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I·raq(ĭ-răk′, ĭ-räk′, ī-răk′)
A country of southwest Asia. Site of the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, the region later fell to the Persians (6th century bc), Greeks (4th century bc), Arabs (7th century), and Ottoman Turks (16th century). Iraq became a kingdom under a British mandate in 1921, achieved independence in 1932, and became a republic in 1958. The Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein invaded Iran (1980), triggering an eight-year war, and occupied Kuwait (1990) until forced to withdraw in the Gulf War. In the Iraq War, a US-led coalition overthrew Hussein (2003) and established a new government. Baghdad is the capital and largest city. See Usage Note at Iran.
(Placename) a republic in SW Asia, on the Persian Gulf: coextensive with ancient Mesopotamia; became a British mandate in 1920, independent in 1932, and a republic in 1958. The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait (1990) led to their defeat in the first Gulf War (1991) by US-led UN forces. The second Gulf War (2003) took place when Iraq was invaded by a coalition of US, UK, and other forces; government elected in 2005, although there is continuing violence and resistance to the coalition presence; the last coalition troops left the country in 2011. Iraq consists chiefly of the mountains of Kurdistan in the northeast, part of the Syrian Desert, and the lower basin of the Rivers Tigris and Euphrates. Oil is the major export. Official language: Arabic; Kurdish is official in the Kurdish Autonomous Region only. Official religion: Muslim. Currency: dinar. Capital: Baghdad. Pop: 31 858 481 (2013 est). Area: 438 446 sq km (169 284 sq miles)
a republic in SW Asia, N of Saudi Arabia and W of Iran, centering in the Tigris-Euphrates basin of Mesopotamia. 22,427,150; 172,000 sq. mi. (445,480 sq. km). Cap.: Baghdad.
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|Noun||1.||Iraq - a republic in the Middle East in western Asia; the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia was in the area now known as Iraq|
Ansar al Islam, Ansar al-Islam, Supporters of Islam - a radical Islamic group of terrorists in the Iraqi part of Kurdistan who oppose an independent secular nation as advocated by the United States; some members fought with the Taliban and al-Qaeda forces in Afghanistan; said to receive financial support from Saddam Hussein
Abu Nidal Organization, ANO, Arab Revolutionary Brigades, Black September, Fatah Revolutionary Council, Fatah-RC, Revolutionary Organization of Socialist Muslims - a Palestinian international terrorist organization that split from the PLO in 1974; has conducted terrorist attacks in 20 countries; "in the 1980s the Fatah-RC was considered the most dangerous and murderous Palestinian terror group"
Arab League - an international organization of independent Arab states formed in 1945 to promote cultural and economic and military and political and social cooperation
OPEC, Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries - an organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the production and sale of petroleum
IIS, Iraqi Intelligence Service, Iraqi Mukhabarat - the most notorious and possibly the most important arm of Iraq's security system; "the Iraqi Mukhabarat has been involved in numerous terrorist activities"
Republican Guard - formerly Iraq's elite military unit whose primary role was to protect the government in Baghdad
Akhbari - a religious movement by Arab Shiite Muslims in 17th century Iraq that is opposed to the Usuli; "Akhbari Shiism has never promoted political control"
Middle East, Mideast, Near East - the area around the eastern Mediterranean; from Turkey to northern Africa and eastward to Iran; the site of such ancient civilizations as Phoenicia and Babylon and Egypt and the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity and Islam; had continuous economic and political turmoil in the 20th century; "the Middle East is the cradle of Western civilization"
Gulf States - the countries in southwestern Asia that border the Persian Gulf
Bagdad, Baghdad, capital of Iraq - capital and largest city of Iraq; located on the Tigris River; "Baghdad is one of the great cities of the Muslim world"
Karbala, Kerbala, Kerbela - a city of central Iraq to the south of Baghdad; a holy city for Shiite Muslims because it is the site of the tomb of Mohammed's grandson who was killed there in 680
Kirkuk - a city in northeastern Iraq; the center of a rich oilfield with pipelines to the Mediterranean
Mosul - a city in northern Iraq on the Tigris across from the ruins of Nineveh
Mesopotamia - the land between the Tigris and Euphrates; site of several ancient civilizations; part of what is now known as Iraq
Babylonia, Chaldaea, Chaldea - an ancient kingdom in southern Mesopotamia; Babylonia conquered Israel in the 6th century BC and exiled the Jews to Babylon (where Daniel became a counselor to the king)
Chaldaea, Chaldea - an ancient region of Mesopotamia lying between the Euphrates delta and the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Desert; settled in 1000 BC and destroyed by the Persians in 539 BC; reached the height of its power under Nebuchadnezzar II
Sumer - an area in the southern region of Babylonia in present-day Iraq; site of the Sumerian civilization of city-states that flowered during the third millennium BC
Assyria - an ancient kingdom in northern Mesopotamia which is in present-day Iraq
Assur, Asur, Ashur - an ancient Assyrian city on the Tigris and traditional capital of Assyria; just to the south of the modern city of Mosul in Iraq
Nineveh - an ancient Assyrian city on the Tigris across from the modern city of Mosul in the northern part of what is now known as Iraq
Kurdistan - an extensive geographical region in the Middle East to the south of the Caucasus
Iraqi Kurdistan - the part of Kurdistan that is in northwestern Iraq
Syrian Desert - a desert of northern Arabia occupying western Iraq, southern Syria, eastern Jordan, and northern Saudi Arabia
Asia - the largest continent with 60% of the earth's population; it is joined to Europe on the west to form Eurasia; it is the site of some of the world's earliest civilizations
Euphrates, Euphrates River - a river in southwestern Asia; flows into the Persian Gulf; was important in the development of several great civilizations in ancient Mesopotamia
n → (der) Irak