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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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Airports World Ranking: 53
104 (2012)

Airports - with paved runways
Total 75
Over 3,047 m 20
2,438 to 3,047 m 36
1,524 to 2,437 m 5
914 to 1,523 m 6
Under 914 m 8 (2012)

Airports - with unpaved runways
Total 29
Over 3,047 m 3
2,438 to 3,047 m 4
1,524 to 2,437 m 3
914 to 1,523 m 13
Under 914 m 6 (2012)

20 (2012)

Gas 2,447 km; liquid petroleum gas 918 km; oil 5,104 km; refined products 1,637 km (2010)

Railways World Ranking: 66
Total 2,272 km
Standard gauge 2,272 km 1.435-m gauge (2008)

Roadways World Ranking: 82
Total 44,900 km
Paved 37,851 km
Unpaved 7,049 km (2002)

Waterways World Ranking: 23
5,279 km (the Euphrates River (2,815 km), Tigris River (1,899 km), and Third River (565 km) are the principal waterways) (2012)

Merchant marine World Ranking: 142
Total 2
By type Petroleum tanker 2
Registered in other countries 2 (Marshall Islands 2) (2010)

Ports and terminals
Al Basrah, Khawr az Zubayr, Umm Qasr


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  Iraq (Baghdad):

  GPS points from Iraq (Baghdad)

Ban-a Bawi Arbil

Al Khandaq Canal Al Basrah

`umar Mandan At Ta Mim

Az Zahra' Baghdad

Daway Maysan

Werawar As Sulaymaniyah
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