Atlantic Ocean region, and 1 Arabsat (inoperative)); local microwave radio relay connects border regions to Jordan, Kuwait, Syria, and Turkey; international terrestrial fiber-optic connections have been established with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Kuwait with planned connections to Iran and Jordan; a link to the Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG) submarine fiber-optic cable is planned

Broadcast media
The number of private radio and TV stations has increased rapidly since 2003; government-owned TV and radio stations are operated by the publicly-funded Iraqi Public Broadcasting Service; private broadcast media are mostly linked to political, ethnic, or religious groups; satellite TV is available to an estimated 70% of viewers and many of the broadcasters are based abroad; transmissions of multiple international radio broadcasters are accessible (2007)

Internet country code
.iq

Internet hosts World Ranking: 219
23 (2010)

Internet users World Ranking: 126
325,900 (2009)


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  Iraq (Baghdad):


  GPS points from Iraq (Baghdad)


Jahl Dhi Qar

Humrat Al Batn Muhafazat An Najaf

Qal`a Al `abdullah Muhafazat Babil

Ar Rabbat Al Basrah

Bi'r Simbul Diyala

Qaryat Abu `ali Al Anbar





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